Signs of Suicidal Thoughts
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Health and Wellness

10 Warning Signs Of Suicide That Could Save Someone's Life

It's important to know the signs and to pay attention.


Suicide has become extremely prevalent in modern society. It seems everywhere one looks, they see something about it. Whether it be in the news, like with the passing of celebrities like Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, or Anthony Bourdain, or in the media like the Netflix original "13 Reasons Why" or the new ABC show "A Million Little Things." Suicide is very serious, and despite its ever-present exposure, it is important to not become desensitized to it. There are very important warning signs that someone close to you may be contemplating suicide, and it would be a good idea to educate yourself on them properly.

1. Excessive sadness or moodiness.

This includes, long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage are all warning signs of suicide.

2. Hopelessness.

Feeling hopeless about the future, or feeling that things won't or cannot improve.

3. Sleep problems.

This includes sleeping too much, sleeping too little, insomnia, and other sleep disorders.

4. Apathy or Calmness.

Showing a sudden sense of calm after a period of depression or an extreme mood swing can be a sign that someone has made a decision to end their life.

5. Withdrawal or Isolation.

According to Save.Org, choosing to be alone, avoiding friends, and avoiding social gatherings/activities may also be signs of suicide.

6. Changes in personality and/or appearance.

Someone contemplating suicide may experience a change in attitude or behavior. They may begin to speak or move with unusual speed or slowness. They also may suddenly become less concerned about their physical appearance or have some great change, like a shocking haircut or a drop or gain in weight.

7. Dangerous or self-harmful behavior.

This includes potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol, as well as self-harm in the form of cutting or other self-mutilation.

8. Recent trauma or life crisis.

A major life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. WebMD sited the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems all as possible life crises. Another may be if someone close to someone else were to also attempt or commit suicide, this could trigger a chain reaction and cause a suicide attempt for another.

9. Making preparations.

This includes both putting their personal affairs in order like visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, or cleaning up their room or home. It also includes making the suicide plans, like writing a note or preparing the means. For example, buying a firearm or other means like poison.

10. Threatening suicide.

If someone is talking about killing themselves, even in passing or in jest, this could be a serious warning sign that they may be planning to hurt or kill themselves. WebMD states that 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone -- a friend or relative -- a warning sign. Not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it, but EVERY threat of suicide should be taken seriously.

I've lost more than one friend to suicide, and that is what spurred me to educate myself on the warning signs. Not all cases will follow these signs exactly, but this list of warning signs is very important. While it will never be your responsibility to stop someone from taking their own life, it is important to know the signs so that you can help a friend or loved one get help from the PROPER people and resources. There are suicide hotlines available and further information online. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day at the following number: 1-800-273-8255.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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