- Patient Comments: Suicide - Causes
- Patient Comments: Suicide - Symptoms and Signs
- Patient Comments: Suicide - Treatment
- Suicide facts
- What is suicide?
- What are the effects of suicide?
- What are some possible causes of suicide?
- What are the risk factors and protective factors for suicide?
- What are the signs and symptoms for suicidal behavior?
- How are suicidal thoughts and behaviors assessed?
- What is the treatment for suicidal thoughts and behaviors? What types of specialists treat people who are suicidal?
- How can people cope with suicidal thoughts?
- How can people cope with the suicide of a loved one?
- Is it possible to prevent a suicide attempt?
- What is the prognosis for someone who has made a suicide attempt or threat?
- Where can people get help for suicidal thoughts?
Quick GuideMedical Ethics: Physicians' Top Ethical Dilemmas
What are the signs and symptoms for suicidal behavior?
Warning signs that an individual is imminently planning to kill themselves may include the person making a will, otherwise getting his or her affairs in order, suddenly visiting friends or family members (one last time), buying instruments of suicide like a gun, hose, rope, pills, or other forms of medications, a sudden and significant decline or improvement in mood, or writing a suicide note. Contrary to popular belief, many people who complete suicide do not tell their therapist or any other mental-health professional they plan to kill themselves in the months before they do so. If they communicate their plan to anyone, it is more likely to be someone with whom they are personally close, like a friend or family member.
Individuals who take their lives tend to suffer from severe anxiety or depression, symptoms of which may include moderate alcohol abuse, insomnia, severe agitation, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy (anhedonia), hopelessness, and persistent thoughts about the possibility of something bad happening. Since suicidal behaviors are often quite impulsive, removing guns, medications, knives, and other instruments people often use to kill themselves from the immediate environment can allow the individual time to think more clearly and perhaps choose a more rational way of coping with their pain. It can also allow the person's caregivers or loved ones time to intervene.