The best way to recognize depression and prevent suicide is to notice these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. If you believe that a friend or family member is suicidal, you can play a role in suicide prevention by pointing out the alternatives, showing that you care, and getting a doctor or psychologist involved.
Talking About Suicide
Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off dead."
Seeking Out Lethal Means
Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation With Death
Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.
No Hope For Future
Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way out"). Belief that things will never get better
Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."
Self Loathing, Self Hatred
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden ("Everyone would be better off without me").
Getting Affairs In Order
Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Withdrawing From Others
Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Sudden Sense of Calm
A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to commit suicide.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call The National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org