Do you suspect someone close to you is thinking about ending their life? Typically when someone is thinking of committing suicide, they showcase some common warning signs. Suicide doesn’t usually have one single cause, it’s usually due to a combination of factors. Knowing how to spot these warning signs can allow you to get them professional help before it’s too late. They don’t have to go through this alone. If someone close to you is suffering from depression and exhibiting any of the signs below, talk with them to see if you can help.
Behavior that’s out of character
Someone who is considering suicide may not be thinking of the consequences of their actions. This is why someone who is suicidal may start to exhibit reckless behavior, like drunk driving or sudden promiscuity. They don’t plan on living to see the consequences. Other types of behavior that are out of character to look out for include withdrawing from activities that were once important to them, giving away their possessions or visiting people to say goodbye. If you notice a friend or loved one experiencing a change in behavior, get them help right away.
Drug addiction is one of the biggest risk factors of suicide. This is because someone who’s addicted to drugs doesn’t have control over their own life. Substance abuse increases the chance of a severely depressed person to follow through with suicide. According to Psychology Today, roughly one in three people who die from suicide are under the influence of drugs, typically opiates such as oxycodone or heroin, or alcohol. The good news is that with with inpatient treatment, addiction can be cured.
Talking about suicide
This may be obvious, but if someone close to you suddenly starts talking about suicide a lot, take note. They may be talking about killing themselves, feeling depressed and hopeless, having no reason to live, experiencing unbearable pain, and being a burden to others. If you notice these topics, say something or persuade him or her to seek professional help immediately.
Extreme mood swings
There are many things that can cause someone’s mood to change. Whether it’s depression or a more serious mental disorder like bipolar disorder, sudden mood changes may signal that someone is thinking about committing suicide. Someone who is suicidal is typically severely depressed or struggling with extreme mood swings. When moods fluctuate so quickly and cause painful or disturbing thoughts or feelings, someone may consider suicide as a way to control their disorder. If you see someone close to you struggling with extreme mood swings, get them help. Most mood disorders and suicidal thoughts can be controlled with the right medication.
Stressful life events
There are certain things that are out of a person’s control that can lead them to consider suicide, including stressful life events. People who are more at risk for suicide have experienced a variety of environmental factors, including prolonged bullying, relationship problems, harassment, unemployment, the death of a loved one, job loss and even witnessing someone else’s suicide. Different life stressors can cause someone to become depressed or mentally unstable, and lead them to consider ending their own life.
Suicide is preventable if the warning signs are caught in time. Knowing which signs to spot could help you save the life of a friend or family member. If you suspect someone close to you is considering ending their life, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take it seriously and get them professional help, it may just what they need to realize life is worth living.
About the Author: Melissa Howard believes that every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, she felt compelled to create StopSuicide. By providing helpful resources and articles on her website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information. Connect with her at: email@example.com