Taken From: Here
Warning Signs of Suicide
Everyone feels sad, depressed, or angry sometimes — especially when the pressures of
school, friends, and family become too much to handle. Other times, though, feelings of
sadness or hopelessness just won't go away. These feelings may begin to affect many areas
of a person's life and outlook. Someone who experiences very intense feelings of
depression or irritability may begin to think about suicide.
You may have heard that people who talk about suicide won't actually go through with it.
That's not true. People who talk about suicide may be likely to try it.
Other warning signs that someone may be thinking of suicide include:
talking about suicide or death in general
talking about "going away"
talking about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
pulling away from friends or family and losing the desire to go out
having no desire to take part in favorite activities
having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
experiencing changes in eating or sleeping habits
engaging in self-destructive behavior (drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or driving too
fast, for example)
As a friend, you may also know if the person is going through some tough times. Sometimes,
a specific event, stress, or crisis — like a relationship breaking up or a death in the
family — can trigger suicidal behavior in someone who is already feeling depressed and
showing the warning signs listed above.
What You Can Do
Ask.If you have a friend who is talking about suicide or showing other warning signs,
don't wait to see if he or she starts to feel better. Talk about it. Most of the time,
people who are considering suicide are willing to discuss it if someone asks them out of
concern and care.
Some people (both teens and adults) are reluctant to ask teens if they have been thinking
about suicide or hurting themselves. That's because they're afraid that, by asking, they
may plant the idea of suicide. This is not true. It is always a good thing to ask.
Starting the conversation with someone you think may be considering suicide helps in many
ways. First, it allows you to get help for the person. Second, just talking about it may
help the person to feel less alone, less isolated, and more cared about and understood —
the opposite of the feelings that may have led to suicidal thinking to begin with. Third,
talking may provide a chance to consider that there may be another solution.
Asking someone if he or she is having thoughts about suicide can be difficult. Sometimes
it helps to let your friend know why you are asking. For instance, you might say, "I've
noticed that you've been talking a lot about wanting to be dead. Have you been having
thoughts about trying to kill yourself?"
Listen. Listen to your friend without judging and offer reassurance that you're there and
you care. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, stay close — make sure he or
she isn't left alone.
Tell. Even if you're sworn to secrecy and you feel like you'll be betraying your friend if
you tell, you should still seek help. Share your concerns with an adult you trust as soon
as possible. If necessary, you can also call a local emergency number (911) or the
toll-free number for a suicide crisis line (you can find local suicide crisis numbers
listed in your phone book).
The important thing is to notify a responsible adult. Although it may be tempting to try
to help your friend on your own, it's always safest to get help.
Sometimes even if you get help and adults intervene, a friend or classmate may attempt or
die by suicide. When this happens, it's common to have many different emotions. Some teens
say they feel guilty — especially if they felt they could have interpreted their
friend's actions and words better. Others say they feel angry with the person for doing
something so selfish. Still others say they feel nothing at all — they are too filled
When someone attempts suicide, those who know that person may feel afraid or uncomfortable
about talking to him or her. Try to overcome these feelings of discomfort — this is a
time when someone absolutely needs to feel connected to others.
If you are having difficulty dealing with a friend or classmate's suicide, it's best to
talk to an adult you trust. Feeling grief after a friend dies by suicide is normal. But if
that sadness begins to interfere with your everyday life, it's a sign that you may need to
speak with someone about your feelings.