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Warning signs of suicide

May 13, 2014 8:08:26 AM PDT
Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. The following information is provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.

Warning signs of suicide include:

Observable signs of serious depression:

  • Unrelenting low mood
  • Pessimism
  • Feelings of Hopelessness and/or helplessness
  • Desperation
  • Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
  • Withdrawal from activities that previously afforded pleasure
  • Isolation
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Physical complaints: stomach aches, headaches
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die

    Making a plan is a sign:
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
  • Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
  • Unexpected rage or anger

    The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.


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