Suicide is one of the leading causes of death and kills more people than homicide every year. Unfortunately, suicide is not discriminatory and affects people of all ages, genders, races, and religions. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
, in 2020 45,979 Americans died by suicide.
Mental illness comes in a variety of forms and can impact people’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors in different ways. Mental illness in itself can increase suicidal thoughts, ideation, and behavior.
Knowing whether someone is considering suicide can be difficult, but knowing the warning signs and risk factors to look out for can be helpful. If you are worried about a loved one, here are some signs to watch out for:
1) Talking about wanting to die or hurting oneself
Speaking about killing oneself, talking about plans to do so, or focusing on death is a sign something is wrong. Some red flags to consider in conversation could be expressing feeling like a burden to the people around them, feeling suffocated or trapped in their current life situation, having nothing to live for, feeling like all hope is lost, or expressing potential ways in which to kill oneself.
If you are seeing these signs and someone is speaking on wanting to hurt or kill themselves, it is important to understand the amount of pain they are feeling. They do not see at that moment any other route to their problems and leaving this planet feels like the last resort and only option to their unbearable pain.
Some phrases that are commonly used and signify someone is in pain and need help include:
- “I don’t see how this gets better”
- “I wish I wasn’t alive”
- “Everyone would be better off without me”
- “Life does not feel worth it anymore.”
- “You’d be sorry if I didn’t exist.”
When someone is saying these things it is easy to take it with a grain of salt and move on, but not taking these comments lightly and helping them get the help they need to feel better is crucial.
2) Expressing hopelessness
Hopelessness expresses itself in a belief that things are not going to get better and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This indicates they are giving up and there is no more point in trying to make things better.
Although subtle, these are extremely urgent signs that something is not right. Hopelessness is a strong indicator of possible suicide according to many studies. This will be expressed in conversation and feels like there is no escape from the insurmountable pain they are experiencing. There is nothing going for them, nothing to look forward to and the future is dark. Noticing signs of loss of hope is vital for helping your loved ones and friends from suicidal ideation and potentially hurting themselves.
3) Feeling like they are a burden to others
When someone is feeling as if they are a burden to the people and world around them, it is a strong indicator they do not believe their life is worth it and that something is very wrong. They believe they are a useless waste of space and not important to others. Reminding your loved ones that their life has value and is of the utmost importance to you and others is needed. Telling them they matter and assuring them of all the positive aspects of themselves can make them feel as if their life does have value.
4) Increased alcohol or drug use
Substance abuse is most often a way for people to numb out and self-medicate from feelings. If you begin to notice this behavior increase, do not ignore it. Abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with their feelings is a sure sign that they are using to cope with their pain.
5) Isolating from friends and activities
Withdrawing from normal social routines and activities is worrisome. If you feel like someone suddenly becomes very absent and isolated, it may be a sign that they’re considering suicide. Detaching oneself from life emotionally and physically is not only a sign of depression but a clear sign that they are not okay. Losing interest in activities they once loved, distancing from friends, and removing themselves from everyday interactions are not normal. It is important to remember to check in on your loved ones if they suddenly go awol, this subtle sign could mean something is going on with them.
6) Mood Changes
A change in mood such as becoming more anxious, depressed, irritable, sad, or angry could mean someone is contemplating suicide.
7) Irregular sleep patterns
Having trouble sleeping or sleeping way too much can be early signs of depression and suicide. This can present themselves in an individual by sleeping too much, struggling to get out of bed, or hardly sleeping at all. Abnormal sleep patterns indicate something is wrong and provide a reason to worry.
8) Giving away prized possessions
Giving away things they once loved, or need, or making plans for their belongings is a sign that they are planning on not being around much longer.
9) Writing up their will and making final arrangements
If your loved one begins talking about making a will or you notice them making final arrangements, it may be a sign that they’re considering killing themselves.
If you notice this, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to them. You could be saving their life.
Alternative Depression Treatments for Suicidal Ideation
Possible routes for those suffering from depression or contemplating suicide could include talk therapy, medication management, and TMS treatment from a provider near you
Talk therapy is an alternative to medication and allows a patient to talk through their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with a certified therapist. The therapist can help the individual struggling begin to understand their thoughts and feelings and learn how to deal with them.
Psychiatrists can help manage medications for those struggling with depression and find a medication that works for them. It is important to have regular check-ins with your doctor to ensure the medication is working and adjust it as needed or switch the medication currently being used.
TMS treatment is a non-invasive alternative for treating depression and has helped bring hope to thousands of Americans struggling. TMS treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain and reactivate cells that have gone sluggish. It is an effective treatment for those who have not been responding to other treatments and can also be used as an augment for medications.
Treatment sessions are typically short, lasting about 30-40 minutes
. Most people require 5-6 weeks of treatment to see results. Multiple days a week showing up on time for treatment is required.
Help Save a Life from Suicide
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. TMS Therapy Near Me
can help you find a provider near you that may save a life. Talk therapy, medication management, and TMS treatment are all effective methods of suicide prevention. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help – it could be the most important call you ever make.