Warning Signs that a Loved One May Have Suicidal Tendencies
Suicide exists as one of those topics that continue to fly under the radar in spite of its occurrence in increasing numbers every year. Suicide affects people of all ages, genders and socioeconomic groups and oftentimes happens in the lives of those you’d least suspect.
With modern-day society’s fast-paced lifestyles and ever-increasing pressures, what may well be a temporary problem in a person’s life can seem like an insurmountable obstacle in the midst of everything else. For these reasons, it’s important to be able to identify warning signs before things spin out of control. Knowing how to spot warning signs of suicide in a loved one can go a long way towards helping ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of your family and loved ones.
As of 2013, suicide events rank as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Other statistics involving suicide are as follows:
- In 2013 – 41,149 suicides occurred, which equals out to 113 suicides per day or one every 13 minutes
- 2013 – 9.3 million adults reported having thoughts of suicide within the previous year
- 2013 – Adults ages 18 to 25 made up the majority of those considering suicide followed by 26 to 49 year olds and those 50 and over
- In 2010 – substance abuse contributed to 77.2 percent of all completed suicides
Warning Signs of Suicidal Tendencies
While suicide affects all different types of people, certain symptoms or signs tend to carry over across the board. Signs to watch out for include:
- Talk of being a burden to others
- Reckless behavior
- High anxiety levels and/or agitation
- Talk of having no reason to live
- Withdrawing from others
- Extreme mood swings
- Excess alcohol/drug use
- Talk of feeling “trapped”
- Talk of feeling overwhelmed by emotional pain
- Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
- Talk of wanting to die or expressing plans to kill oneself
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Certain risk factors can make a person more to prone to suicidal tendencies. According to the National Institutes on Mental Health, risk factors can be circumstantial, family-related or hinge on a person’s physical/psychological health condition. Risk factors to consider include:
- Being exposed to suicidal-type behavior in others, especially loved ones and friends
- Having a history of family violence
- Past sexual abuse
- Having attempted suicide in the past
- Being in prison
- Mental health problems, such as depression and bipolar disorder
- Substance abuse problems
- Having access to firearms
- Family history of suicide
While risk factors increase the likelihood a person will follow through on suicidal tendencies, protective factors have the opposite effect in terms of lessening the degree of duress a person experiences. Protective factors have to do with ensuring a person has ready access to needed treatment services; services which ultimately help in developing the types of coping skills that can carry him or her through difficult life periods. In effect, the more protective factors a person has the better off he or she will be in the long run.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be showing warning signs of suicide and have more questions, or need help finding treatment services, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of addictions specialists.
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