How to detect suicidal signs
There are not many topics that provoke as much fear and anxiousness than that of suicide. When you hear people talking about someone who committed suicide or you are aware of someone who is showing suicidal signs, it can leave you with feelings of heartache and sadness if you are close to such a person, and also with fear.
Unfortunately, we can’t let fear and sadness over a dark and difficult issue keep us from being aware; especially if a friend or family member is suffering from this mental ‘condition’. It is a very real, terrible reality. And there are actions that need to be engaged in, acted on, the moment when suicide is on the table.
It might not be us who deals with a person who is suicidal, but if it is, we need to be a shoulder to lean on, to calmly listen; these are just the basic steps to restore hope to the hopeless.
What Is Suicide?
Suicide is the killing of one’s own physical body; it is the intentional ending of one’s life. At one time, suicide was referred to as “self-murder”. Most people who commit suicide usually tell someone of their plans; they give some kind of warning sign.
People today are filled with lost hope and despair, so it stands to reason that over 800,000 people in the USA attempt suicide every year. Usually friends, family, and work colleagues can spot the warning suicidal signs and many times, they feel helpless as to how to deal with someone who is deeply depressed and suicidal.
There is hope in that it is a treatable mental disorder. These are some signs and feelings that get voiced that can signify that someone is suicidal and showing signs of symptoms of clinical depression – they need help.
• “I’m of no use to anybody”
• Life just isn’t worth living
• Everyone would just be better without me
• Next time, I’ll do a proper job
• You can have my car or my house when I’m gone
• Don’t worry; I won’t be around anymore in any case
• You’ll be sorry when I’m no longer here
• Don’t worry; I won’t be in your way for much longer
• I’m just a burden to you
• I can’t make things better
• I’m just better off dead
• Nobody understands me. Nobody cares or feels the way I do
• There’s no way out for me
• You’re just better off without me”
How do you recognize this serious sadness, severe depression and anxiety?
Here’s some suicidal signs to look for:
- The person is always in a sad, depressed kind of mood – got the blues
- They can’t sleep properly, either sleeping too little or too much
- Their weight and appetite have changed
- They move and speak with a kind of slowness or unusual speed
- They have lost interest in their usual activities that used to give them pleasure
- They withdraw from friends and family
- They have lost their energy and spark
- They battle to think and concentrate, they are indecisive
- They suffer from feelings of guilt, self-reproach or worthlessness
- They think of death and wish to be dead
- Sometimes they stop caring about their physical appearance
These aren’t people who are just going through a rough patch. These are people who suffer for weeks and months on end.
You need to find out from your family or friend who is suicidal why they are thinking that way; you need to be direct, being supportive and non-judgmental. If you believe they are in danger, stay with them if you can; don’t leave a suicidal person on their own.
You need to call 911 or contact a crisis hotline, and you need to contact their friends or family. This is no matter to keep secret; it is not up to you to try and keep the suicidal person safe on your own.
If they are not seeing a mental therapist or counselor, perhaps you can arrange for the person to see a counselor. If they are under counseling already, you need to make the counselor aware of the situation.
By doing your part when you know your friend or family member is suicidal, you will be part of a chapter of someone’s life who one day might be able to say their story did not have a sad ending.