The Impact of Suicide on Others #MHM

With recent events, I felt it was timely and important to discuss the impact of suicide on the survivors, such as friends, siblings, parents, and children.

(I want to note that, as of the time of this writing, the cause of death for Mr. Loncar is undetermined. I’m not privy to exclusive information and I’m not any more informed about what happened that the public in general. The incident was simply the catalyst for writing this article.)

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Suicide is tragic for everyone involved. We can all agree that it is terrible that someone can reach a point that their ability to cope has been exceeded and they believe the only escape is suicide. But suicide has significant direct and indirect impact on others as well.

People mourning a friend or family who committed suicide, or died suddenly, are 65% more likely to attempt suicide. 80% are more likely to drop out of school or quit work.

Children (< 18) who lose a parent to suicide at an early age are three times more likely to commit suicide. They are also twice as likely to be hospitalized for depression and this applies to other family members as well.

Parents who lose a child to suicide have double the rate of depression for the two years after the death. They also have a 40% increase in anxiety disorders and a 60% increases in other disorders.

“Suicide contagion” is also very real. Analysis shows that at least 5% of youth suicides were influenced by the suicide of someone else, even when they weren’t well known by the person whether someone else at school, work, or a famous person. Some studies showed up to a 12% rise. In one incident, where a fictional subject on a soap opera committed suicide by overdose of acetaminophen, there was a 17% uptick of attempts of real world suicide by overdose using acetaminophen the following week.

Not only are there mental consequences but there are physical consequences as well. Incidents of cardiovascular disease, COPD, high blood pressure, and diabetes all go up. They are 18% more likely to get a divorce. Even that divorce can trigger suicide rates three times higher than average.

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As we can see, suicide has a significant impact on everyone and lasting effects on the people left behind. During these hard times, keep an eye on your loved ones for signs that they aren’t coping well. Here is an easy mnemonic device to help you remember what to look for:

Here’s an easy-to-remember mnemonic:

IS PATH WARM?

 I  Ideation
Substance Abuse

Purposelessness
Anxiety
Trapped
Hopelessness

Withdrawal
Anger
Recklessness
Mood Changes

 

As always, we’re here to help and if there is something we, or I, can do to help please don’t hesitate to call us at 911 in an emergency, 817-427-1000 in a non-emergency, or call my office directly at 817-427-7092.

 

All the best,

Officer Morgan

 

Resources:

 

References:

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