How to Recognize the Signs of a Suicidal Person
After reading an article on today’s National News and writing a post today, I decided it might be helpful to somebody somewhere to talk about the signs of suicide. It’s something we are taught in school, but as adults, I think it’s something that is important enough to be reminded of.
Here are some of the Signs of a Person Contemplating Suicide:
– Talks about dying (whether talking about dying, harming oneself, disappearing – this can be done in a joking or serious manner)
– Having no hope in the future (thinking that things will never change or get any better)
– Losing interest in things (when the person loses interest in things that he or she used to enjoy)
– Giving away possessions or saying goodbye (the person may also make last minute changes, such as changing his or her will and putting affairs into order)
– Change in personality and behavior (becoming sad, irritable, anxious, and withdrawing from those around him/her; also not being able to concentrate on tasks, school, or work)
– Change in sleeping and eating patterns (having nightmares and insomnia; loss of appetite and weight or overeating)
– Low self-esteem (this includes feeling worthless, having an overwhelming sense of guilt, making statements like “the world would be better without me”)
If you notice someone with these signs, what should you do?
– Take them seriously! If someone is exhibiting any of the above signs, take them seriously! Listen to them and what they are saying. Don’t try to talk them out of it, just listen to them. Help them to know that you care and are there for them as a friend.
– Call a Suicide Hotline! 1-800-SUICIDE is one I found online that may be helpful.
– Remove dangerous objects! DO NOT leave them alone! Remove any dangerous objects, including weapons or drugs he or she could use.
– Encourage him or her to seek counseling. Be supportive of the counseling and if he/she has to take antidepressants.
I found this very interesting if you are contemplating whether a person is suicidal. P.L.A.I.D.P.A.L.S. It stands for:
Plan – Do they have one?
Lethality – Is it lethal? Can they die?
Availability – Do they have the means to carry it out?
Illness – Do they have a physical or mental illness?
Depression – Chronic or specific incidents?
Previous Attempts – How many? Were they recent?
Alone – Are they alone? Do they have a support system?
Loss – Have they suffered a loss? Such as a job, relationship, death, esteem?
Substance Abuse or Use – Drugs, alcohol, or medicine?
I feel like this is relevant and important information we should all know so that we can help those around us who might need it the most.