Suicide Warning Signs

Sep 14, 2022 | Suicide Prevention

Any of these could be potential warning signs for suicide:

  • Severe 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 their 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 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 their personal appearance.
  • Dangerous or self-harmful behavior. Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs or alcohol, might indicate that the person no longer values their 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, the end of a relationship, the diagnosis of a major illness, the loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
  • Making preparations. Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put their personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up their room or home. Some people will write a note before taking their own life. Some will buy a firearm or other means like poison.
  • Threatening or talking about suicide. From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone — a friend or relative — a warning sign. It may not be an outright threat. They may talk an unusual amount about death or say things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here.” 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.

Courtesy of WebMD