Personally, I don’t like the word ‘Suicide’.  I looked up the meaning on Wikipedia. ‘Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death.’

In my view – nobody wants to die.  They are just at a point where they feel in so much pain, be that physical, mental or emotional and for them, there is no way forward.  No hope.

Suicide has a devastating effect – for those who die, survive attempts, and for family, friends, colleagues.

I am writing this now because January to March see suicide rates increase. 

In America alone, around forty-seven thousand individuals commit suicide per annum. Its equivalent to 4,7000 murders per year since killing oneself is also a murder. Suicide ranks at the 10th biggest cause of death in the United States.(1)

In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population; the latest rate is significantly higher than that in 2017 and represents the first increase since 2013.(2)

The numbers and rates of suicide and undetermined deaths vary between age groups, with rates among males highest for those aged 45-49 years (except 90+ years) and among females, highest for those aged 50-54 years. More and more young people are taking their life, it is a tragedy of the worse kind.

What is going On?

It is that dreaded S word!  The one most choose to ignore or brush under the carpet until it is too late. Stress is a silent killer. 

Stress is mankind’s worst enemy. We see, read and hear regular news about how individuals who indulged in social crimes and for some cases took their own life.   When the story unfolds and often not until a court case, it would seem mental health was the cause. They were victims of stress. The tragedy is with loss of life is that it affects family, friends, work colleagues and society as a whole.  Although everyone faces the ups and downs of life, when someone is under continuous stress and anxiety, the body starts absorbing more and more stress that leads to physical, mental, and emotional problems that can include suicidal tendencies.

Fight or Flight?

 During an emergency situation, our body responds to stress by activation of the fight/flight response; adrenaline rushes, heart rate increases, the pupil dilates, respiration increases, and the body adapts itself for survival.  However, under chronic stress, this response gets continuously fired.  So, what happens is that slowly over time physical, mental and emotional deterioration starts to show. Initially classic symptoms of stress include mood swings, headache, IBS, back pain, anxiety and depression.  As the holding of tension gets worse chronic pain, fibromyalgia, various illnesses or disease show up suddenly without any obvious cause.  Mental health issues become overriding. At worse, stroke, heart attack cancer and regrettably when hitting rock bottom, the only way out is suicide. 

What is Chronic Stress?

It refers to the small doses of stressful events or memories that one faces over a period of time. This stress is more dangerous than acute stress that is the defensive mechanism of the body against emergency situations aka fight or flight responses.

Chronic Stress Must Not Be Ignored

If you look at yourself or the people around you, one thing you can bet is almost common for us all is the experience of stress. The fast-paced life, social, financial, marital and other pressures are collectively manipulating the mind to remain under constant stress and tension. Depression, anxiety, psychiatric and mental disorders have become an epidemic. The worst outcome is taking one’s life. But why? Because people find it an easy escape from all their worries. Scientists have confirmed that chronic stress gets stored in the form of a memory that constantly engages the fight or flight system that is present in the abdominal region.

The Psoas muscle is the main reserve for all the stress that body absorbs since this muscle is actively involved in all stressful conditions.

Most people I ask do not even know where their Psoas muscle is. That included medical practitioners!  Why would they? It is hidden in the back of the body.  Under the diaphragm, behind all your organs and into the top of the legs.  Apart from holding your upper body to your lower body, what is key is that it is your fight/flight center. It is where you hold your fears and emotions and because it is attached to the diaphragm it impacts breathing.

It’s important to know that we may not realize that we are constantly taking in small doses of stress each day whether from aspects of financial, personal or social life. But if we ignore what is going on by the time, we realize the impact it is having on our physical, mental or emotional wellbeing, it becomes too late and we find ourselves at the edge – wanting to end it all. Once life is ended it can never be undone however, the causes that lead to such mental distress that suicide seems to be the only answer can be undone if treated earlier.

Stress Can Lead To Suicide?

Stress is the most common cause of suicide – that act of someone taking their own life. The build-up of not coping can come from workplace stress, study, exam pressure, job dissatisfaction, relationships, losing a loved one.  Young and old alike are vulnerable.  Witnessing or coping with physical, mental or emotional abuse which can stem from early years builds up in the body, again in the Psoas muscle. 

Terminal illness such as cancer or HIV can be enough to drive one to the edge. Social isolation, bullying or harassment, loss of a loved one, joblessness are all factors that impact the quality of life and the stress leads to mental health problems.

Treatment is limited and most often not effective.  Self-medication such as drinking, drugs or eating the wrong foods only add to the growing psychological problem that just continues to get worse. Self-medication leads to addiction, so health deteriorates further. Certainly, whether drugs or alcohol become a get by strategy there is no rational thinking when feeling so low.

People Who are at High Risk of Suicide

According to a survey, the highest suicidal rates belong to India, America, Alaska and some parts of Africa.

While most of the Suicide attempts are men and women age 45 and above, in the recent past, there is an alarming increase in the number of suicides committed by youngsters as well. The suicide rate is higher among young men compared to young women. Especially, University students are found more trapped under stress. Performance and exam pressure, dealing with finances and student loans, concomitant work and study stress, being bullied, ragged and other sorts of stressors like drugs can chronically induce the venom of stress in young minds leading them to commit or attempt suicide.

One in five college students have experienced suicidal thoughts due to stress at some point in their lives.” (2)(3)

Academic stress and suicidal ideation among university students are rapidly increasing.

“Recently, at Bristol University, a student named Natasha committed suicide due to the stress of being unable to speak in front of people. Her body was found dead the day before she was going to give a verbal presentation in front of staff and students. She tried to seek help from the staff previously, but she wasn’t helped the way such cases should be handled.” (4)

Suicides in the Service Sector

Heroes that save the lives; police officers, firefighters, prison officers, nurses, and soldiers are more prone to commit suicide due to their stressful and violent work scenarios. Stress causes slow but constant psychiatric damage leading to mental health problems and suicidal thoughts among service sector employees. Police officers have to face the extraordinary stress of shootings, encounters, robberies and certain emergencies that an ordinary person cannot withstand. If not treated effectively, chronic stress forces them to end their lives.

Medical field professionals like surgeons have to perform critical operations that can be a life or death situation for the patient. Subconsciously, chronic stress due to stressful OT environment leads them to substance use and even suicidal thoughts. Likewise, nurses interact more closely with the patient and its attendants. In case of a serious illness or death of a patient, nurses and doctors become equally involved in grief (stress) like the attendants. Ironically, medical staff have to face these situations on a daily basis.

Life Trauma

We have no control over the situation’s life throws at us all.  Many children and adults get caught up in traumatic experiences that can scar them for life.  From footballers to celebrities, we are all human and if unlucky enough to become a victim of atrocities imposed from others at whatever stage in life the trauma gets trapped in the body.  If we keep holding on it will impact physical, mental and emotional health. 

Solutions

Suicide is not an Option It’s necessary to destress the mind and body in order to keep the balance. Stress is temporary if well treated but once a person commits suicide, it’s permanent. That’s why removing chronic stress is the key for the prevention of suicides. Being a student, worker, medical staff, firefighter or police officer, one should be more inclined towards effective stress management that will not only help to prevent suicide but will also pave the way to smoothly work and grow in their respective careers.

What is currently on offer:

Option 1 – Talking – be that to a friend, family member or professional.

Whilst it helps to talk, it does not get it out of the body.  Often talking just feels like churning the same story over and over.  It can often make one feel worse. One cannot talk about childhood experiences that have for many years been blocked and not remembered.

There are not enough professional counselors of therapist to go round and often the cost is prohibitive if having to self-refer.

Option 2 – Medication

Conventional stress medications come with a bunch of harmful side effects and their results are temporary.

It is all sticky plaster and does not address the root cause. Temporary respite but harmful in the long term.

Option 3 – Self Medication

Attempting to block the feelings and emotions that bring the physical mental and emotional pain by resorting to drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating, excessive exercise or other OCD behaviors. 

Whilst they bring temporary relief, the need to keep doing or taking leads to addictions.  So no, not a helpful solution all.

Option 4 – Heal Yourself and Build Resilience

Get to the root cause of what is blocked in your body.  Release from the Psoas muscle.  The Total Release Experience® is simple to learn, empowering 5 Step programme that becomes a tool for life and a life tool.  It is a lifesaver.  We have worked with those on the brink, who attempted, but fortunately failed to take their own life at a time when they felt so low.  By allowing their body to release the tension they healed themselves and got back to a normal happy state to live life to the full once more.

With NHS in meltdown struggling to cope with the growing problems of mental health, addictions and obesity it is time to look to what the body can do and take back control of your own well-being.  With Drs, Therapists, Fire & Rescue, Police and Inmates connecting and healing and recommending, there has been no simpler cost-effective way to live a healthier happier life. 

If you think you have tried everything – then there is one thing left!

The Total Release Experience® is a cost-effective yet practical programme that empowers all who learn. Destress now by releasing from the Psoas and bringing balance back to your physical, mental and emotional well-being.  Don’t wait until it is too late.  Read the stories of those who took back control for themselves.

Don’t’ leave it too late – after all, what’s to lose!

REFERENCES

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_United_States
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5781286/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20180910/1-in-5-college-students-stressed-consider-suicide#2
  4. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-48254007