Signs & Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of a Suicidal Individual

The question in mind today is, what are the signs and symptoms of a suicidal person? If we want to prevent our loved ones from harming themselves, we need to equip ourselves with the right information about the warning signs. What should we look for?

Depression

Depression is the number one symptom of suicide. In the United States, untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 90 percent of individuals who commit suicide suffer from depression. (“NAMI: National Alliance On Mental Illness | What Are States Doing To Help Prevent Suicide? 2015”).

Depression may be triggered by one of the following:

  • The death of a loved one
  • A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship
  • A terminal illness such as cancer or a severe illness that leaves one incapacitated.
  • Being a victim of domestic violence, rape, verbal or physical abuse or assault.
  • Substance abuse is another risk factor. Drugs and alcohol distort thinking and lower inhibitions, making it easier for people to act on their suicidal thoughts.

Feelings of worthlessness

The feeling of inadequacy and being a burden to loved ones is also a sign to look for in suicidal individuals. They see themselves as incapable of being productive in society and view suicide as the only way out. If you notice this symptom, reinforce value with as much engagement as possible.

Verbal threats

Have you ever sat next to someone who keeps on insisting that they would be better off dead? There is a belief that suicidal individuals are just seeking attention and won’t act on their words. This misconception has led to the tragic loss of many people. Just as the cry of a baby is a sign of hunger, a verbal threat is a warning sign of a potential suicide attempt.

Daring or risk taking behavior

People who perform dangerous acts such as balancing on one foot from atop a bridge might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. They might be trying to choose the setting for death.

Lack of interest in the future

Suicidal people often stop planning for the future because they do not see themselves as having one. If they have savings, they may go on a shopping spree or give money away to everyone they know and love. If you had previously made plans with them, they might repeatedly cancel them with no reason given.

Previous attempts at suicide

If someone has previously tried to commit suicide, they are at risk for subsequent attempts. These individuals should be monitored by a qualified professional.

Works Cited

“NAMI: National Alliance On Mental Illness | What Are States Doing To Help Prevent Suicide?”. Nami.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.“NAMI: National Alliance On Mental Illness | Get Involved.” Nami.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.“NAMI: National Alliance On Mental Illness | Preventing Suicide.” Nami.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 May 2016.