Suicide & Suicidal Behavior

Suicide & Suicidal Behavior

Hopeless, worthless, no other solution to life's problems - these are thoughts that lead to suicide. A suicidal person feels that there is no other answer to their problems. If anyone you know is talking about suicide, take it seriously. While fleeting thoughts are common, anyone with a suicide plan needs help. Don't ignore suicidal behavior. Encourage them to see a doctor - someone who can help them with their problems.

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  • 3 Answers
    Too many youth are taking their lives. Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4600 youth take their life each year. How can we help these troubled youth? An important thing we can do is identify the warning signs associated with suicide and get help for those who present them.

    Did you know that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts occurred after clear warning signs were present?
    • Deterioration in personal hygiene
    • Frequent physical complaints: migraines, stomach aches
    • Episodes of crying
    • Sudden happiness after a long period of depression
    • Self-mutilation
    • Giving away personal possessions
    • Hopeless or vague comments: “I wish I was never born” or “I won’t be around much longer”
    • Direct statements about wanting to kill oneself
    • Themes of death or depression in conversation, writing, artwork, or music
    • Change in eating and/or sleeping habits
    • Drug and/or alcohol use
    • Fatigue
    • Withdrawal from family and friends
    • Violent actions
    • Rebellious behavior
    • Running away
    • Loss of interest in favorite activities
    If you or someone you know shows warning signs for suicide, please seek professional help immediately. 
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
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  • 2 Answers
    A , Psychology, answered
    Self-injury does not involve a conscious intent to commit suicide, though many believe that people who harm themselves are suicidal. Self-injury (SI) is any deliberate, non suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on one's body to relieve emotional distress. There is no simple portrait of a person who intentionally self-injures. This behavior is not limited by gender, race, education, age, sexual orientation, socio-economics, or religion.
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  • 1 Answer
    A Marriage & Family Therapy, answered on behalf of
    If your child says something that sounds suicidal, such as, "I don't want to be here" or "I'm going to kill myself," it's worth checking out. It doesn't mean that the child is suicidal. It's not worth freaking out, but it certainly is worth checking out. If your child has said it a couple of times, calmly, ask your child, "How? Have you thought about how you would do it? Have you thought about when you would do it?"

    If the child has specifics, then it's something you absolutely need to get checked out with a professional. If the child doesn't have specifics, then it's not as much of a concern, but always take it somewhat seriously if your child is talking about not wanting to be here or actively killing himself or herself.
  • 2 Answers
    A , Social Work, answered
    The signs and symptoms that accompany suicidal feelings in bipolar disorder include the following:
    • Talking about feeling suicidal or wanting to die
    • Feeling hopeless, that nothing will ever change or get better
    • Feeling helpless, that nothing you do makes any difference
    • Abusing alcohol or drugs
    • Putting affairs in order (such as organizing finances or giving away possessions to prepare for your death)
    • Writing a suicide note
    • Putting yourself in harm's way or in situations where there's a danger of being killed
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  • 2 Answers
    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Suicide remains very common among teens and children with bipolar disorder. With treatment, the painful thoughts and emotions can be kept under wraps. The sooner they get help, the better. So keep your eye out for several warning signs. Be aware of a child or teen that stops caring about his appearance, seems to lose interest in activities or topics that previously were the coolest thing ever, and gives away cherished possessions such as electronics or a favorite shirt. A child who withdraws socially and isolates himself may also have suicidal thoughts. If a child or teen talks about hurting himself, or about death or suicide, seek help from a trained professional.
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  • 5 Answers
    A , Psychology, answered

    Suicide is the voluntary and intentional act of taking of one’s life. While some suicides may occur without any warning signs, most people who are suicidal do give warnings, such as:

    • Increasing their alcohol and/or other drug use
    • Taking unnecessary risks and impulsivity
    • Threatening suicide and/or expressing a strong wish to die
    • Exhibiting rage and/or anger
    • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
    • Fascinating over or preoccupying oneself with death
    • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
    • Isolating or withdrawing oneself
    • Displaying mood swings
    • Telling loved ones goodbye
    • Setting one's affairs in order
    • Giving things away, such as prized possessions
    • Referring to death via poetry, writings and drawings
    • Exhibiting dramatic changes in personality or appearance
    • Changing eating or sleeping patterns
    • Declining in performance

    If you or someone you know shows warning signs for suicide, please seek help.

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  • 1 Answer
    A number of countries have established national suicide prevention plans or strategies. Their principles and action steps represent good sources for developing specific policy recommendations to present to governmental and legislative leaders. Common elements of these plans and strategies include:
    • Campaigns to increase public awareness of suicide as a preventable problem, to develop broad based support for prevention efforts, and to reduce stigma
    • Community development to support creation and implementation of suicide prevention programs
    • Improved access to services to suicidal people and their loved ones, and improved service delivery efforts through development of guidelines and linkages
    • Media education to improve reporting and portrayals of suicide in the media
    • Training for caregivers to improve recognition of at-risk behavior and delivery of effective treatments
    • Incorporation of licensing standards for professional caregivers
    • Development and promotion of effective clinical and professional practices
    • Means restriction initiatives to reduce access to lethal means and methods of self harm
    • Research and evaluation to promote and support research, improve surveillance systems, and evaluate the effectiveness of new or existing suicide prevention interventions
  • 1 Answer
    Here are a variety of suggestions that may avert a person with serious mental illness (SMI) from committing suicide:
    • Call or contact the person's mental health professional immediately and advise them of the urgency of the situation.
    • Call your local Crisis Line telephone number if one exists. This is often to be found in the front of the telephone book.
    • Ask a close friend of the person in crisis to come and talk with their friend.
    • Stay with the person.
    • Get a promise not to use alcohol or drugs if these are a factor.
    • Give hope: talk about alleviating his/her problems; attempt to ease loneliness and pain; listen rather than talk, using the tips for listening below:
    • Do not judge, just listen carefully
    • Avoid inserting your own opinions
    • Focus on what the other is saying
    • Ask questions that involve their thinking and feeling
    • Let the other person direct the conversation
    • Try to understand the person's perspective, see their point of view
    • Keep your focus on the other person and what they are saying
    • Actively encourage the person to talk through verbal and non-verbal cues
    • Reflect on the essence of what has been said
    • If the person has tried suicide before ask how they got through it and what happened subsequently.
    • With the person's permission link them to their mental health professional(s): case worker; mental health clinic; family doctor/psychiatrist, as soon as possible.
    • Talk about the protective factors: a relative or pet that depends on them.
    Draw up a plan, both for the person and for yourself, based on your conversations. Write it down. If it seems appropriate, get the person to write a plan as well. The plans should be signed. The action of writing it is like a contract and may help to avoid any self harm. Keep it simple. The plan(s) will contain:
    • Delaying action to give time for the person to reconsider.
    • An agreement by the person to certain actions they will take to delay going through with suicidal action.
    • Any other material that is relevant to the specific situation (e.g., removal of weapon, keys, etc.)
    • Follow up on the plan with regular contact from the family and friends' network that you have developed previously.
    • Remove any means of suicide; do this with the person as a sign of their commitment not to attempt suicide that night.
  • 3 Answers
    A Addiction Medicine, answered on behalf of
    To help prevent suicide, become more aware of the signs of suicidal thoughts and find out how to guide people to the resources they need.
    • Know the signs. Hopelessness, talking about suicide, sudden changes in personality, putting final affairs in order, withdrawing from loved ones, self-destructive behaviors and saying final goodbyes are all signs that a person is contemplating suicide.
    • Stop the silence. If you see symptoms of suicidal behavior, don't be afraid to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about. You will not make him or her more likely to do it. Sometimes, having someone listen, show sympathy, and remind this person that his or her life matters can be the first step toward recovery.
    • Offer help. Remind the person that you are there for him or her and that help is available. Offer options such as seeing a counselor and calling the local crisis line to be connected with mental health professionals.
    Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
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  • 1 Answer
    Research demonstrates that the following strategies improve recognition and treatment of mental disorders and reduce the risk of suicide:
    • Information and educational programs for professional groups: Primary health care providers, in countries where they are available, typically under-recognize and under-treat much of mental illness. A series of educational, collaborative care, and nurse case-management programs designed to enhance the ability of primary care groups to identify, treat, and manage depression and suicidal behavior are among the most effective interventions for decreasing suicide rates. Evaluations suggest that these types of programs increase the detection and treatment of depression, increase prescription rates for antidepressants, and result in decreased suicide rates. Further large-scale evaluations are needed for a range of outcome measures.
    • Community "gatekeeper" programs: A range of programs focus on enhancing the skills of persons in organizations, institutions, and the community at large to recognize and refer for appropriate assessment people who might be at risk for suicide. Guidelines have been developed for such gatekeepers as clergy, school personnel, corrections workers, workplaces, and caregivers for elderly persons. Evaluations of gatekeeper programs run by the U.S. Air Force and the Norwegian Army report reduced suicide rates. Many programs have been developed in a number of countries, but few have been evaluated.
    • Screening programs: Programs designed to screen for depression or substance abuse applied in a variety of youth settings have been shown to be reliable and valid in identifying at-risk individuals. No evidence has emerged that screening young people increases their risk for suicidal thinking or behavior. Reviews of adult screening programs for depression found increased rates of detection of depression. Some studies found increased rates of treatment, especially in small geographical areas. To date no evaluations have been conducted on suicide risk screening programs in primary care.