Most suicidal people don’t want to die, they just want their pain to end. There are several signs to watch for that may indicate someone is thinking about suicide.

The more signs, the greater the risk

Suicide Warning Signs

(Information provided, in part, by the National Suicide Prevention Hotline)

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself.
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other available means.
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge.
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking.
  • Feeling trapped – like there is no way out.
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use.
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society.
  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.
  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Comments like, “I’d be better off dead,” “I can’t take it anymore,” “life isn’t worth living,” “I just want the pain to end.”
  • Loss of a loved one, job, home, significant other, etc.
  • Anniversary of an event; i.e. death of a spouse, family member or close friend, prior suicide attempt, divorce, etc.
  • Giving away prized possessions or making a will to do so.
  • The person has a plan of how they will commit suicide.
  • A sudden lift in spirits after a period of depression.

Just one or two of these signs may not be accurate predictors of suicidal thinking/gesture/attempts. But several together could be indicators of a lethal nature.

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