With the number of suicides being so high and continuing to grow, understanding what to look out for in a loved one can be crucial to helping them. There are many warning signs associated with suicide risk, however there are five warning signs for suicide that can commonly be seen in individuals who may be struggling. Being able to identify, and knowing what to do if you see these signs can be helpful tools in getting your loved one help for their mental health and them being able to live a long and healthy life.
Suicide Risk Factors
When is comes down to it, suicide does not discriminate. The thoughts and feelings associated with suicide risk can be experienced by anyone, regardless of race, age, or gender. The most outwardly happy and bubbly person can be experiencing an internal struggle and potentially want to end their life.
While anyone can be susceptible to suicidal thoughts and tendencies, there are some risk factors that can be more indicative of suicide. These conditions, and situations can make someone vulnerable and a higher risk of suicide. These risk factors can include:
- Mental illness, particularly depression, bi-polar disorder, or anxiety disorders especially if left untreated.
- Substance abuse
- Childhood trauma and abuse
- Sudden loss of a loved one
- Relationship problems
- Chronic and serious illness
- Family history or past suicide attempts
A person who has any or all of the risk factors does not mean, however, that suicide will happen. Watching out for the warning signs can help to differentiate the severity of the loved one’s mental state. Identifying the commonly seen five warning signs for suicide can help you to help them.
Five Common Warning Signs for Suicide
While there are more signs of possible suicide that can be seen in a loved one, these five warning signs of suicide are commonly seen in those who have been contemplating it. If these signs are exhibited, or your loved one verbalizes a desire to end their life, seeking immediate professional help is the best thing that you could do for them.
Self-harm is the act of intentionally causing injury or harm to your own body. This is not indicative of inevitable suicide, however oftentimes those who have attempted or succeeded with a suicide attempt have had a history of self harm. Self-harm is a strong indicator of depression, which can lead to suicide. This is one of the outwardly visible of these five warning signs of suicide.
When someone is considering suicide, they often become emotionally withdrawn from those around them. They may still go out and do things with friends and family, however they may seem emotionally uninvested in the activities with people they love and that love them. It may seem as though they don’t want to be there, or just don’t care.
Another of the more easily identifiable of these five warning signs of suicide is isolation. People who are suffering in silence tend to cease communication with friends and family with whom they once had regular conversations. They may cut out social events where they have to interact with others. Things that used to be enjoyable have lost their interest, and they are probably struggling internally with some kind of darkness.
Personality and Behavioral Changes
Someone who has dramatically or progressively had a change in behaviors or personality could potentially be struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. Both of these things can lead to suicide attempts, as a means to stop the feelings and thoughts.
Increase in Drug and Alcohol Use
When someone has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be mentally taxing. The isolation and depression that comes with addiction can lead to suicide. Being that drugs and alcohol exacerbate the feelings of depression, when those who are addicted to these substances feel an increased level of depression, it can increase their chances of committing suicide.
What to Do If a Loved One Seems Suicidal
If you see any of these five warning signs of suicide in a loved one, the best thing that you can do is ask them if they are okay. Be supportive and encourage them to seek professional help to address their mental health concerns. If someone is actually threatening suicide, expresses interest in suicide, or is seeking lethal means by which to commit suicide, call 911 and get them immediate help. Don’t wait and hope it will pass. Don’t risk it.
Getting Help for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in South Florida
Suicide can cause a lasting pain in the lives of the person’s friends and family. There is help available for those who suffer from suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or suspect a loved one may be considering suicide, seek professional help. Here at the Neuroscience Research Institute we can provide that help. We can also assist you in managing the thoughts and behaviors that could be indicative of a potential risk for suicide. Contact us today and take the first step to a better life.