Recognising Warning Signs of Suicide

Depression is the major risk factor of suicide. Do not take anyone expressing suicidal intentions lightly. Suicide is especially more likely in people with clinical depression. There is a high likelihood of suicide prevention but you need to be on the lookout for warning signs.

  1. If you are aware of the risk factors that bring about suicide and know the warning signs, it can help you save a person’s life. Risk factors for suicide vary based on gender, age and ethnicity. The combinations of risk factors make it more dangerous. Over 90 percent of people dying due to suicide suffer from clinical depression or some other diagnosable mental disorder.

    1. Some Warning Signs of Suicide

    Signs of Suicide
    If you find someone showing the following signs he could be planning or thinking seriously about suicide.

    • Always contemplating or talking about death.
    • Making death wishes and taking chances with fate such as risky and dangerous driving or ignoring traffic signals.
    • Not having a liking for things that one adored earlier.
    • Clinical depression characterised by loss of interest in everything, deep sadness, trouble in sleeping and even eating in severe cases.
    • Feeling or saying things such as “I am hopeless”, “helpless” or “worthless”.
    • Sudden mood swings, from lonely and sad to calm or apparently happy.
    • Talking about suicide in general and also expressing an intention to do so to oneself.
    • Visiting people just to say goodbye.
    • Putting things in order such as altering or changing a will.

Such signs should make you concerned about the person, especially if he has attempted suicide in the past. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that up to 50 percent of people who have had a previous suicide attempt, do so again. The variability of second suicide attempt varies due to several factors.


The risk factors that increase the chances of a person committing suicide are:

• One or more previous attempts to commit suicide.
• Substance abuse or mental disorder in the family.
• History of suicide in the family.
• Family violence.
• Accessibility of firearms in the home.
• Physical abuse.
• Physical illness becoming chronic which includes chronic pain.
• Being behind bars.
• Being exposed to suicidal tendencies of others.

Often a combination of one or more factors results in the start of warning signals of suicide. While it is advisable to prevent the risk factors as much as possible, you should never be late in recognising the warning signals.


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