Suicide Warning Signs

Suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts often accompany mental health disorders. In fact, many women who suffer from serious mental health problems, such as major depression will contemplate or attempt suicide.

Studies have found that while more men die as result of suicide, women attempt suicide more often than men, and have overall higher rates of depression. But what are the warning signs of suicide and what should you do if you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms of suicide?

Warning Signs for Suicide

The following are possible warning signs of suicide:

  • talking about dying: talk of disappearing, jumping, shooting oneself or other expressions of self-harm.
  • recent loss: death, divorce, a broken relationship or loss of a job can all lead to thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts. Other losses that can be indicative of suicide include loss of religious faith and a loss of interest in one's friends or activities the individual once enjoyed.
  • change in personality: the individual may exhibit unusual signs of fatigue, indecisiveness or anxiousness.
  • change in behavior: lack of concentration in work, school or everyday activities, such as household chores.
  • change in sleeping patterns: oversleeping, insomnia and other types of sleep disturbances can be suicide signs and symptoms.
  • change in eating habits: loss of appetite or an increased appetite; other changes can include increased or decreased weight.
  • decreased sexual interest: such changes can include impotence or irregular or missed periods.
  • low self-esteem: this suicide symptom can be exhibited through emotions such as shame, inferiority or self-hatred.
  • fear of loss of control: the individual worries about losing her sanity and about harming either herself or others.
  • lack of hope for the future: another suicide warning sign is that the individual feels that there is no hope for the future and that things will never improve.

Some other suicide warning signs include previous suicide attempts, a history of substance or alcohol abuse, excessive spending, hyperactivity, restlessness or lethargy.

What You Should Do

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the above suicide symptoms, you should seek help immediately.

If you are suicidal, get help right away by taking one of the following steps:

  • talk to a loved one: reach out to someone you love and tell them about how you feel.
  • seek professional help: speak with a counselor, psychiatrist, therapist, your family physician or visit a suicide prevention and crisis center: speaking with a professional is a crucial step towards recovery.

Above all, know that help is out there and while things may seem hopeless now, you are not alone in your struggles.

If someone you know is exhibiting the warning signs of suicide or has confided in you about their suicidal thoughts, take one or more of the following steps:

  • don't be sworn to secrecy: While your loved one may feel betrayed if you tell someone about their desire to commit suicide, not doing anything only puts her life in danger. Tell a therapist or doctor about your friend or relative's condition immediately.
  • take action: Remove any harmful substances or objects from your friend's home, such as excessive pills, poison, knives or handguns.
  • be direct: Talk openly to your friend about her behavior. Don't judge her or lecture her. If your friend confides in you, acting shocked about her desire to commit suicide will only cause more alienation.

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