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Warning Signs of Suicide

July 8, 2018 by

With the recent suicides of two well-known celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the public discussion on the topic has risen. People are talking about the possible causes and warning signs for such an extreme action, and what can be done to help those who are in crisis.

Mental healthcare in America is well-known to be sub-par. Many criticize those who have a mental illness and there is a stigma attached to them. People often do not want to seek help because of that stigma or because they want to keep their troubles to themselves. Often in the case of suicide, the people who are the closest to the person who commit the act are the most surprised. This was certainly the case in both Kate Spade’s and Anthony Bourdain’s cases.

So what can someone be on the lookout for in order to consider that a loved one is thinking about taking their own life? It is important to recognize these warning signs, even if someone is very good at hiding their struggles. These warning signs of suicide are indicators that someone may be in serious danger and may need immediate help.

Talking about wanting to die

This is a warning sign because it shows that the person is thinking about death and is considering if this option is better than dealing with living. If someone talks about wanting to die, it is important to take that comment seriously and not brush it off.

Looking for a way to kill oneself

People who commit suicide often do it in a premeditated way. This means that they think about the time, place, and method for their action. If you find that someone is increasingly interested in how others have committed suicide, this is a red flag.

Talking about feeling hopeless

If someone doesn’t feel like they have a purpose in life or they have lost all hope for happiness in whatever way, it might be an indication that they do not feel the need to go on living. This is a great time to get this person some one-on-one help with a therapist so they can find their way in life again.

Talking about feeling trapped

If someone feels trapped or if they are in pain that they cannot bear, they may be looking for a way out. Pay close attention if this is happening to someone you know so you can help them work their way out of their painful situation without ending their life.

Talking about being a burden

Sometimes people who commit suicide are doing so in order to lift the perceived burden off of other people. This likely also goes along with losing one’s purpose in life. This person requires serious support and reaffirmation that their life is important.

Increasing the use of drugs or alcohol

People stop caring about their physical health if they are having suicidal thoughts. This is a dangerous combination because if someone is feeling suicidal and they are impairing their judgement using drugs or alcohol, they may do something that they would not otherwise do if they were sober.

Anxiety, agitation, recklessness

These feelings and behaviors are important to note if they are out of the ordinary for someone you know. These behaviors are unlikely to begin without a cause, so it needs to be addressed.

Sleeping too little or too much

These are signs of severe depression that may lead to thoughts of suicide.

Withdrawing or feeling isolated

People who feel like they have a strong support system are less likely to kill themselves than those who begin to feel isolated. Always let your loved ones know that you are there for them if they start to show some of these signs so they will know that they have someone to talk to.

Showing rage

Often, people who commit suicide are seeking revenge upon other people and may even commit a crime prior to committing suicide. If someone is showing that they are especially enraged with a person and it is out of character for them, it is best to keep an eye on them.

Displaying extreme mood swings

Sure, everyone has mood swings now and then, but again, if this is out of the ordinary for one of your loved ones, it is a warning sign that something else is going on.

Depression and mental illness are not the sole causes for suicide, it can affect anyone. If you know the warning signs, you may be able to prevent a tragedy from occurring.

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