Warning Signs

General Suicide Warning Signs

A wide range of factors contribute to suicide among those with and without known mental health conditions. Everyone can help prevent suicide by knowing the warning signs and where to get help for those who are struggling. The following behavioral patterns may indicate that a person may be considering suicide and should seek professional help at once.

·         Feeling like a burden

·         Being isolated and alone

·         Increased anxiety

·         Overwhelming sadness or depression

·         Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

·         Increased substance or alcohol use

·         Looking for a way to access lethal means

·         Increased anger or rage

·         Extreme mood swings

·         Expressing hopelessness

·         Sleeping too little or too much

·         Talking or posting about wanting to die

·         Making plans for suicide


Suicide Warning Signs for Children and Young Adults

·         Making suicidal statements.

·         Being preoccupied with death in conversation, writing, or drawing.

·         Giving away belongings.

·         Withdrawing from friends and family.

·         Having aggressive or hostile behavior

·         Neglecting personal appearance.

·         Running away from home.

·         Risk-taking behavior, such as reckless driving or being sexually promiscuous.

·         A change in personality (such as from upbeat to quiet)

·         Lack of engagement towards school/sudden drop in grades

·         Feeling sad, empty, or tearful nearly every day.

·         Loss of interest in activities that were enjoyed in the past.

·         Changes in eating and sleeping habits.

·         Difficulty thinking and concentrating.

·         Complaints of continued boredom.

·         Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue with no actual physical problems.

·         Expressions of guilt and/or not allowing anyone to give him or her praise or rewards


Suicide Warning Signs for Older Adults (65+)

·         Talking about suicide or not wanting to live

·         Isolating from family and friends/social isolation

·         Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

·         Giving away prized possessions

·         Depression

·         Marked feelings of hopelessness; lack of interest in future plans

·         Feelings of loss of independence or sense of purpose

·         Medical conditions that significantly limit functioning or life expectancy

·         Impulsivity due to cognitive impairment

·         Family discord or losses (i.e. recent death of a loved one)

·         Inflexible personality or marked difficulty adapting to change

·         Access to lethal means (i.e. firearms, other weapons, etc.)

·         Daring or risk-taking behavior

·         Sudden personality changes

·         Alcohol or medication misuse or abuse

·         Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me” or “Maybe I won’t be around”

·         Giving away prized possessions