Know the Warning Signs of Suicide

Dad with his arm wrapped around his young adult aged son.

Learn the Behaviors

In 2019, one death every 11 minutes was caused by suicide. Although there is a negative stigma surrounding the topic of suicide, talking about it gives people the opportunity to express their feelings and needs. Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of suicide is an essential step in helping prevent suicide because it allows you to take action to get your loved ones the support they need.

Common Reasons For Suicide Ideation

While there is no single cause for suicide, various risk factors can increase the chances of someone taking their own life. Risk factors range from health conditions to environmental factors. It is also important to know the conditions that may put someone at an increased risk of suicide.

Some of the most common risk factors of suicide ideation include:

  • Mental health conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse disorders.
  • Previous suicide attempts.
  • Stressful life events, like divorce, a breakup, loss of a job, or financial struggles.
  • Major physical illness.
  • Easy access to lethal means.
  • Prolonged stress such as bullying or an abusive relationship.
  • Family history of suicide.

Observable Warning Signs of Suicide Ideation

If you are concerned that your loved one may be suicidal, the first thing to look for is a change in their behavior or the presence of new behaviors. If the new behavior follows a significant life-altering event, loss, or change, it is best to speak to your loved one as soon as possible and let them know you care for them and have concerns.

Most times, when people take their own life, they exhibit warning signs through the way they talk or the way they act. Here are some of the signs to be aware of:

What They Say

People who take their lives often exhibit warning signs through what they say. Actively listen to them and note if they mention any of the following signs:

  • Talking about harming themselves or not wanting to live anymore.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness and having no reason to live.
  • Speaking of feeling worthless.
  • Stating they feel like a burden to others.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

What They Do

Another concern is if you notice a change in behavior or the presence of new behaviors in your behavior. If your loved one does any of the following, this may be a sign they need help:

  • Use search engines online to research ways to end their life.
  • Changes in sleep patterns — sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves from friends and family.
  • Giving away valuable items or prized possessions.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Increasing drug or alcohol use.
  • Acting anxious, agitated, and irritable.
  • Increase in more reckless behaviors.
  • Showing rage or wanting to seek revenge.
  • Extreme mood swings.

Suicide Prevention

Together, we can all prevent suicide by educating others and spreading awareness. Talking about suicide helps reduce the number of people who die by suicide. By learning the warning signs, you can provide support and direct help to those in need.

Support and help are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you suspect your loved one is struggling with suicide or is in crisis, call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255 or dial 911.

Dual Diagnosis at Decision Point Center

At Decision Point Center, we compassionately address co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. People who struggle with substance abuse disorders are at an increased risk for suicide. Our team will work with you to uncover how one condition affects the other and develop a plan that works for you. To discuss how we can help you, contact us online or call us at (844) 292-5010 today.

Related Posts
  • Navigating Mental Health and Addiction: A Roadmap to Recovery Read More
  • Decision Point Center Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month Read More
  • April is Alcohol Awareness Month Read More