It is generally advisable to keep an eye on your loved ones who are fighting depression. There are a few warning signs that might help you find out early enough if your loved ones are screaming for help, secretly considering ending their lives. Your awareness of suicide warning signs will give you a chance to recognize others’ problems and/or their urgent need of professional help. When you’re dealing with something as critical as suicidal tendencies, missing out on the signs could have the ugliest results possible. If you’re worried someone you care about might be playing and replaying the worst case scenario in their heads, you might want to take a look at the following suicide warning signs.
They Will Talk about Wanting to Die, Often
In our modern frequently sarcastic world, it can be a little tricky to tell if your friend really wants to die or if their “kill me now” is just a social media joke. Your depressed friend would be more consistent about it though. When you start noticing how every conversation is eventually dragged to the same dark zone, then the issue is probably serious. Their sudden mention of death in a rather escapist context is very alarming. If your loved one starts to view death as something to look forward to, you might want to keep an eye on where that takes them.
Mentioning death, dying, or suicide in the context of a joke is the new cool. Our social media platforms are flooded with people who are “literally dying” and other forms of exaggeration. To pin point a real issue among thousands of jokes, try to dismiss the punchline. A depressed suicidal friend, though might constantly make fun of themselves, probably won’t make fun of their wish to die. Trust your instinct; if the status update, tweet, or blog post are too dark it left you concerned, then you should be concerned. And to clumsily quote Markus Zusak in “The Book Thief,” it is better to “err on the side of too much fear rather than not enough.”
Finally, if they seem to talk about death like they have had it all figured out: the details, the consequences, and the method, then you should be seriously concerned. This would be a sign that they have invested more time than they should thinking about it. If they think about it this often, then it’s not a passing thought; it’s a real urge. However is the situation, if a loved one straightforwardly confides in you how they “wish they were dead,” never take it for a joke. Never let it pass by and go on with your day; it could cost you a life.
Here are a few reasons why suicide is never the answer.
They’ll Be Looking for Available Ways to Kill Themselves
Another thing that you should be on the lookout for is if they have already started looking for ways or methods to kill themselves. That is difficult to find out if they are being discrete and they probably will be, but checking their search history might offer an insight. Now, privacy is of course a hard line that you should not cross, but in case of a teenage son or daughter that constantly shows warning signs of suicidal behavior, you might make an exception. Young teens will almost always resort to the Internet before they take the decision; they’ll google the method and the ways and its potentiality for success. If you come across any concerning search result, you probably need to immediately seek professional help.
If one of your family members is mentally unstable and has already showed suicide warning signs, it’s advisable to not allow them any near sharp objects or weapons. A suicidal person will certainly find their way if they have already set their mind on it. But, often, a suicidal person wants to be saved. They want you to help them. If it has come down to seeking professional help, the person might be agitated and/or violent. Keep them company and keep them away from anything they could use to injure themselves until help arrives.
Seeking professional help against the suicidal person’s will might result in ugly, though necessary, consequences. They might want to rush it or they might want to hurt you. Before informing your family member that you have contacted external help, make sure the environment is safe and that you’re not alone lest they decide to attack and overpower you. Keep in mind that in many psychological states of mind, a person is not in full control of their behavior. So for their safety and yours as well, take the necessary precautions.
They’ll Casually Talk about Not Having Any Reason to Live
Happiness usually depends on one’s fulfillment of one’s hopes and dreams. Goals and aspirations give us reasons to live; they keep us going when life is tough and they help us overcome the obstacles, because we still somehow have a destination, a light at the end of the tunnel. If your loved one talks often of how they no longer have a reason to live, it might imply serious suicidal thoughts.
When someone takes their life lightly, you can’t expect them to care enough to preserve it. But their constant mention of their aimless pointless life might be a scream for help. They might need you to offer a little guidance or even help them find their own version of the light. Either way, ignoring this might allow it to develop into apathy. With no passion or will left to live, suicide can be the predominate thought in their everyday life.
They’ll Constantly Complain about Being in Unbearable Pain
Chronic pain is a kind of struggle we can never fathom. Having to go through life with a significant amount of pain, every day, every hour, every minute is something beyond our comprehension. People with terminal diseases or chronic pain or those who undergo extremely painful treatments are more likely to consider ending their lives. Such cases require constant psychological support and loving family and friends to keep their spirits high. If you’re going through such a situation with a loved one, seek professional advice on how to handle the issue because your mere pep talk might not be enough.
People with chronic pain might accidentally endanger their lives. Preoccupied with the urge to relieve the pain they might overdose on pain killers or sleeping pills. Keep a watchful eye for the maximum doses allowed and offer to be around while administering the medicine.
They’ll Think They Are a Major Burden for Everyone
People with an unstable psychological state or a disabling disease are always likely to struggle with insecurity and low self-esteem. They can’t help but to think they’re imposing a heavy burden on their families or friends, that they are somehow limiting their lives or burdening them with their existence. Consequently, suicide becomes their version of altruism; they’d want to kill themselves to free their loved ones. It is vital in this case to have an honest conversation regarding this particular subject. Have a long talk about the future and what it holds for both of you. Reassure them about your love and their worth in your life and in others’. Discuss with them the various ways with which they can still contribute to their society and themselves. An open honest conversation could completely save them from drowning in depression.
Don’t wait until they start exhibiting warning signs of suicide to jump in. Keep an open channel of communication the second the situation emerges. It might constitute a safety net they can fall back onto when the times are hard.
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They’ll Start to Consume Larger Quantities Of Alcohol
In times of crisis, alcohol can be the escape mechanism of choice for a lot of people. However, it can eventually turn into a suffocating addiction that doubles the problem, never resolving it. Depression and addiction can run in the same circle over and over until the victim is left with no way but to kill themselves to break the vicious cycle. If your loved one is immersed in the habit of drinking, it might be a sign they need immediate help.
They’ll Isolate Themselves from Other People
People battling depression will often isolate themselves from everyone they ever held dear, including their children, family, and closest friends. When the withdraw from others it’s usually because they have lost the energy to maintain healthy social relationships that they’d rather be left alone. Socializing can turn into a huge burden for them, something that they’d go to extreme lengths to avoid. They might also do it because they think no one cares enough to hold on to them through thick and thin. Isolation will eventually worsen this conviction, and they will carry on with the belief that their death won’t even matter anyone.
Isolation is one of the most dangerous signs of suicidal behavior. A person with no friends or family around has much lower chances of surviving depression. If someone you were once close with starts to isolate themselves, you might want to intervene quickly. Solitary and depression should never be allowed to mix.
They’ll Have Extreme Mood Swings Without Any Warning
Some personality disorders and other psychological issues can cause extreme mood swings. These mood swings are exhausting and incredibly hard to overcome. At one moment the world feels OK, they are full of energy and optimism, and the next they can’t see beyond the darkness of their small room, struggling with thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Obvious mood swings require immediate professional help because they can pose a threat to a person’s mental stamina.
Being fully aware of the various warning signs of suicidal behavior can save a life. Whether it’s a friend or a family member you live with, jumping to rescue a person in need is more of a duty than a favor. Humans are fragile and life can be very tough at times. Every now and then, someone will fall and they won’t be able to stand back up without a helping hand. You can be this helping hand. You can take it upon you to save a life, with all the potentials, the possibilities, and the stories a life can offer in the future.