The true numbers are probably much higher because many suicides are reported as accidents or illnesses. Suicides are usually the result of a complex combination of emotional, social, and biological factors. For that reason, learning about the warning signs of suicide can be difficult yet so important.
Warning Signs of Suicide:
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
Extreme withdrawal from friends, family, and usual activities
Talking about suicide or "ending it all"
Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior
Giving away favorite possessions
Sudden changes in mood or behavior
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
dentification with someone who has committed suicide
Preoccupation with thoughts of death
Previous suicide attempt(s)
How to Help Someone Showing Signs of Suicide
Know the warning signs!
Most suicidal people give clues about their feelings. Don't be afraid to ask someone you are worried about if he or she is thinking of taking his or her own life. You cannot make someone suicidal by asking a direct, caring question about the warning signs of suicide you may have identified. Tell your loved one that you are worried and give specific reasons why. Stress that he or she is very important to you and to other people. Encourage that person to get help through a psychiatrist, social worker, clergy member, or other mental health professionals.
How to Deal with Signs of Suicide:
Stay Calm. Don't overreact.
Express Concern. Take your friend or family member seriously. Explain why you are worried. Be specific.
Listen Attentively. Maintain eye contact.
Ask Direct Questions. It is important to find out if your friend has a specific plan for suicide.
Acknowledge Feelings. Do not be judgmental. Don't take it personally if you can't help your friend "cheer up".
Reassure. Stress that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems. Remind your friend that there is always hope, and things can and will get better.
Don't Promise Confidentiality. You may need to consult others, or talk to your friend's doctor about the signs of suicide you have identified.
Take Action, Involve Others.
Don't attempt to handle this alone. Consult others who are trained to help and deal with warning signs of suicide.
Charles E. Donovan
Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression