The Warning Signs of Suicide

Posted by queenmadison

Whenever someone you know- relative, friend, coworker, schoolmate, or neighbor- talks about commiting suicide, the threat should be taken very seriously. Get in touch with a close family member, the person doctor or minister, or a local suicide prevention agency. In other cases people who plan killing themselves might not want to talk about it. Nevertheless, they may give clues to their intentions.

  • At greater risk are those who have attempted suicide in the past. An estimated 75 percent of those who actually kill themselves have made at least one prior attempt. Such person needs watchful care and support, particularly during time of stress.

  • A change of personality can signal danger. If someone becomes highly irritable or cries with no apparent reason. there are grounds to act. And when someone who is normally resillent becomes apathetic and resigned, it is time to watch them carefully.

  • Emotional bows - the loss of a loved one, financial reverses, failure in performance at school or on the job - may trigger the wish to end it all.

  • Expressions of guilt of self-hatred may indicate an inner despair; remarks like "I think I'm a lot of trouble to everybody; they'd be better off without me"should be taken seriously.

  • Fixation on themes of death, suffering, or suicide, even if spoken of in jest, should be taken up. It is difficult to do, but may be lifesaving, to reply to such remarks by asking if the persons is thinking about suicide.

  • Writing a will, putting one's affairs in order, can, in certain circumstances, be a warning that the person is preparing to commit suicide.

  • Giving away of possessions, particularly young people, is a tip-off that something may be seriously wrong.

  • Withdrawal from normal activities involving school, sports, or hobbies, can be a warning danger.

  • Alchoholics and drug abusers make up a high risk group. They account for the great majority of suicides.

Measures to Take Include:

  • Do not ignore danger signals: Do not assume the crisis will pass.Try to discuss suicide openly and calmly.

  • Hide all dangerous drugs, including aspirin, all firearms, and car keys.

  • Try to make sure the potential suicide is not left alone too often or too long.

  • Don't be hesitant about calling for proffesional help. Remember, you may help to avert a real tragedy.