Warning Signs

People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings suffer from tremendous emotional pain. Individuals who have these thoughts typically are overwhelmed with the feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness.People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings suffer from tremendous emotional pain. Individuals who have these thoughts typically are overwhelmed with the feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness.

Many ask: why is suicide a public and mental health issue? Why is prevention so important?

Suicide is associated with having a mental illness and/or substance use diagnosis, psychosocial trauma or conflict, recent loss, family history of suicide, and personal history of suicide attempt. Most suicides involve multiple precipitating conditions such as depression, intimate partner problems, physical health conditions, financial challenges, and legal problems. Comprehensive strategies incorporating all levels of government, healthcare providers, schools, community-based organizations, and community members can prevent suicide.

If you feel you are at risk of committing suicide or if you have a friend or family member who you feel may be at risk, look closely for the following warning signs:

Talking about wanting to die

Looking for a way to kill oneself

Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose

Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

Talking about being a burden to others

Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

Acting anxious, agitated, or recklessly

Sleeping too little or too much

Withdrawing or feeling isolated

Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.

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