A suicidal individual may be tough to detect. Many don’t show any obvious signs of wanting to harm themselves. The truth is, the majority of people who contemplate suicide don’t necessarily want to die.
Instead, they just want the pain to end. They want to stop hurting, and often suicide is often the only way they think they have to escape.
But it’s crucial to recognize the signs of suicide in friends and loved ones in order to take steps to intervene and get the person the help they desperately need. It’s important to understand the warning signs and take them seriously, as knowing what signs to look for can literally save a person’s life.
If you believe that someone you know and love may be a danger to themselves, consider the following tips to prevent the worst from happening.
Understand the Warning Signs
Here are a few signs of suicide to keep an eye out for:
- Mentioning harming themselves
- Seeking out weapons or pills to harm themselves
- Obsessing over death
- Being self-destructive
- Feeling hopeless
- Getting their affairs in order
- Saying their final farewells
- Social withdrawal
- Sudden sense of contentment after being depressed
Take it Seriously
Even if someone makes a certain comment, it’s important to take it seriously. Don’t just brush it off, even if the person is not serious and has no intentions of hurting themselves. That said, continual suicidal thoughts are not normal and reflect a much bigger problem.
If any of the above-mentioned warning signs are flagged, don’t hesitate to speak up. You may feel uncomfortable doing so, but it’s a necessary step to take.
Talking about a loved one’s suicidal thoughts is often the first step that needs to be taken in order to get the person the help they really need and ensure no devastating results occur.
Act Right Away
In a suicidal situation, time is of the essence. If you believe that someone you know is on the verge of hurting themselves, it’s critical for you to act immediately.
There’s no time to sit and ponder about what to do or whether or not to intervene. If someone tells you that they’re thinking about suicide and you believe that it is imminent, step in right away.
Lend a Listening Year
A person who may be on the verge of hurting themselves would benefit from having someone listen and be empathetic. Let the person know that they’re not alone and that there are people out there who care about them. Offer up your support and let them know that you’re there for them.
There is always help available for those who are suicidal or are a threat to themselves. Those who are having suicidal thoughts don’t have to go through with harming themselves. If you can intervene in time and show the person that there is help available and that they are truly loved and valued, you can literally save a life.