Sadly, millions of people around the world attempt to commit suicide every day. This can be defined as the act of purposefully taking one’s life. There can be many causes for a person to take this extreme step, but in most cases, the person gives out warning signs before committing suicide. It is important for us as family and friends to look out for these signs and protect our loved ones.
- Social withdrawal: When a person loses interest in things he or she likes to do normally or starts keeping a distance from others, it may be a cause of concern. Social withdrawal is one of the most common symptoms of depression. Depression could in many cases trigger suicidal thoughts.
- Focus on death: People having suicidal thoughts may talk openly about death and wanting to die. Do not take this lightly. In other cases, they may be fixated on death and begin researching various ways to take their life. This could also take the form of buying a gun, sleeping pills or a sharp knife.
- Despair: Nobody likes listening to others crib, but in many cases, this may be a way for a depressed person to seek help. Many people commit suicide not to end their lives but to end the physical or emotional pain they are suffering from.
- Making Plans: People thinking of committing suicide may begin drafting suicide notes or start making plans to get rid of their belongings. This could be in the form of a sudden garage sale or drawing up a will.
- Reckless behaviour: People who are depressed and contemplating suicide may show signs of reckless behaviour as they think they have nothing to lose. They could start drinking excessively or taking drugs or even have unprotected sexual intercourse. Drugs and alcohol could also be a way for them to lessen their pain. Driving under the influence or driving too fast could also be a sign to look out for.
How can you help?
If you do notice something strange, do not ignore it. Try talking to the person and help them express their frustration in words. Find ways for them to meet more people and do something different. You should also encourage the person to talk to a professional mental health care expert. If you are in a situation where someone threatens suicide, do not leave them alone. Try to calm them down and call for help immediately.
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