- The number one suicide warning sign is when a person talks about ending their own life
- Some suicides can be prevented if the precursor behaviors are noticed and helped
- A suicidal verbalization should never go unheard and a person who talks about it should seek the guidance of professional help
Suicide in America
According to www.save.org, there are nearly 30,000 suicides committed in America each year. Suicide is a tragic event that happens to be the third leading cause of death in adolescents. Suicide can be found in nearly fifteen percent of people with clinical depression and is commonly an action taken by people who do not receive proper help.
The following are facts about suicide in America:
- The strongest factor found in suicidal people is depression
- Substance abuse is a high risk factor for suicide
- Men commit suicide more than women, but women attempt suicide more
- More than half of all suicides are committed with a gun
- The majority of elderly people who commit suicide are widowed or divorced
Common Suicide Warning Signs
Every person is unique in their way of thinking and in expressing their emotions. People who are thinking about committing suicide may not exhibit any warning signs, but for those who do, below is a list of the most common suicide warning signs according to www.nimh.nih.gov.
A person may be thinking about suicide if they are:
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
- Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life
Do Not Ignore the Signs
It is a common misconception that people who really want to commit suicide cannot be stopped or that they would not tell anyone if they really wanted to commit suicide. The majority of people fear the unknown, and death, although inevitable, is an unknown feeling which most people fear. If you notice someone showing any of the antecedent signs for committing suicide or if you know someone who is thinking about committing suicide, know that there is a good chance that they can be helped.
It is also a common misconception that people who are thinking about suicide do not want to get help. Studies have shown that the majority of people who attempt or commit suicide did get or at least asked for help at some point. If someone you know or if you are having thoughts about suicide, contact a help line or talk to someone about how you are feeling in order to get you or a person you know the help that is needed.