Suicide is a massive healthcare problem for the United States, being the 10th leading cause of death in the country. In 2017, the age-adjusted suicide rate was 14 individuals per 100,000.
Suicide does not have a single cause, as multiple factors often come into play. However, there are suicide warning signs that can help identify if an individual is considering taking their own life. Learning more about suicide warning signs may allow you to help save another person’s life.
Common Warning Signs
Something to look out for as warning signs are changes in behaviors and habits as well as the development of new, concerning behaviors and habits. If the new behavior is related to a painful event or loss, this can be especially concerning.
Suicide warning signs can be separated into three categories: Mood, behavioral, and verbal/written communication. Here are a few of the most common warning signs to be on the lookout for:
A person may be at risk of suicide if they are:
- Talking about hurting or killing themselves
- Expressing that they have no reason to live
- Concerned about being a burden
- Talking about feeling hopeless or being a burden
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Changes in behavior can indicate a cause for concern, such as:
- Actively looking for a way to end their life
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Giving away possessions
- Withdrawal from activities
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
Individuals at risk of suicide often show extreme mood changes, such as:
- Depressive behavior
- Aggressive behavior that is out of context
- Apathy towards activities they once enjoyed
- Relief or sudden improvement from the above signs
If you are concerned that a loved one is at high risk for suicide, it is important that you act fast. Ask questions and be open-minded about the situation. If a person is actively threatening to commit suicide, contact professional help or emergency services, especially if the person has access to a weapon or item they can harm themselves with.
If you or a loved one are contemplating suicide, contact us today. Our professional counselors are well experienced in helping to treat those who are suicidal.