6 Signs of Suicide You Shouldn't Ignore
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students; Approximately 22 veterans die from suicide every day. Dentists, physicians and lawyers are among the professions with disproportionately high rates of suicide. Gay youth are said to be three times more likely to die by suicide than heterosexual youth. Between 30 and 45 percent of trans people attempt suicide at some point in their lives.
- If someone speaks about suicide, or of being “gone” or of being a burden.
- If someone is in extreme emotional or physical pain and speaks of “having enough” or “not being able to keep going.”
- If someone shows a significant change in behavior.
- Loss of enjoyment in things they previously enjoyed, changes in sleep, hygiene and eating.
- Increased use of substances like alcohol or drugs.
- Giving away prized possessions and calling folks to say goodbye.
How do you help?
What if you ask a friend and he does share he is feeling suicidal?
Offering to help find professional support is important.
Let him know you care and will help him connect.
Find other trusted individuals that can help support the individuals.
If needed, offer to help the person make an appointment to see a counselor; offer to go along the first time.
If someone shares that he has a plan to die by suicide or if you fear he is imminently dangerous to himself, (actively planning suicide), taking him to the nearest emergency room (if safe for you to do so) or calling 911 are both options.
Many people will say to me, “But what if I am wrong? What if my friend (or spouse or parent) becomes upset with me?” I always assure people that upsets and frustrations can be resolved at a later time. Upsetting a friend and being wrong is a risk I recommend taking.
For all those reading this who have lost someone to suicide, my thoughts and condolences are with you.
Support can be found with most mental health professionals but also at this website: survivorsofsuicide.com.
If you are thinking of ending your life, there is help available at 1-800-273-8255. Please call.
Dr. Traci Lowenthal is the owner of Creative Insights Counseling, a counseling agency in Redlands serving individuals, families, and couples. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-240-7833.