Prevent Suicide: Know the Warning Signs
September is recognized as National Suicide Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young adults in the United States, and the tenth leading cause of death overall.
But mental health professionals say that most suicide cases can be prevented. And family and friends often have an opportunity to catch warning signs before a person actually commits suicide.
“It’s important to learn the warning signs that could signal suicide,” said Eugene Sun, MD, psychiatrist at Archbold’s Northside Center for Behavioral and Psychiatric Care. “People contemplating suicide may begin talking about feeling empty or alone. They may also talk about being a burden to others, and eventually will withdraw from family and friends.”
Warning signs will begin to become more apparent as the suicidal person oftentimes will discuss killing themselves to others, even giving away belongings that are important to them.
“Noticing these few warning signs could save a life, and it is important you seek help immediately for your loved one,” said Dr. Sun.
Dr. Sun said that individuals may often benefit from medication, so it is important they meet with a doctor to determine what medication is the best fit. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy, can also be very beneficial in helping people discover new ways to deal with stressful situations.
Family and friends often have an opportunity to catch warning signs before a person actually commits suicide. If someone you know exhibits the following warning signs, you should seek medical help immediately to prevent suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Talking about being a burden to others or being trapped
- Increase use of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Acting reckless
If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call Archbold Northside Helpline at 229-228-8100