The Warning Signs How Do I Know If My Friend Is Suicidal


It’s not always easy to tell if a friend is suicidal. You might be thinking that because you’re not the one who is making the decision, it doesn’t matter what you think or do. But your opinion matters more than you know. 

You may think you’re just being nosy and intrusive if you ask about suicide, but research shows that asking about suicide can help reduce rates of suicide in high-risk groups by as much as 50%. It’s hard to admit when we don’t know how to deal with something and need help, so take advantage of this opportunity and start talking now! Here are 10 warning signs:

They’re usually tired

They’re always drained, never have anything to say, and seem like they haven’t gotten any sleep in days. Sometimes this could just be stress from school or work, but it’s important to watch out for excessive fatigue.

If someone who typically has too much energy seems like they’ve become weak and lazy, there may be something else going on. 

Their humor has turned dark

It’s not unusual for people who are feeling down to make dark jokes about death or suicide. But if your friend’s sense of humor has changed radically, and they start making more and more off-color jokes, it could be a sign that they’re thinking about harming themselves.

Watch out for these signs, because they could mean something other than just a dark sense of humor.

They have a plan

If you notice any of these warning signs, see your friend making preparations for an attempt at their life. For example, if there are suicide notes or goodbye messages on social media accounts, or they suddenly seem to have access to weapons or pills, this might be a sign that they’re planning something big.

It’s not always a suicidal person who makes a plan to harm themselves, but if they do have it, this is a huge red flag. The more prepared someone seems to be for their death, the closer you should get to them and the less time you should let go by without getting help.

They seem to have given up on life in general

Is your friend not caring about their appearance anymore? Are they skipping showers or brushing their teeth, wearing the same clothes every day, maybe even sleeping in them? Sudden changes in personal hygiene or lifestyle can be a sign that something is wrong.

If you notice this happening to someone who used to take pride in their appearance, it’s time something is said. One of the most immediate ways to help is by making them feel like they matter, that you care about their problems or situation and that you’re willing to listen if they tell you anything. 

They have a history of self-harm or depression

Some people can become depressed without ever thinking about harming themselves in any way, but it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout. If someone has been known to cut themselves or otherwise harm themselves physically, this is a major sign that something could be wrong.

In some cases, there might not even be warning signs of depression except for self-harming behaviors. Rather than thinking that people who harm themselves are “crazy,” try to understand it as a cry for help, and realize that this person could be suicidal.

They become more irritable and aggressive

It’s not uncommon for people who are feeling suicidal to become easily irritated and angry. This is often because they’re dealing with a lot of pain and emotional stress, and it can be hard to keep everything bottled up.

If you notice that someone has become more short-tempered than usual, especially with you, it might be a sign that they’re on the edge. Try your best to stay calm and understanding; this could be the thing that keeps them from harming themselves.

They’re being reckless with their life in general

Again, someone acting recklessly doesn’t always mean they have an issue with their mental or emotional health. But, if they suddenly seem to be pursuing thrill-seeking activities like sky diving or riding motorcycles, and it’s not their usual personality, this could also indicate a bigger problem than just taking risks and having fun.

Many people who attempt suicide don’t expect to survive the ordeal, so someone who is suicidal might try to end their life in one final “hurrah,” so to speak. If you notice them taking risks with their physical safety or making serious attempts at dangerous things, it’s time to get help for your friend.

They start talking about death and suicide

Does your friend suddenly seem anxious and broody? Have they started saying things like “I wish I could just disappear,” or “I can’t take this anymore, I want to die?” This could be a major sign that someone is suicidal. It could also mean they’re having dark thoughts and should get help immediately. But these warning signs alone warrant at least asking your friend what’s going on.

Sometimes people who think about death or suicide don’t know how to ask for help or don’t even fully understand what they’re feeling, so asking them could be the first step towards recovery. Also, if you notice that your friend looks like they’re in physical pain when talking about these subjects, this is another sign that something might be wrong and should get checked out by a professional.

They’re withdrawing from others

Again, someone experiencing suicidal thoughts might not know how to ask for help or even recognize the signs themselves. However, if you notice them drastically self-isolating or withdrawing from friends and family members in general, this could be another major sign of something serious going on.

If your friend seems like they don’t want to be around other people anymore, even the closest of loved ones, it’s time to get help.

Their personality changes drastically

When someone begins going through a major life crisis, it can understandably make them feel like the world is crashing down. But if they start acting this way towards everyone around them, and they don’t have a good explanation for their behavior, this could be a huge red flag.

It might not seem serious at first glance, but when this attitude towards life is constant and doesn’t seem to be changing with time, it’s another sign of potentially suicidal thoughts.

Conclusion

Again, if you notice any of these major warning signs in your friend, try to remain calm and reach out for help. It might be hard to know what to say or do when someone tells you that they’re thinking about suicide, but it’s important to make sure they know that you’re there for them. Even if all you can do is help them find the courage and strength to begin their journey towards recovery, this could save someone’s life.

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