Suicide Warning Signs

Know the Warning Signs

helping handsSome warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. 

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, including online searches for suicide-related topics or buying a firearm
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Know the Risk Factors

Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol, other substance use or gambling disorders
    • Help for Parents Know what to look for and learn the warning signs.

    • Help for Teens It can be hard to know when you have a problem. Take these risk assessment quizzes to help you figure it out. 

  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

 

    If you or someone you know exhibits any of the suicide warning signs, know that Your Life Iowa specializes in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Support and assistance is available through Live Chat, by calling (855) 581-8111, or by texting (855) 895-8398.

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