Suicide: thoughts, real attempts and confusing behaviors

Our guest on this episode of Emotions in Harmony is Dr. Isabella Vidriales, a therapist specializing in assessing individuals at risk or in crisis.  Dr. Vidriales has 18 years of experience in the mental health field and in addition to her therapy services, she partners with the Los Angeles County police departments to provide law enforcement officers with training on mental health and understanding the warning signs associated with suicide.

According to a 2016 study, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, men are 3 times more likely than women to commit suicide, 70% of men who commit suicide are Caucasian, 51% of suicides are completed with firearms, and 90% of suicide victims suffered from mental health problems.  Dr. Vidriales is committed to educating the population about the warning signs of suicide as well as empowering everyone with knowledge about the resources available to prevent suicides.

The warning signs of suicide are:

  1. Talking about wanting to die
  2. Doing suicide research – either methods of committing suicide or ways to get help
  3. Isolating completely from friends and family
  4. Behavioral and personality changes:
    1. Sleeping too much or not enough
    2. Consuming alcohol/drugs, or increasing consumption
    3. Irritability, rage, drastic personality changes
  5. In children, concerning thoughts written in their journals

We have all experienced something uncomfortable or difficult that we have had to work through, but with the right help and resources, we can overcome our situations to live full and healthy lives.  We should be on the look out for these warning signs in our friends and family members and take the time to listen to their feelings and show empathy without casting blame, and help them seek treatment immediately if we feel like they are at risk.  We want to intervene sooner, rather than later, and develop a support system for the person who is struggling.  Dr. Vidriales says that the key to returning to a healthy place mentally after seeking treatment for suicidal intentions is to develop a daily routine including old or new hobbies so that you have something to look forward to as well as self-care practices such as exercising to release the stress or anxiety you are battling.  Remember that you are not alone, and you do not have to face this darkness alone.

“The Bridge” documentary that Dr. Vidriales mentioned can be viewed here:

To find out more about Dr. Vidriales and the Therapeutic Alliance Professionals website, visit this site here:

Connect with Dr. Carmen Román:
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