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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
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Health and Fitness News

A Cry for Help

Warning signs of suicide you shouldn’t ignore.

Unless you’ve ever been severely depressed, you can’t imagine the desperation that leads to someone taking his or her own life. It’s the ultimate expression of despair, yet suicide is an act seeking out hope—hope that there’s something better than what life has to offer at the moment. Around the world, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those ages 15 to 24. Every 40 seconds someone dies of suicide, yet countless others fail in their attempts. An estimated 30 to 70 percent of suicide victims suffer from severe depression or bipolar disorder, both treatable mental health conditions.

The grieving loved ones are left to wonder what went wrong and often blame themselves for ignoring the warning signs or not doing enough to prevent such a tragedy. As suicide rates are on the rise, it’s important to know what moods, behaviors, talk, and risk factors to watch for in your loved ones.

Moods

People who contemplate suicide will typically exhibit certain moods. They’ll exhibit extreme sadness and hopelessness that last for weeks. Irritability, anxiety, and outbursts of rage are common signs of depression, but may come and go between times of good moods. A lack of interest in anything enjoyable and feelings of apathy are what to watch for. When a person has finally come to the decision of committing suicide after tormenting about it, they may seem unusually calm and at peace.

Behaviors

There are certain behaviors to be watchful of. Someone who’s suicidal may deal with sleep problems, and these problems can come on either side of the sleep spectrum. They may sleep all the time or have insomnia.

Also, it’s not normal for a typically social person to begin avoiding friends, withdrawing from family, or quitting activities they used to enjoy. These may be symptoms that an individual is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Other warning signs include alcohol or drug use, reckless behaviors, giving away valuable possessions, suddenly making a will, or visiting loved ones to say goodbye.

Talk

People who talk about suicide, threaten to kill themselves, or call a suicide crisis center are at a much greater risk of carrying out their plan. While not everyone who talks about or threatens suicide will follow through, all such talk should be taken highly seriously.

Listen for talk about feeling trapped, like they’re a burden, hopeless, or actual talk about killing themselves. Threats may sound like, “Things would be better if I were gone,” “When I’m gone,” or “I can’t take this much longer.” When you hear any of this talk, seek help immediately!

Risk Factors

There’s not a single cause for suicide. A variety of things go wrong to culminate in a person feeling unable to cope. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia often play a role, but not always.

Some people are brought to despair following a loved one’s death, the loss of a job, a divorce, or a break-up. In some cases, major illness, substance abuse, homelessness, or serious financial problems lead to hopelessness. Other potential stressors include harassment, bullying, or abuse—whether emotional, sexual, or physical.

People are also more likely to commit suicide if they’ve been exposed to suicide in some way, perhaps through someone else’s suicide, pictures, videos, or stories. Other risks include a family history of suicide or previous personal attempts.