9/10 World Suicide Prevention Day: Recognizing the Suicidal Warning Signs
September 10 has been deemed World Suicide Prevention Day, which is precisely why we have decided to dedicate today’s article to working to prevent suicide by recognizing the warning signs. While suicide is not considered a mental illness, it is often caused by the presence of mental illnesses, like depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, and many others.
The Warning Signs of Suicide
One of the most crucial steps to take in preventing suicide is by recognizing the warning signs of suicide. These warning signs can include:
- Extreme sadness, irritability, and overall moodiness
- Feeling deeply and completely hopeless
- Withdrawing from loved ones, hobbies, and social activities
- Issues with one’s sleep
- An unexpected calm after experiencing depression
- Appearing to give up
- Acting recklessly or dangerous
- Self-harming behaviors
- Sudden loss or trauma that can act as a trigger for suicidal thoughts
- Appearing to prepare for suicide- examples include giving away important items, spending time with loved ones, writing a will, creating a plan, and writing a goodbye note
- Talking about or thinking about dying and/or suicide
If you believe that you or a loved one are in immediate danger of suicide, reach out for help immediately. You may call 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, and they will help you get the immediate help you need.
Risk Factors for Suicide
Suicide is normally caused by a wide range of factors, and each one can be different for those at risk for suicide. There are a few risk factors that one may watch out for to determine if an individual is at higher risk of suicide. These factors include:
- A history of suicide attempts
- A history of mental illness
- Legal or financial troubles
- Impulsive tendencies
- Substance abuse
- Being the victim of bullying
- Social isolation
- Family history of suicide
- Abusive relationships
- A lack of healthcare accessibility
- Community violence
- Stigmas against mental illness and seeking help
What to Do If You Are Worried Someone May Be at Risk of Suicide?
If you are worried that a loved one may be at risk of suicide, showing them that you are there to love and support them may be immensely helpful. Begin by asking them if they are feeling depressed or suicidal. This may present an opportunity for them to open up about the difficult emotions and thoughts swirling through their heads. You can then validate their feelings, offer your support, and encourage and help them reach out to a mental health professional to get the help they need. Continue to be there for them even after it seems as though the worst part is over.
We Are Here for You
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health distress, our therapists are here for you. Reach out to us today, and we will connect you with a compassionate, experienced therapist who will partner with you to understand why you are feeling this way and find a treatment to help you begin feeling happier and healthier.
Keywords: suicide prevention, suicide awareness, recognizing depression, therapist