Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. but it is also preventable. Most suicidal people desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems.
Most suicidal people give definite warning signs of their suicidal intentions, but others are often unaware of the significance of these warnings or unsure about what to do with them.
Nearly everyone thinks about suicide at some point in his or her lifetime. Most everyone decides to live because they come to realize that the crisis is temporary, but death is not. On the other hand, people in the midst of a crisis often perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. Frequently, they feel like they cannot:
- Stop the pain or sadness and do not see any other way out
- Think clearly or make decisions
- Sleep, eat or work well
- Get out of the depression or gain control
- See the possibility of change
- Value themselves as worthwhile or worth someone’s attention
- Talks about suicide, death and/or having no reason to live; expresses a sense of hopelessness
- Seeks firearms, pills or other means to commit suicide
- Has had a recent severe loss or the threat of a loss
- Withdraws from friends and social activities
- Loses interest in hobbies, school, etc.
- Prepares for death by making out a will or giving away prized personal possessions
- Increased substance use
- Dramatic mood changes
- Takes unnecessary risks; reckless and/or impulsive
- Has a history of suicide attempts
- Has been unwilling to connect with potential helper
For immediate help:
If someone has, or is in imminent danger of attempting suicide:
- Do not leave the person alone
- Call 911 or your local emergency number
If someone behaves in a way that makes you believe he or she might attempt suicide:
- Get help from a trained professional as soon as possible
- Get the person to call a suicide hotline number. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255.
Credit: Frontier Behavioral Health. Used with permission.