Most who consider suicide will give a loved one warning signs about their plans for suicide. But what exactly are those?
To identify warning signs, ask yourself these 10 questions:
- Do they exhibit or talk about feeling a deep sense of hopelessness about the future, with little expectation that circumstances can improve?
- Are they talking about death a lot or making oblique references to it?
- After a period of depression/moodiness, have they suddenly and unexpectedly become calm?
- Are they withdrawing from social activities - especially ones they previously enjoyed?
- Have they stopped caring about personal appearance?
- Are they engaging in risky behaviors? Reckless driving? Drugs/Alcohol? Unsafe sex?
- Has a major life crisis occurred? Death of recent loved one? Divorce? Bankruptcy?
- Are they putting a lot of their affairs in order? This might include visiting loved ones members, giving away possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home.
If you answer yes to these questions, check in with your friend or loved one. Tell them you’re concerned about them. Tell them that you care. Ask them if they’re having suicidal thoughts. Call the National Suicide Prevention line 1 (800) 273-8255.