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Health Matters

The suicide phenomenon

Dr. Bruno Almeida de Brito (Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist) . 11/09/2017

Each year, around the world, 800.000 people end their lives by resorting to suicide. Contrary to popular belief, suicide is not a psychiatric illness. Of those who commit suicide, only a portion suffers from some type of mental disease.

Suicide is a phenomenon that has various causes, which are influenced by the individual’s social, family and professional context, as well as their physical and psychological health, and other precipitating factors at the time. There are several situations that lead someone to think that “ending it all” is the only possible solution to their problem.

We know that the decision to commit suicide can change. People who present that idea in a highly emphatic manner need help. Unfortunately, the cry for help is not always obvious. It can be hidden by depression, sadness, feelings of anxiety or isolation or, in some cases, alcoholism or risk behaviour. Confronting the suicidal person and offering psychological and psychiatric help is a useful strategy to prevent the person from committing the act.

At Casa de Saúde de Carnaxide, we apply a comprehensive approach to people who are suicidal or have attempted suicide, through psychiatrists, psychologists and rehabilitation technicians (occupational and psychomotor therapy). We believe that the person’s balance is not restored simply by removing the idea of suicide, but also by reinforcing their self esteem. In order to achieve these goals, the family also plays a fundamental role. At Casa de Saúde de Carnaxide, we help and advise the family to take on the role of caregiver, so that the person’s recovery may have a sequence between inpatient care, outpatient care and family reintegration.

Cases where suicide has taken place involve a great degree of suffering, and therefore it is advisable that relatives and friends be accompanied by specialists. With these situations in mind, Casa de Saúde de Carnaxide recently created grief counselling, among the different services provided.

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