Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Warning Signs of Suicide – SAVE

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt himself/herself. 

Searching for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair. 

Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are the ordinary for the person.

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
  • Talking about being a burden to others;
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
  • Sleeping too little or too much;
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Learn Youth Warning Signs of Suicide  Learn More

Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics that make it more ly an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical or chronic illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide
  • Recent job or financial loss
  • Recent loss of relationship
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

LGBTQ Warning Signs, Risk Factors, & Protective Factors      Learn More

Protective factors are characteristics that make a person less ly to engage in suicidal behavior. Moreover, protective factors can promote resilience and ensure connectedness with others during difficult times, thereby making suicidal behaviors less ly.

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions
  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
  • Strong connections to family and community support
  • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and handling problems in a non-violent way
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation

This list comes from SAMSHA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center document, “Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide.”

To view the Examples of Risk and Protective Factors in a Social Ecological Model… click here.

Source: https://save.org/about-suicide/warning-signs-risk-factors-protective-factors/

5 Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior That Are Easy to Miss

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Suicidal warning signs should be taken very seriously. There are some signs that are obvious, such as talking about suicide and dying, but others are much more subtle and can be easily missed.

It is important to know the signs, especially for those who have risk factors for suicide.

Early detection of warning signs can lead to professional help and mental health treatment and can even save a life.

Suicide is a terrible tragedy for individuals and the people who care about them. Since hitting a low in 2000, suicides have been rising in the U.S. From 2000 to 2016, suicides went up by 30 percent.

Suicide in girls and women increased by 50 percent. It is now the 10th leading cause of death in the country.

Why these increases have occurred is not fully understood, but it highlights the need for better mental health care.

The statistics also show that everyone needs to be more aware of the risk of suicide and the warning signs.

If someone you care about is showing signs of suicidal behaviors, you can take steps to get help. But, there are signs that are not always clear or easy to see.

Some people hide their feelings and intentions very well. Learn more about what suicidal behavior looks and you could help save a life.

Suicide does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status may feel suicidal at any point in their lives. Even someone who seems to be happy or to “have it all” can be vulnerable to suicide.

There are certain risk factors to be aware of, though. These are situations, conditions, and other factors that put some people at a greater risk of becoming suicidal:

  • Having a mental illness, particularly depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, or conduct disorder and especially an untreated mental illness
  • Having a substance use disorder
  • Being seriously ill, living with a chronic or terminal illness, or being in significant, long-term pain
  • Suffering from a traumatic brain injury
  • Stressful life situations, especially those that are prolonged, including bullying or relationship problems
  • Sudden stressful or traumatic situations, the loss of a loved one
  • Having experienced childhood trauma and abuse
  • Having access to lethal means
  • Being exposed to another person’s suicide
  • Past suicide attempts
  • A family history of suicide

Having risk factors for suicide does not mean that it is inevitable. If you or someone you care about has one or more of these, though, you need to be especially aware of and on the watch for warning signs.

There isn’t really any typical pattern of behavior for someone who is suicidal, but there are common warning signs. You may see one or more of these in someone contemplating suicide. These are the signs that are generally clear and easy to observe:

  • Talking about dying or wanting to die
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no way problems
  • Mentioning strong feelings of guilt and shame
  • Talking about not having a reason to live or that others would be better off without them
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Giving away personal items and wrapping up loose ends
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

Unfortunately, there are also signs of suicide that are easy to miss. Even people close to the person feeling suicidal may not realize how deeply hopeless they feel. Here are five signs you need to know about that could indicate someone is thinking about suicide:

  1. Any unusual changes in behavior. This is common for someone who is suicidal, but it’s easy to overlook because the changes may not seem related to depression or hopelessness. For instance, someone you know who is usually kind may become angry and aggressive. Or, someone who has been sad and struggling with depression may suddenly become calm and seemingly happy and at peace. Other changes may include increased substance abuse or unusual mood swings.
  2. Changes in sleeping patterns. A shift in how someone sleeps is a sign of depression but also suicidal behaviors. Someone who is feeling suicidal may sleep more than normal, struggling to get bed at all. They may sleep less, experiencing insomnia and staying up until all hours and then struggling the next day from fatigue. Whether it’s a symptom of being suicidal or not, these kinds of changes in sleeping habits are cause for concern and should be addressed.
  3. Accessing lethal means. This sign can potentially be obvious, such as if a loved one tells you they have bought a gun. However, gathering lethal means is also an important warning sign that can be hidden. Someone may start stockpiling pills without anyone noticing. They are easy to hide. It’s important to be aware of any lethal means someone you are concerned about may have access to. With access the risk of suicide goes up.
  4. Emotional distance. Someone who is feeling suicidal may become detached from life in general, from other people, and from typical activities. They may seem emotionally distant from people, whether or not they have isolated themselves socially. Acting indifferent in the face of emotional situations may not seem a suicidal behavior, so it is important to note this kind of behavior and recognize it as a potential warning sign or a symptom of depression. Along the same lines, someone feeling suicidal may lose interest in normal activities, work and home, and things they once enjoyed.
  5. Physical pain. Physical pain and discomfort are often overlooked as symptoms of depression and also of suicide. If someone you know complains often of any type of pain, headaches, digestive upset, or just general body pain, be alert to other signs of depression or suicide. If the individual has no easy explanation for the pain, such as a history of migraines or an athletic injury causing achy muscles, you should be especially concerned.

With greater awareness of these and the less subtle signs of suicidal thoughts it is easier to know when to get help. But what do you do if someone you know is exhibiting these signs? First, if someone is actually threatening suicide, talking about doing it, or has or is actively asking for lethal means, call 911 and get emergency help. Do not leave them alone.

If the situation is not that immediate, but you suspect someone is suicidal, talk to them about it. Mentioning suicide or discussing it is not going to push anyone over the edge and make them take action. Talk to this person privately, listen without judgment, and be compassionate. Ask them directly if they are considering suicide.

Also suggest they get professional help and offer them options to make it an easier step to take. Provide a national suicide hotline number and find out who they might feel most comfortable talking to, such as a trusted doctor or a religious counselor. Enlist the help of other loved ones if you are struggling to get through to someone who seems suicidal.

Suicide is a growing problem and cause of death in the U.S. Unfortunately, some of the signs of suicidal behaviors are subtle and hard to detect until it’s too late. Be aware of all the warning signs, and above all take note if someone you care about seems off or different. Offer help, provide treatment options, and be there as a friend who will listen and support them.

Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as co-occurring substance use disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles-based program and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path to lasting wellness.

Source: https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/5-warning-signs-of-suicidal-behavior-that-are-easy-to-miss/

Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Suicide is not a mental illness in itself, but a serious potential consequence of treatable mental disorders that include major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

Any of the following could be potential warning signs for suicide:

  • Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage.
  • Hopelessness: Feeling a deep sense of hopelessness about the future, with little expectation that circumstances can improve.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Sudden calmness: Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
  • Withdrawal: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression, a leading cause of suicide. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed.
  • Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
  • Dangerous or self-harmful behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
  • Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crises might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises include the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
  • Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people will write a note before committing suicide. Some will buy a firearm or other means poison.
  • Threatening or talking about suicide: From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone — a friend or relative — a warning sign. However, not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it. Every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.

Suicide rates are highest in teens, young adults, and the elderly. White men over the age of 65 have the highest rate of suicide. Suicide risk also is higher in the following groups:

  • Older people who have lost a spouse through death or divorce
  • People who have attempted suicide in the past
  • People with a family history of suicide
  • People with a friend or co-worker who committed suicide
  • People with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • People who are unmarried, unskilled, or unemployed
  • People with long-term pain or a disabling or terminal illness
  • People who are prone to violent or impulsive behavior
  • People who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospitalization (This often is a very frightening period of transition.)
  • People in certain professions, such as police officers and health care providers who work with terminally ill patients
  • People with substance abuse problems

Although women are three times as ly to attempt suicide, men are far more ly to complete the act.

Suicide can't be prevented with certainty, but risks can often be reduced with timely intervention. Research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors, be alert to the signs of depression and other mental disorders, recognize the warning signs for suicide, and intervene before the person can complete the process of self-destruction.

People who receive support from caring friends and family and who have access to mental health services are less ly to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are socially isolated. If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide:

  • Don't be afraid to ask if he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide.
  • Ask if he or she is seeing a therapist or taking medication.
  • Rather than trying to talk the person suicide, let him or her know that depression is temporary and treatable.
  • In some cases, the person just needs to know that someone cares and is looking for the chance to talk about his or her feelings. You can then encourage the person to seek professional help.

If you believe someone you know is in immediate danger of killing himself or herself:

  • Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
  • Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away or remove sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
  • If the person is already in psychiatric treatment, help him or her to contact the doctor or therapist for guidance and help.
  • Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
  • Call 911 or take the person to an emergency room.
  • Call your local suicide prevention hotline or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMHSA) National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Learn more about depression and childhood depression.

SOURCE:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/recognizing-suicidal-behavior

Suicide: Warning signs and risk factors

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

  • Suicide warning signs
  • Risk factors
  • Protective factors
  • What to do
  • Conclusion

Suicide is not an idle threat. It is not something that people talk about to gain attention, so it is crucial to take any warning signs or threats of suicide seriously. Talking to someone about suicidal ideation will not cause suicide.

Suicide rates are rising in the United States. Between 1999 and 2017, there was a 33% increase in deaths by suicide.

  • If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

A person does not have to display every possible warning sign to be at risk of suicide. Indeed, a single warning sign could signal that a person is at risk.

Some common suicide warning signs include:

Verbal signs

A person considering suicide may talk about ending their life or express feelings of hopelessness. Some warning signs include:

  • talking about suicide
  • expressing a desire to die
  • talking about a specific suicide plan
  • saying that they feel a burden to others
  • expressing rage or a desire to seek vengeance
  • expressing feelings of entrapment
  • talking about depression or pain being unbearable

Behavioral signs

People considering suicide may show their intentions in indirect ways. Some behaviors that correlate with a risk of suicide include:

  • giving away possessions
  • changes in sleep or eating habits
  • engaging in self-harm
  • exploring suicide methods, such as by researching suicide online
  • reaching out to loved ones, especially to say goodbye or express love or anger
  • writing a suicide note
  • ignoring hobbies that they used to enjoy
  • withdrawing from daily routines, such as going to school or work

Mood signs

Changes in a person’s mood may indicate that they are thinking about or planning suicide. Some mood-related symptoms to look for include:

  • a history of mental health symptoms
  • psychotic symptoms, such as appearing disconnected from reality or believing in things that do not exist
  • hopelessness, despair, or apathy
  • anger or agitation
  • depression or anxiety
  • shame or humiliation
  • loneliness or isolation
  • extreme mood swings
  • feeling a burden

Additionally, some people at risk of suicide show a sudden, unexplained improvement in their mood. This mood shift may have occurred because they have made the decision to die and feel relief.

Several risk factors increase the lihood that a person may attempt suicide, especially when they display several warning signs.

Medical

Some medical conditions may increase the risk of suicide, including:

Environmental

Suicide does not happen in isolation but is a widespread cultural phenomenon. Exposure to suicide, either in a person’s community or through the media, can cause an increase in suicide rates.

People with the following environmental risk factors are more ly to be at risk of suicide:

  • a history of trauma, abuse, or maltreatment as a child
  • access to lethal means, particularly guns
  • isolation or lack of social support
  • religious or cultural beliefs that support suicide in certain contexts
  • local outbreaks of suicide
  • the recent suicide of a celebrity whom the person admired
  • the recent suicide of a loved one
  • a recent loss, including the loss of a relationship or job
  • inadequate access to quality mental health care
  • mental health stigma
  • resistance to seeking help
  • a previous suicide attempt

Family history

Family-related risk factors include:

  • close family members with a history of suicide or mental illness
  • lack of family support
  • current or past abuse by family members
  • a recent stressful change in the family, such as a divorce

Protective factors may reduce the risk of a person dying by suicide. People concerned about a loved one’s suicidal behavior should consider working to put as many protective factors in place as possible.

The absence of protective factors is itself a risk factor for suicide because people who lack them may feel hopeless or isolated.

Some suicide protective factors include:

  • access to quality, timely, supportive mental health care
  • support from loved ones
  • lack of mental health stigma, for example, family and friends who view suicidal thoughts as a treatable problem and not a personal failing
  • a sense of connection to others
  • nonviolent conflict resolution skills
  • limited or no access to guns or other lethal means

Share on PinterestA person can support a loved one by being empathetic and nonjudgemental.

People attempting to help a loved one who feels suicidal should take the threat seriously. Some strategies that may help include:

  • Supporting the person to get mental health care and going with them to an appointment (with permission).
  • Asking the person to develop a safety plan that includes calling a loved one before attempting suicide.
  • Removing guns and any other lethal means from the home.
  • Avoiding judging the person or dismissing the seriousness of their problems.
  • Focusing on the person’s feelings rather than personal feelings about their situation.
  • Checking in with the person frequently and not waiting for them to call, text, or email.
  • Minimizing the amount of time that the person spends alone, especially if they have access to a gun.
  • Calling 911 if the threat is immediate.
  • Avoiding leaving a person in critical risk alone.
  • Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.
  • Contacting other trustworthy people who may be able to offer support. Do not contact people who will cause more stress or blame the person.
  • Talking openly about suicide by asking direct questions, such as:
    • Are you thinking about suicide?
    • Do you know how you would do it?
    • Do you have the means to do it?
    • Do you already have a date planned?

People should remember that intense emotional pain and thoughts of suicide can be overwhelming. It is essential to be kind, empathetic, and gentle toward a person experiencing these issues.

People having thoughts of suicide should know that suicidal feelings may represent a temporary crisis. It is possible to find hope and to get rid of these feelings without suicide.

Some strategies that may help include:

  • Contacting a therapist or other mental health professional. Treating mental health issues can eliminate suicidal thoughts.
  • Contacting a trusted loved one who will listen without judgment.
  • Developing a safety plan that includes ideas for what to do the next time suicidal feelings arise. Sharing this plan with a trusted loved one can also help.
  • Committing to delaying suicide for a day, a week, or a month.
  • Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. People do not have to share their identity, and the call is free.

Suicide is a preventable tragedy. Friends, family, colleagues, and other people can help by offering support and connecting at-risk individuals to preventive resources.

Every suicide threat is serious because every life is valuable. Do not delay calling for help. Most people who are having thoughts of suicide do not really want their lives to end — they want the pain to end.

For more advice on supporting a person who is thinking of suicide, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

  • Depression
  • Mental Health
  • Psychology / Psychiatry

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326850

Suicide Warning Signs: What to Look Out For

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Talking about suicide can be a scary subject. But the more people are willing to talk with a friend or family member about suicidal thoughts, the more ly they can help someone take positive steps towards healing.

Many people assume that if you ask someone if they have suicidal thoughts, that you can put the idea into their head.

This is a myth, and mental health professionals encourage people to ask important questions and gather facts to help someone who is depressed or feels hopeless.

When someone is contemplating suicide, their words and actions can give you clues that they are at risk for hurting themselves.

People can become suicidal when they feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges. They lack hope for the future, and they see suicide as the only solution. It’s sort of a tunnel vision where other options seem useless. Having a family history of suicide or impulsive behavior is also believed to increase risk of suicidality.

Other risk factors can include:

  • History of substance abuse
  • Access to firearms
  • Difficult life events
  • Isolation from others
  • History of mental illness
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • Having a terminal or chronic illness
  • Past suicide attempts

The more signs you see, the higher the risk there is for suicide. Though talking about dying is an obvious sign, there are many others that can indicate risk. There are emotional, verbal, and behavior clues you can observe.

Emotional Markers can include:

  • Feeling depressed
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Shame or humiliation
  • Mood swings

Verbal Markers include talking about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Their life having no purpose
  • Feeling a burden
  • Feeling stuck
  • Not wanting to exist

There are two types of suicidal statements or thoughts. An active statement might be something , “I’m going to kill myself.” A passive statement might include, “I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up,” or, “I wouldn’t mind if I got hit by a bus.” People often ignore passive statements, but they should be taken just as seriously.

Behavioral Markers can include:

  • Isolating from others
  • Not communicating with friends or family
  • Giving away possessions or writing a will
  • Driving recklessly
  • Increased aggression
  • Increased drug and alcohol use
  • Searching about suicide on the Internet
  • Gathering materials (pills or a weapon)

Older adults also at increased risk for suicide, and they complete suicide at a higher rate than any other age group.

They also are especially at risk because they do not usually seek counseling for depression and other mental illnesses.

If you see an older adult who stops taking care of their hygiene, is eating poorly, and/or starts giving away their possessions, then you should help them talk to a mental health professional as soon as possible.

Warning Signs For Kids

Many people do not assume that children and teens can be at risk for suicide, but they can exhibit warning signs as well. If a child is talking about suicide or wanting to die, always take them seriously. An event or problem that might not seem a big deal to an adult can be extremely stressful for a child or teenager. Children and teens might be at risk for suicide if they:

  • Experience bullying
  • Lose someone close to them
  • Experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Have a history of mental illness
  • Feel uncertain about their sexual orientation

What You Can Do Today?

If you see a loved one or even an acquaintance or colleague exhibiting any of these signs, you are not powerless to help them.

Don’t hesitate to use specific language, such as asking, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” If the answer is yes or maybe, ask them what they feel most comfortable doing, whether it’s calling a crisis hotline or scheduling a counseling or doctor’s appointment.

If a person is thinking of suicide, it’s also important to ask them if they have a plan. If they say yes, assist them in seeking immediately help. They can simply walk into an emergency room or urgent care clinic, or they can call 911. At any time they can also call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide is preventable, and people who feel hopeless can go on to live full and healthy lives. While you can’t control another person’s action, you can be a powerful and intervening force in their lives. So what can you do today to help a loved one choose life?

Source: https://www.psycom.net/suicide-warning-signs

Suicidal Behavior & Signs

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

In many cases, suicide can be prevented. Research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors. Indications that a person is considering suicide include excessive sadness or moodiness and threatening self-injury.

Suicide is not a mental illness in itself, but a serious potential consequence of many mental disorders, particularly major depression.

Who is most ly to commit suicide?

Suicide rates are highest in teens, young adults, and the elderly. People over the age of 65 have the highest rate of suicide. Although women are more ly to attempt suicide, men are more ly to be successful. Suicide risk also is higher in the following groups:

  • Older people who have lost a spouse through death or divorce
  • People who have attempted suicide in the past
  • People with a family history of suicide
  • People with a friend or co-worker who committed suicide
  • People with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • People who are unmarried, unskilled, or unemployed
  • People with long-term pain, or a disabling or terminal illness
  • People who are inclined to violent or impulsive behavior
  • People who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospitalization, , which is often a very frightening period of transition.
  • People in certain professions, such as police officers and health care providers who work with terminally ill patients
  • People with substance abuse problems

What are the warning signs for suicide?

Following are some of the possible warning signs that a person may be at risk for suicide:

  • Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness and mood swings can be symptoms of depression, a major risk factor for suicide.
  • Sudden calmness: Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
  • Withdrawal: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed.
  • Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
  • Dangerous or self-harmful behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
  • Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises include the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
  • Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people will write a note before committing suicide.
  • Threatening suicide: Not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it. However, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.

Can suicide be prevented?

In many cases, suicide can be prevented. Research suggests that the best way to prevent suicide is to know the risk factors, be alert to the signs of depression and other mental disorders, recognize the warning signs for suicide, and intervene before the person can complete the process of self-destruction.

People who receive support from caring friends and family, and who have access to mental health services are less ly to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are isolated from sources of care and support.

If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide. In some cases, the person just needs to know that someone cares and is looking for the chance to talk about his or her feelings.

You can then encourage the person to seek professional help.

What should I do if someone I know is talking about committing suicide?

If someone you know is threatening suicide, take the threat seriously.

  • Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
  • Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
  • Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
  • Call 911 or take the person to an emergency room.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/15/2017.

References

Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11352-recognizing-suicidal-behavior

Risk Factors and Warning Signs for Suicide

Suicide: what are the warning signs?

Source: Canva

While there’s no single cause, suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed a child or an adult's ability to cope. Generally, untreated or undiagnosed mental health issues, particularly depression, greatly influence suicide.

But there are other aspects to consider and many people can find them challenging. Specifically, risk factors are often confused with warning signs of suicide. But the two are very different.

Warning signs indicate an immediate risk of suicide, whereas risk factors suggest someone is at heightened risk for suicide, but not necessarily in crisis.

Another way to understand these is simply this: 

1) Risk factors increase the probability a suicidal crisis will occur.

2) Warning signs indicate a suicidal crisis has already begun.

How to know the difference:

Take the time to learn the signs that signal a friend or loved one is at risk for suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention suggests these three areas: HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, HISTORY.

Health factors

Environmental factors

  • Stressful life events including death, divorce, or separation or job loss
  • Prolonged stress factors including harassment, bullying, relationship problems
  • Financial or school difficulties 
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Exposure to suicide in the media or community                                                  

Historical factors

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide attempts
  • History of self-harm
  • Recent hospitalization
  • Cultural beliefs that support suicide

Now, familiarize yourself for signals that warn suicide may be imminent. The American Foundation of Suicide suggests these three areas: TALK, BEHAVIOR, MOOD.

Talk

  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Talking about feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Experiencing unbearable pain
  • Expressing there's no reason to live
  • Poor problem solving

Behavior

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Accessing lethal means
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Hopelessness about the future

Mood

  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety
  • Impulsivity
  • Despair
  • Sudden sense of peacefulness

How to get help

If you or a loved one experiences any risk factors, reach out to a mental health professional for help. National and Global hotlines are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you find support or care.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201709/risk-factors-and-warning-signs-suicide

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