How to recognize symptoms of suicidal behavior
People who contemplate suicide see it as a solution to run away from the problems that seem never-ending to them. If they get help in the form of counseling and emotional support at an earlier stage, they can be saved. Some of their words and actions can give you clues if they are at risk of hurting themselves.
How do you know if someone is at risk for suicide?
Any of the major life events can trigger a suicide attempt or put a person at risk for suicide. These include
- Loss of a loved one
- Considerable financial loss
- Major failure in career or exams
- Loss of job
- Unsuccessful attempts to get married
- Divorce or breakup
- Diagnosis of a major illness
People who want to kill themselves exhibit some warning signs, either through their words or actions. The more the warning signs, the greater the risk.
You can recognize suicidal behavior in a person if they talk about
- How they are experiencing unbearable pain
- How they feel that they have no solution to their problems
- Their feeling of being a burden to others
- Thoughts that they do not want to live anymore
Other changes in behavior or certain actions that you can look out for include
- Their use of alcohol and drugs
- They keep searching for ways over the internet to end their life
- They start avoiding activities that they used to enjoy earlier
- They become less concerned about how they look
- They suddenly become calm after being depressed for a long time
- They start distancing themselves family and friends
- They start sleeping too much or too little
- They start visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- They make a legal will
- They start giving away their prized possessions
- They become aggressive and behave recklessly
- They look depressed all the time
- They get irritated easily
- They often get angry
- They look anxious often
How do you prevent someone from committing suicide?
Sparing some of your time and confronting someone you know is thinking about suicide can save a life. Here are some ways of how you can prevent someone from committing suicide
- Don't hesitate to approach the person who is depressed or thinking about suicide. Remember, your inquiry about thoughts of suicide does not provoke the person to commit suicide.
- Rather than convincing the person out of suicide, let him or her know how depression is temporary and can be treated.
- Ask the person if they are seeing a psychiatrist or mental therapist for their depression and suicidal thoughts. If not, you can encourage them to seek professional help.
- Ask the person often about their well-being and if they want to talk about anything. Studies suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may help reduce suicidal thoughts.
- If you are always around that person, try to keep things that they can use to harm themselves away from them.
- Try to stay in touch with the person after they have been in a crisis or after being discharged from the hospital for any of their major illnesses or psychiatric conditions.
If the above attempts do not work to reduce the suicidal thoughts of the person, you can call 911 or any of the following emergency numbers
- The phone number of a trusted friend or relative of the person
- The non-emergency number for the local police department
- The Crisis Text Line: 741741
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How to Recognize Symptoms of Suicidal Behavior Related Articles
Bipolar SlideshowBipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar disorder, discuss bipolar symptoms, and describe bipolar medications that can help.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat Depression?Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) uses cognitive strategies to help people change patterns in the way they think and behavioral strategies to help people change behaviors that aren't helpful. CBT can help people with mild-to-moderate major depressive disorder.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Depression and SuicideDepression is a psychiatric illness that affects one in six people in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of people with depression do not realize that they have a treatable illness and do not seek treatment. Depression could happen when there is a decrease in the functional balance of the brain chemicals e.g., serotonin and norepinephrine.
Depression in ChildrenChildhood depression can interfere with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life. Symptoms and signs include anger, social withdrawal, vocal outbursts, fatigue, physical complaints, and thoughts of suicide. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Depression in the ElderlyDepression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Depression SlideshowWhat is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major depression, chronic depression, teen depression, and postpartum depression.
Depression QuizMany people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With proper diagnosis, treatments and medications are available. Take this quiz to learn more about recovery from depression.
Depression Tips SlidesThe right exercise, diet, and activities -- even playing with a pet --can help you recover from depression. Learn simple lifestyle changes you can do to improve your mood.
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and StressThough the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid depression and stress during the holiday season.
Myths and Facts About Depression SlideshowFolk remedies and half-truths still prevent many from getting treatment for depression. WebMD's pictures show unusual symptoms in men, seniors, and others, along with many ways to recover.
Postpartum DepressionPostpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
SuicideSuicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, and 10 million to 20 million attempt suicide annually.
Teen DepressionDepression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
What Is a Nervous Breakdown?A nervous or mental breakdown is a general term used to describe a period of overwhelming mental distress. This term is usually used to refer to an intense set of emotions a person experiences in a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, stress disorder, and anxiety.