In detail

Suicide and its relationship with natural disasters

Suicide and its relationship with natural disasters

Recent research led by Marshall Burke (2018), a professor at the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford, shows some effects of climate change on human behavior, scientists estimate that together with the projected temperature increase by 2050, suicide rates could also increase: 2.3% in Mexico and 1.4% in the USA. UU.

Suicide is a complex health problem globally, the WHO (World Health Organization) believes that It is the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 44 (2017). As the effects of global warming Increase, human beings will be affected in several ways. Catastrophes, strong social conflicts such as wars, scarcity of resources can increase and with them despair in people, hostility in many and suicidal ideation in others.

Global warming can have a great impact on the risk of suicide, this is important both for our understanding of mental health and for what we should expect as temperatures continue to rise." Marshall Burke (2018).

Situations related to strong social problems, those where there are natural disasters, violence, abuse, loss and "feeling of isolation", are also associated with suicidal behavior. Certain minority groups may be more vulnerable, due to discrimination, as with migrants and refugees, in whom suicide rates also show a lethal increase.

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  • 1 Self-harm and hostile behavior
  • 2 Lethality capacity
  • 3 Drugs that generate suicidal ideation
  • 4 Prevention of suicidal behaviors and self-harm
  • 5 Suicide: crisis intervention
  • 6 Strengthen your “connection” with yourself, with your environment and with others

Self-harm and hostile behaviors

Can human behavior affect climate change? Solomon Hsiang (2018), co-author of the study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, said: "We have been studying the effects of warming on 'conflict' and violence for years, discovering that people tend to fight more when it's hot. Now we see that in addition to hurting others, some people hurt themselves. It seems that heat deeply affects the human mind and how we decide to inflict damage. "Experts point out that the increase in temperatures due to climate change can increase the risk of suicide, affecting the probability that a particular conflictive situation of the subject will lead to serious self-harm attempts.

 On the other hand, in clinical practice and in other investigations we can see that there are patients to whom climatic conditions affect their mood, Some subjects with depressive tendencies usually experience more feelings of sadness when they lack the sun, with predominantly cloudy and rainy days or seasons. Greenland, is one of the countries with more suicides, as well as Russia, Norway, Finland, in Western Europe, we have France as one of the countries with more suicides; as of 2010, the number of suicides in Spain has grown, epidemiological investigations in Switzerland show that 10% of said population commit one or more suicide attempts, in other regions of the planet the list is headed by South Korea, Japan and India .

Countries with a high suicide rate are long, WHO and experts in the field claim that the problem could be much larger, because due to stigmas, family members or people "close" to someone who committed suicide could lie about. In addition to the fact that in countries with severe economic and social conflicts, statistics are less reliable, so Suicide is a tortuous burden for both individuals and nations.

There are countries where social problems, catastrophes and epidemics are so great that statistics about suicides can go even more unnoticed, but it does not mean that the problem does not exist, it is the case of countries at war, where you can know of cases in which the despair of many parents before their cruel reality, has led them to take a “desperate way out” and commit suicide , on certain occasions accompanied even by their children, seeing that life offers them a threatening reality and that in their cases there is no "better tomorrow" coming soon for them.

Higher temperatures do not represent the most important risk factor for suicide, however, since it is a complex health problem, timely intervention and prevention should be emphasized, in the suicide even genetic variables influence, Generally, in cases of consummate suicides, there is a comorbidity with serious psychopathologies such as depression: 75% of adolescents who committed suicide had a major or bipolar depressive disorder. In turn, they coexist in the suicide, triggers  such as life crises, physical ailments, excessive stress and anguish, among others.

When someone tries to commit suicide and fails, but is injured, does that mean they just want to get attention? A study was carried out in Denmark, where they observed that the 46.5% of adolescents who self-injure try to take their lives and have a sincere desire to die, while only 2.5% wanted to get attention with this kind of behavior, In all of the above cases, people require psychological attention.

Lethality capacity

Is there a correlation between self-harm and consummate suicides? It has been observed that The 'lethality' of an individual has to do with habituation and pain tolerance, which many people who self-harm develop precisely or they develop it because they find themselves in situations of life in which they suffer great suffering from which they “cannot escape”, such as when they have been in captivity or in jail for a long time, when a difficult physical condition is being carried that leads chronic pain, implied, when people constantly suffer abuse or rejection, violence in the classroom, or in any of other contexts where people function, hostility can manifest itself in different ways and means, even 'virtual'.

Generally the person who commits suicide or attempts, has contemplated the idea of ​​his death from a long time ago, usually had suicidal ideation for months or years. When dependence on people, behaviors, substances or alcohol abuse coexist, the risk of suicidal ideation and "attempts" increases dramatically.

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Medicines that generate suicidal ideation

What could be other causes of increased suicides? Some commonly used medications such as certain types of: antacids, analgesics, hormonal contraceptives, medicine for blood pressure control, for the heart, proton pump inhibitors, among many others, have depression or suicidal ideation as possible side effects, that's why a person should not self-medicate, it is not enough to read the instructions in a manual, the trained doctor who takes the appropriate time to do anamnesis, can identify if there is comorbidity with other conditions, the existence of psychopathologies and be able to provide the patient with the best available option, as well as warn of the possible risks, A good complement to the psychopharmacological treatment of suicidal patients is psychological. The person who seeks recovery and healing, should follow the medical instructions, including suggestions regarding their habits of: hygiene, sleep and food, it can be difficult for the anhedonia, Only extra effort is required. The psychopharmacological medication acts differently, it is important that the doctor warns about the precautions, as well as the possible changes that the patient may have during the period of “adjustment” of the medication; If your discomfort persists, you should call your doctor, it could indicate a change in the dose or prescribe another drug.

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Prevention of suicidal behaviors and self-harm

Thomas Joiner, a psychologist noted for his research and books about suicide, says that "the reckless combination and that sincere desire to die, is what will lead a person to finally commit suicide." He raises certain aspects that must be observed and work with them, especially when the subject has the ability to act lethal and has developed some tolerance for pain, recommends performing a "symptom matching hierarchy" and suggests strategies specific to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

It is convenient for the patient to try to identify the thoughts or situations that trigger feelings that lead him to try to end his life or lead him to hurt himself, the people who self-injure, they usually do it because they experience great emotional suffering and anguish, which makes them fall more easily into other self-destructive behaviors and continue to get hurt. It is possible to learn to identify these types of thoughts when they start and apply certain strategies that a psychotherapist can recommend; Joiner emphasizes that for prevention you must work with elements such as:

  1. Load perception
  2. Lack of emotional connection.

When feelings of sadness, anguish and despair can be fatal, it is recommended that along with psychopharmacological treatment, various emotions management strategies, such asEFT: Emotional Freedom TechniqueThe therapist can provide ideas and assist the patient to establish certain coping techniques in the face of suicidal ideation or other discomfort states.

“Are we our greatest enemy? What things make you feel happy or unhappy? ”Marta Guerri, a psychologist with a Master in Behavioral and Health Therapy, specializing in therapy with families with social vulnerability in the Family Counseling and Support Service (SOAF), formulates these questions and shows us to learn to “Live with optimism", As one of his books (2014) is titled," it is a whole art that can be learned ", surrounded by stimulating literature like this, can be another useful tool for people in the construction of a 'stronger I'; In that book, you will find coping strategies that you can apply in certain situations. Reading has therapeutic effects on people living in certain captives, It may be especially beneficial for those patients to attend a reading club, where books that encourage the desire to live are read. "Remember that you can learn to be the owner of your own power and your energy":

Now we are free to act and think independently, to become masters of ourselves and to do with our own lives everything we are able to do." Marta Guerri

As preventive strategies, Joiner proposes (emphasis added):

IIDentify negative thoughts, suicidal ideation and try to stop them.
CSet the CThe connection of certain types of thoughts or situations with specific cognitive distortions may be catastrophism, for example.
TOTOutovaluation of the thought in question.
RRcognitive structuring, It can be in a waking state and in deeper states of consciousness: alpha, beta, gamma, delta & theta.
ANDANDconduct adaptive, effective and responsible coping strategies for suicidal ideation or increased emotional distress.
# Suicide Prevention

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Suicide: crisis intervention

Experts suggest that suicidal patients have a "crisis card", to guide them in the face of such a contingency. Although certain steps seem obvious, when the person experiences a lot of anguish or a crisis, he can also fall prey to confusional states, especially when he does not get enough sleep, he has addictions, when you have abused alcohol or if you are stopping eating or acquire other self-destructive habits.

It is suggested that those patients who have a great emotional discomfort and this has led them to hurt themselves or to attempt against their own life in the past, It is good that they have a card at hand with the steps to follow before suicidal ideation, I took into account the advice of experts in the field such as Joiner, the card may include something similar:

# Suicide Prevention: “IRE-A-en-llama”
1.    ITo dentify feelings and situations that trigger suicidal ideation and try to stop it, by mentally “stopping” you can “think” about the word: “stop” or “enough”.

2.    REcorder and use strategies learned in therapy to release anxiety and emotional management.

3.    ANDwrite a list of the distressing conflicts and propose a possible viable solution; there will be complex problems that you may not be able to solve at that time, but Surely you can focus on working on those aspects if you can modify.

4.    TOapply techniques that have been shown to be effective on other occasions, such as: exercising or other physical activity, listening to music, cultivating the mind with reading literature that helps to boost mood, meditation, and so on.

5.    In in case the suicidal ideation persists, CALL a trusted person, better be a health professional, as well as someone else who can support you, both can serve as a "support network."

6. If you performed the above steps and You feel that you cannot control your suicidal behavior or the desire to injure yourself is necessary to CALL a number of URGENTS for medical assistance or to go directly to a hospital for care.

Strengthen your “connection” with yourself, with your environment and with others

Do you know someone who has committed suicide or who has tried? Indifference is costing lives, when there is suicidal ideation, it is necessary to strengthen protection factors, such as emotional ties with significant people: “Many people who sincerely wish to die do not threaten their lives because of some emotional bond that binds them to life", That the person remains" connected "with individuals and groups where solidarity is promoted and their development in some aspect represent protective factors, it is also important that the person performs healthy recreational activities that are pleasurable because: "High levels of stress, frustration and unhappiness, coupled with low levels of satisfaction, lead many to suicide."

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Birds that live in community fly free, but still require solidarity to survive, especially in difficult times and storms, which threaten the life and integrity of the individuals in their community. Among humans, depression, problems generated by chronic stress, other mental disorders and suicide may increase as other social conflicts are accentuated and even by environmental issues such as the pernicious effects of climate change.

The destruction of ecosystems, diseases caused by 'heat waves', fires, droughts, floods and storms among many others, generate considerable environmental, financial and social losses. "It is convenient for people to strengthen their emotional ties, stay together with their communities or social groups, seek the people we care about, someone we know could be in the midst of terrible emotional suffering."

800 thousand suicides in the world every year is a number, but above all we know that it represents 'individuals', each suicide represents a valuable person, for each suicide committed, others are affected. Mood disorders, depression and other conditions can be treated in time, avoiding complications such as fatal deaths. Given the increase in cases, it would be convenient for us to try to be “connected” with those we appreciate, especially with those who are going through a difficult situation, when a friend has disorders such as depression, perhaps we can provide some support or suggest at least I visit a health professional.

Any disappointment may be the decline of a new hope or a door that is about to open before you, perhaps it is before you but you had not 'wanted or could' see ... Get ready, train your body, mind and 'heart'! Maybe there are only a few steps left to get there and it requires a little more patience and resistance.

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