If someone is seriously depressed and thinking of attempting suicide there are often warning signs that family and friends can pick up on. Noticing and acting upon these warning signs could save a life.
Most people who are considering suicide are willing to talk about their problems if someone shows they care. Don't be afraid of discussing the subject with someone you think may be suicidal. Talking about suicide won't 'plant the idea' in someone's head. This is a myth. If you are wrong, you're at least showing a friend you care. If you are right, you could save their life.
Sometimes stress or a traumatic event like bereavement can trigger suicidal thoughts in a vulnerable person. For this reason it's important to ask a friend who is going through a tough time how they are coping and if they need some support. Having someone to talk with can make all the difference.
Warnings signs may include but are not limited to:
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Having difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly.
- Sleeping too much or too little.
- Feeling tired most of the time.
- Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty.
- Talking about suicide or death.
- Self-destructive behaviour like drinking too much or abusing drugs.
- Losing interest in favourite things or activities.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Mood swings.