When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is not a defect of character. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources. Most of the time there are warning signs.
What are the warning signs for Suicide?
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking about wanting to hurt or kill him/herself
- Someone looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
- Someone talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
- I’ve decided I don’t want to live anymore.
- I’ve decided to kill myself.
- I wish I were dead.
- I’m going to end it all.
- If (such and such) does (or doesn’t) happen, I’ll kill myself.
- I’m so tired of life.
- I just can’t go on.
- It would be better for everyone if I just got it over with.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of the above behaviors or are in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide Call 911 now or seek immediate help from a mental health provider
Other warning signs include:
- Feeling of hopelessness or helplessness
- Feeling Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
- Feeling excessive guilt or shame
- Increased 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
- Appearing depressed or sad most of the time. (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
- Exhibiting a change in personality.
- Acting impulsively.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
- Experiencing a change in eating habits.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Performing poorly at work or in school.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Writing a will
If you or someone you know witness, hear or see anyone exhibiting any ore or more of the above behaviors, seek help by contacting a mental health professional or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the USA National Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) for a referral.
It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs. But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them.
It is important to note some of the risk factors for suicidal behavior:
Biopsychosocial Risk Factors
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety
- disorders and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Some major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
Environmental Risk Factors
- Job or financial loss
- Relational or social loss
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide that have a contagious influence
Socialcultural Risk Factors
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with help-seeking behavior
- Barriers to accessing health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Certain cultural and religious beliefs (for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
- Exposure to, including through the media, and influence of others who have died by suicide