September is suicide prevention month, and with that in mind, medical professionals are asking people to look out for these signs.
September is suicide month, and what you may not know about suicide is that it takes more lives than homicides and natural disasters every year — and here are five major warning signs that a loved one is close.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 to 24 in the United States, and in most cases it is tied to poorly treated or untreated mental illness, such as depression. For September, national organizations are attempting to bring awareness to suicide and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) to let people know that this is a problem and it should be one people should watch out for.
The first and obvious sign of suicide that surprisingly goes ignored a lot is talking about wanted to die or about killing oneself. Many people often dismiss this as a cry for attention and that the person wouldn’t really do that, dismissing the idea that the person is that unhappy to commit such an act, but this is the best sign that someone may commit suicide. They will often talk about feeling hopeless or say they have no reason to live, or that they feel trapped and that they are a burden to others.
Another sign is an increased usage of alcohol or drugs. People often turn to illicit substances or alcohol to ease the pain they feel, and when that no longer proves to be enough, they may feel that suicide is the only option.
A third sign may be sleep disruptions. The person could suffer from either insomnia or from oversleeping. Both are symptoms of a problem, whether it be anxiety keeping one from falling asleep or the inability to drag oneself out of bed to face the day.
A fourth sign is when the person has become withdrawn or isolated, not going out or talking to people they used to enjoy hanging out with.
A fifth sign is huge emotional swings. They may suddenly fly into a rage, or burst into tears. They may lash out at people for little things, and break down at the drop of a hat.
If you suspect that a friend or loved one might be in danger of suicide, you should urge that person to see a doctor or mental health professional. If it’s an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).