If you are concerned about a loved one, here are some of the
warning signs you might want to be on the lookout for:
If you are concerned about a loved one, here are some of the warning signs you might want to be on the lookout for:
• They talk about suicide, death or “just wanting the pain to end.” Many people experience suicidal feelings during their lifetime. For each of the 31,000 successful suicides in the U.S. each year, there are probably three or more attempts, Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast Program Director Diane Brice says.
• They withdraw from friends or social activities. A deeply depressed person may withdraw from friends and loved ones as they become increasingly isolated.
n They have had a recent severe loss. The loss of a relationship is a frequent watershed point for someone who is on the brink. In her attendance at grief groups.
•They’re preparing for death. Making out a will unexpectedly, giving away prized possessions or buying in to pre-arranged burial services could all be tip-offs to a plan for suicide. These are warning signs that are often undetectable in seniors, since many do these things as a normal part of the preparation for their imminent natural death.
• They have attempted suicide before.
• They’ve increased their drug or alcohol intake. Dependence on drugs or alcohol may be a seriously depressed person’s way of attempting to deal with their despair.
• They have a suddenly upbeat attitude. People like having a plan. Those who are deeply depressed often feel hopeless, but developing a plan, even if it is for their own death, can often alleviate their symptoms of depression temporarily. “It isn’t uncommon for people who are suicidal to be suddenly happy, even elated, because now they have a plan – a day and a time and a means with which to wrap things up,” Brice says.
If you want to speak with someone who you think is suicidal, here are a few guidelines:
• Talk directly about suicidal feelings. It may be hard to do, but you will need to ask direct questions. (Have you been considering suicide? Do you have a plan? Have you set a date?) Try to be nonjudgmental as you listen to the answers.
• Listen. Don’t debate the morality of suicide or lecture on the value of life. Don’t act shocked, be sworn to secrecy or ask why, advises the American Association of Suicidology. Don’t offer reassurance or give advice. Instead, offer empathy, hope that there are alternatives out there and accept their feelings.
•Be active. If you know how the person intends to commit suicide, remove the means if possible. Never leave a highly suicidal person alone, even for a moment.
If you have been thinking about suicide, you’re not alone, but you need to seek help. Telling someone about your feelings can help you to get through a “life-threatening loneliness.” Talk to someone you trust or, if you’re feeling like no one understands, consider calling a crisis hotline. Suicide Prevention’s is 24-hour. Their toll-free number is (877) 663-5433.