Suicide is a complex and serious issue, and it’s important to know the warning signs so you can take action and help someone who may be at risk. The following are some common suicide warning signs and steps you can take if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Warning Signs of Suicide
Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself: People who are considering suicide may express feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or that they have no reason to live. They may also talk about feeling trapped or like they are a burden to others.
Increased alcohol or drug use: Using alcohol or drugs to cope with emotional pain or to numb oneself can be a warning sign that someone is struggling.
Withdrawing from friends and family: People who are contemplating suicide may isolate themselves from others, stop engaging in activities they once enjoyed, or avoid social situations.
Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide may give away their belongings or make other arrangements for their possessions.
Aggressive behavior: Individuals who are experiencing suicidal thoughts may become more irritable or aggressive, or they may engage in risky behavior.
Mood swings: Severe mood swings, Reasons for recurring suicidal thought sespecially those that include feelings of hopelessness and despair, can be a sign that someone is struggling.
Reckless behavior: Engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, such as driving under the influence or taking drugs, can be a warning sign that someone is in crisis.
Self-harm: Individuals who are contemplating suicide may engage in self-harming behaviors, such as cutting or burning themselves.
What to Do if You or Someone You Know is Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts
Take it seriously: If someone talks about wanting to harm themselves, take it seriously. Even if they seem to be joking, it’s important to take any mention of suicide seriously and to seek help immediately.
Listen: If someone expresses suicidal thoughts or feelings to you, listen without judgment. Let them know that you care and that you are there to support them.
Don’t leave the person alone: If someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves, do not leave them alone. Call for emergency services or take them to the nearest emergency room.
Seek professional help: Encourage the person to seek professional help from a mental health provider or primary care physician. You can offer to help them find a therapist or psychiatrist, or you can offer to accompany them to an appointment.
Remove access to means of self-harm: If someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves, remove any access to means of self-harm, such as firearms, medications, or sharp objects.
Stay connected: Follow up with the person regularly and continue to offer support. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care about their well-being.
Practice self-care: If you are supporting someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you are getting enough rest, eating well, and seeking support for yourself.
It’s important to remember that suicidal thoughts and feelings are a medical emergency, and it’s important to take them seriously. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.
Resources for Help
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are resources available to help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7 to individuals in crisis. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor.
Crisis Text Line: The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor
In conclusion, suicide is a serious issue, and it’s important to know the warning signs and take action to help someone who may be at risk. The warning signs of suicide include talking about wanting to die or kill oneself, increased alcohol or drug use, withdrawing from friends and family, giving away prized possessions, aggressive behavior, mood swings, reckless behavior, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s important to take it seriously, listen without judgment, seek professional help, remove access to means of self-harm, and stay connected. Remember, there are resources available to help, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line. It’s crucial to seek help immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings.