Photo by Jon Asato

What Are the Warning Signs of Suicide

by Jennifer McDougall

“There is no cell culture for depression. You can’t see it on a bone scan or an x-ray. Not everyone with depression will show the same behavioral symptoms.”
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

Suicide has become one of the nation’s biggest causes of death amongst teens, young adults, and elderly citizens. With the increasing number of suicides across America, it is important we take a deeper look at the warning signs in a loved one or even yourself. There are many variables that play a role in a person’s decision to end their life, and although it is something no one should ever consider, we must take a moment to try and understand what it is that is causing someone close to use or even a stranger to have these dark feelings of hopelessness. As a community, we should all be more alert and aware of the warning signs someone is struggling with an immense amount of pain and depression.

Here are 10 of the most common warning signs to look out for that someone could be suicidal:

  1. Sudden withdrawal from social gatherings, friends, and family engagement

  2. Excessive moodiness (extreme ups and downs) without much of a reason why or explanation

  3. Substance abuse (increase in drug or alcohol use)

  4. Change in sleep patterns (Sleeping much more or less than usual)

  5. Harmful or reckless behavior

  6. Expresses a feeling of hopelessness and unwillingness to live anymore

  7. Reaching out to old friends and family members as a way to say goodbye

  8. Other means of preparations such as getting rid of personal belongings

  9. A decline in hygiene and usual self-care practices

  10.  Threats of committing suicide (50%-70% of those thinking of committing suicide will give a friend or family member a verbal warning or threat)

If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, please the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at call 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7. Your life matters. Please talk to someone today.

Here are several helpful ideas of what you can do if someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts and behavior.

  • Check in on your friends and family members, even your strong ones. Sometimes those who put up a front that they have it all together need extra support and attention, but may not ask for it
  • Take your friend or family member out to eat and enjoy some time outside of the house in a refreshing setting to boost their spirits and mix up their routine
  • Invite them out to low-key and not-so-intimidating events that are out of their comfort zone amongst other people but is also chill and not too intense and overwhelming for them
  • Offer to come over and watch a funny movie with them. Bring dinner or snacks with you.
  • Call or text them a few times throughout the week (day and night) to say hi and just ask how their day is going — communication and connectivity is so very important
  • Listen to them as they do their best to express themselves whether that be what they post online or what they tell you in person
  • Send them uplifting songs or playlists you think they may enjoy
  • Forward encouraging and insightful articles that are aligned with their interests
  • Lend them an enjoyable book to read during their down time or on the weekends — suggest taking it by the pool to read and soal up the sun

Photo by Jed Villejo

“If you are surrounded by people who not only don’t believe in your goals and your positive outlook on life but who also continually try to tear you down, it will be extremely challenging for you to hold firmly in mind that you will succeed and that you can be happy.”
― Chris Prentiss, Zen and the Art of Happiness

It is vital to our overall well being we surround ourselves with positive influences in our lives who support our goals– who help provide us with helpful guidance rather than toxic energy and people who hold us back or drag us down. Often times, people who struggle with substance abuse related issues have some type of enabler in their life leading them down a troubling path. Luckily though, Passages Addiction Treatment Centers offers a variety of programs that help give a person the tools they need to break free from addiction-related issues. Resolving the coping mechanisms used when triggers surface is a vital part in getting and staying sober. No matter where you are on your path to sobriety and enlightenment, there is always hope, even when you feel absolutely hopeless altogether– hope can be found even in the darkest of trials.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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