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Loneliness can turn you suicidal: Five ways to stave off suicidal thoughts

As feelings of loneliness intensify so do thoughts of suicide and attempts at suicide – say experts.

Loneliness can lead to depression, which is linked to suicidal thoughts. Here are five ways to keep loneliness in check and stave off suicidal thoughts.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : June 15, 2020 4:16 PM IST

Are you feeling lonely and isolated? Do you look at yourself with disgust? Do you feel sad and guilty all the time? All these indicate that your mental health is at risk. According to a study by researchers at the Sheffield Hallam University, people who have a chronic tendency to feel lonely and isolated are at high risk of suffering from depression.

According to the British authors, loneliness isn't just a state of being alone, it's a feeling of being less in touch with people than you'd prefer. And this feeling of loneliness can trigger a self-perpetuating cycle of self-blame, low self-worth, dysphoria, and lower self-esteem which can lead to mental health problems like depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies depression as a common mental disorder and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More than 264 million people are affected by this mental health problem, as per the UN health agency. In not properly treated, depression may become a serious health condition and greatly affect your daily activities. At its worst, WHO says, depression can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. It is estimated that nearly 8 lakh people die due to suicide every year.

"You don't have to be a doctor to recognize the connection between loneliness and suicide," writes Dr. Jeremy Noble in an article written for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevent. As feelings of loneliness intensify so do thoughts of suicide and attempts at suicide say experts. So, keep loneliness in check to stave off suicidal thoughts. If you are going through suicidal thoughts very often, try these tips to keep those negative thoughts away.

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Seek Professional Help

Fix an appointment with your family doctor or a psychiatrist. If depression is the cause of your suicidal thoughts, you may receive treatment for your depression which often involve the use of psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.

Call a Suicide Prevention Helpline

There are many organisations in India who help others in distress. These organisations have 24x7 dedicated free helpline numbers where professionally trained volunteers are assigned to answer the call. They can also connect you with a mental health specialist who will help you talk about your feelings in a safe environment.

Work on Problem Solving

If your depression is related to a situation in your life, instead of running away from it, face it and try to solve the problem. If you're dealing with a particularly large or difficult problem, start with "baby steps" and gradually it will lead you in the direction of a solution.

Stay away from danger

Remove items from your home that may influence you to act on suicidal thoughts, such as pills or guns. Stay away from potentially dangerous area or situation (for example waiting for a train, driving or standing on a balcony).

Seek Human Contact

People who are depressed tend to isolate themselves in their home and avoid contact with other people. But it won't help. Surrounding yourself with people you care for you will help distract you from your negative thoughts. Whenever you feel suicidal, go out for a walk, go shopping, or seek out human contact. This is a way to put yourself in a situation where you can't easily act on your feelings.

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