Warning Signs – Suicide

Two hands reaching for each other.

Suicide is a growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the nation. In 2010 (the most recent year for which reliable data is available), 38,364 suicides were reported. In that year alone, someone died in the U.S. by suicide once every 13.7 minutes or an average of 105 deaths each day.

A person who is contemplating suicide may speak out directly about ending his or her life by making statements like, “I’m going to kill myself.” However, all too often the signs are less obvious, with those suffering making less direct statements like, “I don’t see a way out,” or “I just want the pain to stop.” There are other non-verbal behaviors that may indicate someone is contemplating suicide.

Warning Signs of Suicide

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide, especially if these behaviors are new or begin to increase following a painful event, loss or life changing event.

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself.
  • Researching ways to commit suicide, such as asking or browsing online about ways to buy a gun.
  • Making statements about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped, unbearable pain and/or being a burden to friends and family.
  • Increasing the use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and activities.
  • Demonstrating rage and irritability or talking about revenge.
  • Giving things away, especially prized possessions.
  • Making arrangements or settling one’s affairs.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Obsessing about death.
  • Displaying sudden and unexpected tranquility or happiness.
  • Having intense anxiety or panic attacks.

Decrease suicide risk by seeking professional medical help

A suicidal person requires the immediate care of a doctor or mental health professional. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit a local department of health website to learn about mental health professionals in the area for treatment.

Coping with the death of a loved one

In the unfortunate circumstance that a loved one decides to end his or her life, compassionate, respectful suicide cleanup may be necessary. The professionals at Aftermath lift the burden of responsibility concerning proper cleanup procedures. Professional biohazard cleanup experts provide highly specialized services that comply with all federal, state and local laws. Suicide cleanup is the beginning of the recovery process, so Aftermath Inc. Suicide Cleanup employees are also trained to provide advice on where to seek grief counseling.