DrinkingInIsolation

Tragic Loss Puts The Heartbreak Of Suicide To The Fore – We Examine How Alcohol Can Be A Factor

The celebrity world, and the wider population in general, is still in shock and grieving over the tragic death of Caroline Flack. And, at this time of lockdown, more and more people are realising the issue of mental health is just as important as physical wellbeing.

Caroline Flack was a beautiful and talented TV presenter, loved by millions. She first came to prominence presenting the shows “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! NOW” in 2009 and “The Xtra Factor” in 2011. Miss Flack also won a whole new legion of fans after winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014; before going on to host Love Island in 2015. She fronted this hit show until December 2019, which she left after being arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, tennis player Lewis Burton.

It was while awaiting trial that Miss Flack made the heart-breaking decision to take her own life, on the 15th of February 2020. News of her passing sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, with many finding it hard to come to terms with and searching for reasons why. In the event of Miss Flack’s death, friends and family have reportedly been critical of the Crown Prosecution Service, and its handling of the case. However, the tragedy has also brought into focus the broader issue of press intrusion into the private lives of celebrities, and trolling on social media, with many calling for tougher legislation or changes in the law to deal with the problem.

Alcohol and Suicide

The unfortunate prevalence of suicide today has also been brought to the fore. There were over 6,500 cases of people taking their own life in the UK in 2018; a rise of 10%. This is likely to increase again as we try to cope with the huge upheavals in society caused by coronavirus isolation and social distancing.

In the UK the highest suicide rate is among men in the 45 to 49-year-old age group. Research also indicates that men are more likely to turn to alcohol when stressed, depressed or anxious, which highlights the close association between alcohol and suicide. People in lockdown often feel isolated and are more likely to drink to counter stress and anxiety. People who abuse or misuse alcohol, especially over a long-term basis, may be more at risk. It is estimated the chances of a person who abuses alcohol taking their own life is 800% higher than someone who does not drink. It’s also perhaps easier to consume alcohol to excess while staying at home, away from support networks of friends, family and colleagues. This coupled with lonliness and lack of a friendly ear to talk to could have series consequences for some.

Research has established an inescapable connection between alcohol consumption and the signs of depressive illness. Medical professionals believe, if you use alcohol to chronic levels, your brain may experience a decrease in serotonin. This can leads to the onset of depression. As part of a vicious circle, it is not uncommon for people suffering from depression to try to escape their troubles by drinking alcohol, thereby contributing to their problems.

Many afflicted with a depressive illness feel they can alleviate the negative thoughts and emotions by drinking alcohol. They may feel as if they are enjoying themselves and having a good time as negative thoughts are silenced. However, due to its depressive properties, alcohol can cause a person’s mood to take a downward turn. Drinkers may become belligerent, bad-tempered and display the very depressive symptoms they were trying to get away from.

Effects on Personality

The connection between drinking to excess and suicide may also involve alcohol’s affects on personality.  This can cause people to act out of character.
Problems with alcohol or depressive illness can deepen or exacerbate negative thoughts or feelings. It also lowers inhibitions leading people to act on any suicidal feelings or tendencies they may have.  They may not have done had they not consumed alcohol. The sad fact is, thousands of people, from all corners of society, rich or poor, experience thoughts of suicide. People may feel as if they are in so much pain that they cannot go on and see taking their own life as the only answer. An emotion which is only amplified by alcohol.

 

You are not alone.

However, as painful or hopeless as it may seem sometimes, there is help available. You do not have to go through this alone. If you are concerned or thinking of suicide, you should tell someone, a partner, friend, family member or colleague. It is also advised you make an appointment with a helpline or your GP and ask for an emergency appointment, where he or she can help you and offer advice.

There are also various support groups you could contact, and if you would like to talk to someone right away, you can phone the Samaritans, free of charge, 24 hours a day on 116123, or visit their web site: www.samaritans.org.

There are many reasons why a person may wish to take their own life. They may have money worries, suffered a loss, the end of a relationship, or professional problems. If you, or someone close to you, is concerned that alcohol may be a factor, consider cutting down, drinking in moderation, or possibly giving up. Which Rehab can help you do that.

For many, getting help may be difficult, even seemingly impossible. But it could be the turning point to save you from depression and the heartbreak of suicide.