September is suicide prevention and awareness month.
Suicide is a problem that touches millions of people around the world. It is hard to imagine that one of our loved ones may be struggling with thoughts of harming themselves and the warning signs can be even harder to spot. Here are some warning signs to look for if you think a loved one may be considering suicide.
Warning Signs of Suicide.
Talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself.
This can be either direct statements such as “I want to kill myself” or indirectly saying things like “I wish I wasn’t here” or “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.”
Expressing feelings of hopelessness.
A person considering suicide may feel like there’s no way out or that things will never get better. They may also talk about being a burden to others or feeling trapped.
Increased alcohol or drug abuse.
A person who is struggling with suicidal thoughts may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to numb their pain.
Withdrawing from friends and family.
A person who is considering suicide may start to withdraw from the people they are close to. They may stop attending social events, stop returning phone calls, and pull away from friends and family members.
Changes in mood and behavior.
A person who is thinking about suicide may experience changes in their mood, such as becoming more agitated, withdrawn, or depressed. They may also have drastic changes in their behavior, such as suddenly giving away prized possessions or becoming unusually reckless.
Abnormal sleeping patterns.
A person considering suicide may have difficulty sleeping or start sleeping all the time. They may also talk about having insomnia or nightmares.
Change in eating habits.
A person who is thinking about suicide may lose their appetite or start overeating. They may also talk about feeling like they don’t deserve to eat.
A person contemplating suicide may engage in risky behaviors, such as drinking excessively, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex.
Talking about being in pain.
A person who is considering suicide may talk about physical pain, such as having headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. They may also talk about emotional pain, such as feeling empty, hopeless, desperate, or helpless.