The decision to take one’s own life usually does not occur overnight. Even the most depressed individual is indecisive about ending their stay on earth, and is constantly trying to look for other ways to put an end to their pain. It is always a low moment for humanity when someone decides to take their own life. “Why didn’t we see it coming?”, “how could we have changed his fate?” are common questions that run through the heads of their loved ones after the saddening event. The thing is, those who are contemplating suicide more often than not exhibit signs that we can pick up if we tune our antlers into the common warning signals. While it’s not every day you come across someone who is worrisomely down in character, it is worth taking note of these forewarnings that often lead to suicide – you just never know who you might end up saving.
Talking / writing about suicide
And jokes don’t count. Look out for comments that leave people in awkward silences, Facebook status updates with suicidal themes that leave you feeling unsettled.
Feeling hopeless, trapped, or unbearable emotional pain
If your friend or acquaintance has expressed these feelings before, don’t ignore them and hope that they learn to deal with it – feeling emotionally trapped could lead them into the decision of ending their lives. Seek help or talk to them about it. Sometimes a listening ear can do wonders.
Being unusually reckless
Engaging in risky activities (speeding, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, etc.) which are out of the ordinary, is one of the more observable signs of someone who is at an extremely low point in life or suicidal.
Research or purchasing means of suicide
If you notice a friend or a family member who’s suddenly curious about death, or even obtaining means to achieve it (eg: stocking pills, purchasing a gun), this is a huge red flag. Take the necessary action depending on the risk level.
This includes expressing feelings of self-hate, worthlessness and being a ‘burden’ to others. Phrases like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or talking about how his/her life is hopeless and has a bleak future are another big warning sign.
Getting one’s affairs in order, giving away prized or personal possessions, organizing a will, or saying goodbye to friends and family as though they will never be seen again is obviously unusual unless you’re terminally ill.
A sense of calm
When a deeply troubled person has suddenly achieved a sense of calm and happiness, this may be because the person has already chosen suicide as their way out, and has arrived at some sort of inner satisfaction from their decision.
If you see one or more of these signs apparent in someone you know, it is time for you to speak up and extend a helping hand. Whether it be someone you have just come to know or someone you love dearly, it is not the moment for backing out and being shy; a person’s life is at stake and you might be able to make more of a difference than you think. There is no life-threatening harm in trying, but there might be if you didn’t.
To find out how you can reach out to your acquaintance/friend, read our previous article: HELPING A FRIEND IN NEED.
360 Celsius in Support of
Suicide Prevention Week