A 2016 study, published by BMC Psychiatry, identifies some of the differences in the types of suicide attempts, specifically within an Asian society. The study focused mainly on suicidal people who tried to overdose, versus those who tried other methods.

Surprising Suicide Statistics

Suicide affects people all around the world. An attempted suicide has profound consequences for the victim and his or her loved ones; and if the suicide is successful, it can cause extreme grief, confusion, and guilt for those left behind. Every year, around 10-20 million people try to take their own lives, and about 800,000 of them succeed.

One surprising statistic reveals that 60 percent of global suicides occur within Asian countries. The authors of the 2016 suicide study, Cyrus S. H. Ho, Y. L. Ong, Gabriel H. J. Tan, S. N. Yeo, and Roger C. M. Ho, decided to review one aspect of that statistic— overdoses vs. non-overdoses in Asian countries.

The Study Methods

Since Singapore is a very diverse society, including Indian, Chinese, Malay, and other cultures, it offered the perfect opportunity for studying various types of suicide attempts among Asians. Jumping from heights, hanging, or poisoning were the most common attempts in Singapore, but there are a number of overdoses as well.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers obtained records of adults, aged 21 years or older. The records spanned the years of 2009 to 2012 and came from the National University Hospital database in Singapore. The team reviewed psychiatric assessments, in-patient records, risk assessment forms, and electronic notes to gather the necessary data for their conclusions.

The Study Results

The researchers discovered that for both the overdose and non-overdose attempts, the victims typically did not plan the attempt in advance, but did it as a result of stress factors involving family, work, or relationships. For both groups of suicide attempters, the study team noted adjustment disorders, depressive disorders, and acute stress reactions.

Mid-week suicide attempts were found to be the most common, with relatively few suicide attempts occurring on a Friday or Saturday. In addition, the research team found that people from India are more likely to attempt suicide by overdose. People who lived alone and had little emotional support are also more likely to attempt suicide. For those who tried to overdose, many of the medications used were available through a doctor as sleep aids or over the counter to treat common conditions. More of the overdose patients tended to be female, and the majority of the OD attempts were conducted at home or in a private space.

Resources and Help through Psychiatrists in Singapore

In this study, the researchers noted that 68 percent of Singaporeans struggling with a mental condition did not get help. Fifty-five percent of mentally ill Singaporeans seem to believe that they can handle their mental health problems on their own, while 31 percent do not seem to realise the existence of their mental illness.

If you are struggling with feelings of darkness, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness, you may be suffering from depression. Don’t let major depression, acute stress reaction, and adjustment disorder steal your life from you! Find effective help and care today at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. The holistic therapies and treatment plans designed by our Singapore psychiatrists can help restore you to mental health.

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Source: BioMed Central, 8 November 2016