Spotting the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
Suicide has no one, singular cause. The factors that influence suicide are numerous and diverse. Two different cases may have no overlap in their motivation and contributing elements. Remaining vigilant in preventing suicide requires that one be aware of many factors that may overlap, intertwine and hide amongst others. If you should notice any of the following contributing factors or any other risk factors of a suicidal person, seek professional help with the situation and contact suicide prevention resources.
Social and Physical Isolation
- People considering suicide often isolate themselves and withdraw from activities, family and friends. They may feel that their presence is a burden on others, or they might simply lack the energy and motivation to socialize as a result of severe depression, which is often associated with suicide.
Behavior and Communication of Suicidal Feelings
- Pay attention to how the person talks. It may be obvious statements about wanting to kill oneself, but they may also give more subtle indicators. Someone considering suicide is thinking about their own death incessantly. Do their words and actions indicate their anticipation of their own finality? Are they giving away prized possessions? Behaving recklessly or lashing out with mood swings? Or contacting relations to say goodbye?
Accessing Means of Suicide
- Those thinking of suicide are consequently considering a means of ending their life. They may look up methods of suicide on the internet and purchase lethal weapons or potentially lethal drugs.
Emotional Distress and Mood Swings
- One may expect a person in a suicidal state to feel depressed, and it is true that depression commonly accompanies suicide. However, the suicidal state can manifest many different moods and behaviors. Humiliation and shame can be powerful indicators of suicidal thoughts and demonstrate the significant influence of social factors. Anger and agitation may stem from anxiety and deepen the negative mindset of the suicidal individual.
Mental and Physical Health Problems
- A suicidal state may also be brought on by diagnosed medical issues. Serious, chronic pain can severely impact a person’s mental health and place them at risk of suicide. Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder have been tied to cases of suicide. Like other mental illnesses, a family history of suicide is another significant risk factor. Previous suicide attempts are another strong risk factor. Successfully overcoming a suicidal state does not mean that person will not be at risk again. Serious brain trauma and injury is another element of risk for suicide.
Stress and Crisis in Everyday Life
- Stressful events or prolonged periods of stress can bring about or worsen a suicidal state. Financial problems, long-term unemployment or continued harassment are examples of stress factors that have a gradual negative impact. Significant life transitions, loss, divorce, or even another person’s suicide are more abruptcrises that may severely worsen feelings of hopelessness and despair.
If someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call for help. Here’s where to find help:
- Help Network of Northeast Ohio https://www.helpnetworkneo.org/
- Alta 24/7 at 330.793.2487. Learning the warning signs can save a life.