There were warning signs–they just weren’t recognized

He gave away his most precious possessions. He stayed alone in his room, listenening to sad music about loss of a “true love” at night before bed. He suddenly didn’t want to eat and said he couldn’t sleep. He “borrowed” a gun.He drank beer and hard booze- heavily. He was sad for days, but suddenly appeared very happy.
She slept the days away. Although she stopped seeing them in person, she told her friends on Facebook and wrote in her diary that they would all be better off without her “useless self.” She binge ate. She talked about the recent suicide of a popular celebrity and researched how to die by hanging. She was sad for days, but suddenly appeared very happy.
Both of these stories are true. They both killed themselves- death by suicide.
The gory details don’t matter - dead is forever. All the signs were there, but they weren’t recognized by family and friends.
Suicide can be prevented, but it’s essential that we recognize the warning signs. All of the details described in the scenarios above are warning signs that show that a person is at risk of completing suicide. Individually, those warning signs may not be important, but cumulatively, they are strong danger signals of possible suicidal plans. Take the signs seriously!
If you see multiple warning signs, ask if they are thinking about suicide. You can also use terms like “ending your life,” “killing yourself,” or “completing suicide”(not committing suicide- we’re not talking about a crime here). Asking the question does not plant the idea in their head. If they are already thinking about it, they will likely be relieved that you care enough to ask. If they say they haven’t thought about it, you can say that the behaviors you’ve been noticing are worrying you.
Suicide is not really about wanting to die. It’s about ending the pain they are feeling. People thinking about completing suicide describe feeling as if they are a “loser”, a “burden”, “useless”, or “hopeless”. They say they feel as if there is no way out, but death. If the warning signs are there- it’s up to you to recognize them and take action to save a life!
There is help available for you or someone you care about who is in a crisis situation.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741-741
The Trevor Project - 866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline - 877-565-8860

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