What Are Signs Of An Impending Suicide?

About 90 percent of completed suicides can be traced to some type of depression, it is much better to err on the side of caution and get treatment.

About 90 percent of completed suicides can be traced to some type of depression, it is much better to err on the side of caution and get treatment as early as possible.

More than 36,000 Americans die each year through suicide and an estimated 1 in 25 teenagers have attempted suicide. While some people secretly plan and then commit suicide, most people planning their own death exhibit one or more signs that indicate the seriousness of their depression. Such signs coupled with recent losses such as a job or a relationship call for immediate medical attention, whether you notice signs in yourself or a loved one. These days, depression can be treated through therapy as well as medications with a very low risk of serious side effects.

People who attempt or complete suicide usually exhibit one or more of the following signs in the weeks or days before they take drastic and sometimes final action.

  • Talking about death a lot.
  • Giving away valued possessions or saying “goodbyes” to loved ones.
  • Making statements about feeling hopeless or without a future.
  • Sudden happiness or calmness after a period of extended depression.
  • Increasing the amount of drug use or alcohol consumption.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Sleeping and eating more or less than usual.
  • Suddenly withdrawing from loved ones.
  • Engaging in risky behavior, especially with driving or sexual activity.
  • Having mood swings, especially if rage or a desire for vengeance is involved.

These signs can accompany depression in a person who is not contemplating suicide. Since about 90 percent of completed suicides can be traced to some type of depression, it is much better to err on the side of caution and get treatment.