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Frequently Asked Questions

Warning Signs of Suicide

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.

Observable signs of serious depression:

Unrelenting low mood
Pessimism
Hopelessness
Desperation
Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
Withdrawal
Sleep problems
Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die

Making a plan:

Giving away prized possessions
Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
Unexpected rage or anger

The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

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