Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Elaine Chiam saved from suicide attempt after Twitter posts

Elaine Chiam, a 32-year-old clinically depressed woman in Singapore, was rescued by Singapore police after she has started to tweet that she was ready to commit suicide. Shortly after 1:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon, Elaine Chiam (@avalon in Twitter) started to tweet suicidal messages. "33 years is too long to have been alive" she wrote. An hour later she has tweeted the following messages:

"It is raining. wonder if the night i was born it was raining too."

"rainy day is good to die. forever 32 yrs old."

"I haven't cried this hard in a long time :'(" can i dies already? stop rescuing me please."

Luckily, her tweets sparked alarm over her followers in twitter and Yahoo! Singapore has alerted the police and provided them her address. According to Yahoo! Singapore, Elaine Chiam, who suffers from major depressive order and a unipolar low-mood syndrome, was due to see her psychiatrist at 5:15 p.m. but got drunk, sparking the torrent of suicidal tweets.[1]

Police arrived at her HDB flat in Ubi Avenue 1, which she shares with her mother and boyfriend, shortly after 430pm. Singapore Civil Defence also had to be called in to force open the door after she failed to respond to friends who had gathered outside her flat. According to one of her friends who spoke to Yahoo! Singapore, Chiam was found barely conscious and is now being treated at Changi General Hospital.[1]

According to Samaritans of Singapore, out of ten persons who kill themselves, eight would have given warnings of their suicidal intentions. These warnings may be verbal or come as pre-suicidal planning and emotional or behavioral changes.[2]

Verbal warnings or threats
  • Expressions such as "Life is too painful for me."
  • Bidding farewell – e.g. "Take care when I'm gone."
  • Threats such as "If you don't love me, I will kill myself."
Pre-suicide planning
  • Tidying up one's affairs
  • Giving favourite things away
  • Writing suicide notes, emails or blogs
  • Checking out methods of dying
Emotional or behavioural changes
  • Intense feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Rage, anger, seeking revenge
  • Feeling trapped – like there's no way out
  • Unusual behavioural changes
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, or society
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic changes in mood
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
If you think you or someone you know is at risk for suicide you should immediately call 999 or Samaritans of Singapore (see below) for help.

Suicide hotline:
Samaritans of Singapore 
Tel: 1800-221-4444       (24-hour)
Email: pat@samaritans.org.sg

[1] - Woman saved from suicide attempt after Twitter scare
[2] - Warning Signs

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