Suicide Awareness & Prevention: Knowing The Signs

Last night I heard about the passing of another high school classmate by suicide. Each year globally, more people die by suicide than homicide and war combined. Can you believe that? Another shocking suicide fact is that it’s the second leading cause of death in 10-24-year-olds. Yes, children as young as 10 (even 8) are committing suicide. The reasons vary from depression, bullying, guilt, mental illness and so on and so forth.

Often times we think we are immune from knowing someone close to us who may be suicidal or even think we can’t ever get to that point either. I know that each time I’ve heard of someone I knew committing suicide recently, one reoccurring thought was “wow, I would’ve never known.” Most times, people will choose to suffer in silence. Not everyone will outright say “I want to kill myself”, but most people will give some sort of warning sign.

Warning Signs

Excessive drug or alcohol use

Uncontrollable anger or sadness

Expressing feeling worthless and without purpose

Loss of interest in things they normally love

Withdrawing from friends and family

Expressing that they feel like a burden to those close to them

Not sleeping or sleeping too much

Neglecting personal hygiene

Self-injury

Increased aggression towards others

Reckless behavior

Giving away possessions

Saying “goodbye” in a nostalgic or somber matter

Expressing that that “can’t take it anymore”

 

The list is endless.

I know how it feels to wake up almost everyday wanting to end it all. Feeling like life was becoming too much and that the only relief would be for it to be over. You don’t have to suffer in silence, and you definitely don’t have to go through it alone.

Suicide Prevention Resources:

24-Hour Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

LifeLine Crisis Chat

Me: Feel free to reach out to me through the Contact Me tab

 

How You Can Help

It can be hard, overwhelming, and sometimes even draining to talk to someone who you think may be suicidal. We often don’t know the right words to say and can sometimes end up making people feel worse if we’re not careful. Some helpful ways to bring of the conversation with someone is to express the concern you feel and why. Try not to sound accusatory in your approach and definitely don’t try a guilt trip. ASK if they have been having any ill thoughts and if there is any way you can support them through this time. Also, don’t offer to help or be an ear if you won’t follow through. That can be very damaging to someone who already feels worthless, hopeless, and as if they are a burden. Let the person know that they aren’t alone and express empathy.

Also, don’t compare their situation to yours or someone similar because everyone is different. It’s sometimes second-nature to want to jump right in and offer solutions and quick fixes, this isn’t helpful. Instead of giving advice on solutions and fixes, assure the person that you will be there throughout their healing process if necessary. Only offer advice if requested. Most importantly, follow up. If a week or two has gone by without you revisiting the conversation with them, bring it up. Suicidal thoughts may come and go or they may be persistent. Again, just remind the person that you are there if need be.

I hope this message helped someone.

Love and light to you all.

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Crystal Nicole

    December 23, 2017

    This is so informative and definitely needed. It’s important that we pay attention to those we love, know and care about, especially around the holidays. It can be tough for people this time of year.

  2. Reply

    Leslie

    December 24, 2017

    Love and light to you too! So many go thru this especially during the holidays.I know this post will help many!

  3. Reply

    Eva Wilson/SocaMom® (@SocaMomDC)

    December 24, 2017

    Wow. I can see how a lot of these signs can be dismissed as normal teen behavior. Easy to miss. Thank you for listing it like this. This time of year can be especially hard.

  4. Reply

    ❤ TheMrsTee 👓 (@themrstee)

    December 24, 2017

    Being a Military Spouse we are always aware of the signs of suicide in both friends and family. Sometimes simply giving that extra bit of support can make the biggest difference.

  5. Reply

    Nanekia Ansaei

    December 26, 2017

    Thank you for using your platform to bring awareness. We too often think this won’t happen in our own families or communities but it does.

  6. Reply

    Tiffany H.

    December 26, 2017

    I had a cousin who committed suicide, it was completely unexpected and I had no idea. Still makes me sad knowing he had a full life ahead of him. Death after the fact is equally hard for the families always wondering what they could have done to prevent the suicide from occurring.

  7. Reply

    thestyleperk

    December 27, 2017

    I did not know some of these statistics! As young as 10 is so crazy and sad to me. Thank you for sharing this information and advice.

  8. Reply

    Bridgid

    December 27, 2017

    I have been hearing a lot about this as well and jut recently had a sibling confess to me that they tried to when they were a pre-teen. I was stunned. Suicide is so much closer to people than I think a lot realize. I really appreciate you writing this because it has very helpful pointers in there on how to help. Most people just don’t know what to do and then afterwards feel terrible, like they could have done more. It’s time we all get proactive, as a society, about suicide. Especially in children. Great post!

  9. Reply

    Kate

    January 4, 2018

    Thanks so much for sharing this post. I lost my ex-boyfriend to suicide in 2005, & I still think of him every day.

  10. Reply

    Bree

    January 5, 2018

    This is a tough subject but it’s important to pay attention to the signs. Thank you for sharing

  11. Reply

    Tonia

    January 5, 2018

    I’ve lost two friends to suicide and it breaks my heart that they could not be helped. Awareness and true concern goes a long way. Thanks for taking the time to shed light.

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