Suicide awareness…

Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death. And the most common mental illness is depression. Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

Suicide Warning Signs

Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.

Talk

If a person talks about:

  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Experiencing unbearable pain
  • Having no reason to live
  • Killing themselves

Behavior

Specific things to look out for include:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
  • Acting recklessly
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression

Mood

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety

Health Factors

  • Mental health conditions
    • Depression
    • Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
    • Schizophrenia
    • Borderline or antisocial personality disorder
    • Conduct disorder
    • Psychotic disorders, or psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder
    • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Serious or chronic health condition and/or pain

Environmental Factors

  • Stressful life events which may include a death, divorce, or job loss
  • Prolonged stress factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide

Historical Factors

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide attempts

**There are times when we don’t think about what others may be facing or going through, but as I look around and I hear about children as young as 8 years old harming themselves, it saddens me and angers me. It is also scary and can be confusing when you are not aware of the pain that people feel.

As adults, we face so many of life’s challenges and even traumatic events that we too cannot handle but by spreading awareness and speaking out about what we have been through can truly help someone else; not only to save them but also so they are strong enough to reach out.**

 

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