A person who is at risk of committing suicide usually shows signs - whether consciously or unconsciously - that something is wrong. Keep an eye out for:
- signs of clinical depression
- withdrawal from friends and family
- sadness and hopelessness
- lack of interest in previous activities, or in what is going on around them
- physical changes, such as lack of energy, different sleep patterns, change in weight or appetite
- loss of self-esteem, negative comments about self-worth
- bringing up death or suicide in discussions or in writing
- previous suicide attempts
- getting personal affairs in order, such as giving away possessions, or having a pressing interest in personal wills or life insurance
Though many people considering suicide seem sad, some mask their feelings with excessive energy. Agitation, hyperactivity, and restlessness may indicate an underlying depression that is being concealed.
Many people believe that even though a person might talk about suicide, they will not actually do it. In fact, talking about suicide is a warning sign that the person is at greater risk. If you become so overwhelmed by your problems that suicide becomes a consideration, you deserve to be taken seriously.
Talking about suicide means that the potential exists to take your own life - even if you do not actually do it. Denial will not make the threat of suicide disappear and can only leave you feeling more alone and in anguish. If you are having thoughts of suicide, see your doctor or a counselor for help.