You can’t always tell if a friend or loved one is considering Suicide, but some common signs can indicate they may be at risk. Risk is higher if a behaviour is new, out of character or has escalated, or if it seems to be related to a painful or traumatic event, a loss or change.
Sometimes they may not display clear “signs” but there may be some HINTS…. so if you are concerned about someone, follow your instincts – they are often right.
Common signs someone may be Suicidal:
- Displaying symptoms of clinical depression, a major risk factor for suicide;
- Talking about Suicide or wanting to die, e.g. “I wish I was dead”, “I can’t see any way out”;
- Talking about being a burden to others e.g. “Everyone would be better off without me”;
- Obtaining means or taking steps to find means to kill oneself, e.g. stockpiling medication, or buying rope or poisons;
- Withdrawing from others, wanting to be left alone
- Feeling hopeless, trapped in a situation or that there is no reason to live;
- Engaging in reckless behaviour, e.g. reckless driving, excessive drug or alcohol use;
- Sleeping too little or too much;
- Displaying extreme mood swings;
- Being severely anxious or agitated, particularly in combination with some of the signs above.
Additional Warning Signs:
- Preoccupation with death, dying or violence;
- Suddenly happier, calmer – this is sometimes a sign that the person has made the decision to take his or her own life;
- Loss of interest in things one cares about;
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye;
- Giving away belongings, such as prized possessions.
- Making arrangements; tying up loose ends or setting one’s affairs in order for no apparent reason.
Remember, follow your instincts. You may not see clear Signs but there may be some Hints….