The Top 10 signs of a suicidal person
According to the World Health Organization, there is an estimated 10 deaths for every 100,000 people as of 2015. And this figure continues to rise. In the US alone, there has been a 30 percent increase in suicides in 25 states between 1999 and 2016.
Have you ever lost someone close to you to suicide? Or do you know of someone who recently took their life? Maybe a friend, a colleague or former classmate? The pain of losing someone is often followed by guilt that maybe something could have been done to save them. You even blame yourself for not seeing the suicidal warning signs sooner. It’s difficult looking out for warning signs that you don’t know or are unsure of.
The signs below will help you better identify a suicidal person.
1. They copy celebrities
According to a study in PLOS ONE, there was a 10% increase in suicide rates in the four months that followed Robin Williams’ death. This shows how powerful and “contagious” this effect is. When a depressed person idolizes a celebrity, who ends up committing suicide, they’ll think that taking their life is a solution to their problems. Always make it a point to know idols of the people close to you.
2. Undergo behavioral changes
Someone contemplating suicide will undergo a drastic change in their behavior. Changes can be sleeping excessively, becoming extremely happy or sad, or losing interest in something they once loved.
3. Withdrawing from social activities
It should be a cause for concern when a once jovial and people-loving individual begins to choose their own company over that of their family and friends. A suicidal person will tend to choose their own company oftentimes because they are thinking about taking their own life. Being alone gives them time to struggle with the thoughts and emotions they have. If you notice anyone close to you becoming withdrawn, reach out to them and try to find out why. Sometimes it could be that they are going through a stressful time in their life, but you should never write off the possibility that they could be going through something worse than that.
4. They start making plans
Someone contemplating suicide will make plans for their life. They will begin visiting family and friends they haven’t seen in a long time. This is their way of saying goodbye. They will also go around trying to make amends with the people they wronged or fell out with. They may also clean up their house or room in an attempt to leave things in order once they die. Furthermore, they may write a will. Another thing they may do is give away prized possessions. To them, they see this as something they will no longer have a need of.
5. Lose interest in their appearance
Another warning sign of suicide is when a person who previously always made a point to look good, beings to look shaggy and unkempt. They no longer care about grooming themselves. Their hair will look limp and lifeless, their nails long and rugged, and their clothes dirty. They no longer care about what anyone might think about them. Their focus is surviving rather than living.
6. Easily become bored
If they were a star student, their grades begin dropping because they no longer care about school. If they were employee of the month, they begin getting warning letters because their performance has dropped. A person contemplating suicide will become bored with the things that they once loved doing. If they had hobbies they enjoyed, they’ll drop them. This is because they no longer see the need to keep performing at work, or scoring A’s, if they are planning to die.
7. Take an interest in death
For someone contemplating suicide, death begins to fascinate them. Never ignore it when someone suddenly becomes interested in what dying might be like or whether or not there is an afterlife and reincarnation. An interest in death may be manifested through their love for particular song lyrics, a conversation with a friend, a journal entry or a writing assignment. Check the person’s computer history because they may begin searches on the easiest way to die, where to buy a gun, or medication that kills.
8. They begin to abuse alcohol or drugs
Another warning sign is when someone begins to take or increase their intake of alcohol and drugs. Someone who was never drunk now spends most of their waking hours in a drunken stupor. Someone who never used drugs is now spending their extra money on them. Most suicidal people take a lot of alcohol or drugs to numb themselves from the pain and depression they are going through. They also take them to give themselves a temporary “high” in which they feel better about life.
9. Excessive moodiness
Extreme changes in moods is not only a sign of depression but it can also be a warning sign for suicidal tendencies. A person who is depressed can easily swing from being extremely happy to being irritable in a matter of minutes. They also exhibit fits of rage. This particularly stands out in a person who’s always had a calm disposition.
10. They’ve recently suffered a loss or a crisis
A person contemplating suicide will have recently gone through a tough time. They may either have lost someone close or they are going through a difficult situation that they think they cannot overcome. Break-ups, job loss and social humiliation are one of the biggest factors that contribute to suicides. Pay attention to people who feel as they are trapped in a hole they cannot get out of. This could likely be a person depressed enough to consider suicide as the way out.
In the wake of several celebrities recently taking their lives, there has been an increase in the need for creating awareness about this silence, yet real, a cause of death. Hopefully, the warning suicidal signs listed above will help you save a life.