Suicide can be a very uncomfortable topic, but if you see signs someone you know is suicidal you need to pay attention and act on what you are seeing. Suicidal thoughts can be very difficult to understand. It is hard to comprehend why someone would want to kill themselves. When people are suicidal it is because they are experiencing so much emotional and/or physical pain that they can’t see any way out. When you see signs someone you know is suicidal, it is important to pay attention. Knowing the signs and doing something about what you are seeing could help save someone’s life.
1 Talking about Dying
One of the signs someone you know is suicidal is them talking about dying. When someone says, “I wish I hadn’t been born” or “I don’t want to live anymore”, you need to take them seriously. Ask the person what they mean and why they feel that way. You should also encourage them to get help. You can even offer the name of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
2 No Hope for the Future
Hopelessness is a common feeling for people who are depressed, but it is also a feeling people have when they are suicidal. Don’t ignore someone’s hopeless feelings. When someone expresses feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or of being trapped, pay attention and listen to them. Hopelessness is a real warning sign of suicide.
Expressing feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred are all serious signs of suicidal thoughts. If you hear statements like, “Everyone would be better off without me,” you need to listen. Tell the person that you are worried about them and encourage them to get help.
4 Getting Affairs in Order
When someone is suicidal they may begin to get their affairs in order. This can include making a will, paying off bills, and giving away prized possessions. It is common for roommates and family members to see this type of behavior in a suicidal person. If you do see this behavior, don’t be afraid to talk to the person and ask them if they are feeling suicidal. Having an honest and open conversation can help someone see they need to seek assistance.
5 Saying Goodbye
Sometimes when people are suicidal they will make unusual calls to friends or family members and say goodbye to them as if they won’t ever see them again. It can be very alarming if you are on the receiving end of the goodbye, but don’t let your alarm get in the way of helping. Reach out to the person and tell them you are concerned.
6 Preoccupation with Death
Asking questions about death and being focused on death, dying, and violence are all signs that someone could be suicidal. It can be very scary to see someone so preoccupied with death, and it can make you want to distance yourself. Instead of distancing yourself, offer to talk the person and offer help.
When people begin to withdraw from others it is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Social isolation and a desire to be left alone are indicators that a person needs help. Don't let the isolation push you away. Talk to the person and find out what is going on. You need to trust your instinct and try to get the person help.
If you see any of these signs, speak up and voice your concern. However, when you do talk to someone you fear is suicidal, don’t become angry or judgmental. You need to offer a safe place for the person to talk. If a suicide attempt seems imminent call a crisis center, 911, or take the person to the nearest hospital. Most importantly, don’t leave the person alone. Did you know the warning signs of suicide?
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