Clues of Potential Suicide

By TLC
Posted on October 23, 2013, in Suicide
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Drinking and/or taking drugs
  • Decline in school performance
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Withdraw from others
  • Studying all the time to the exclusion of outside activities and friends, or involvement with one activity to the exclusion of other activities and friends
  • Fighting physically with family members
  • Running away
  • Giving away possessions
  • Some people who are contemplating suicide give away prized possessions and then seem to become happy almost overnight. That can make one assume that their problems have been worked out, but it’s possible that they have decided to end their lives and are now feeling the calm and peace of mind that follows the decision to die.

More Clues

These clues are not all inclusive. In essence, any change in baseline behavior needs to be investigated for the possibility of suicide. It may only be stress related, an appropriate response to a difficult situation, or it could be an indicator of suicide. Trust your instincts and ask if you are not sure.

Direct Verbal Clues

  • “I feel like killing myself”
  • “Sometimes she makes me so mad I feel like hanging (shooting etc.) myself”

Indirect Verbal Clues

  • “Everyone would be better off without me”
  • “If this happens again…”
  • “I just can’t take anymore”
  • “It’s always… It’s never…”
  • Any denial that problems exist when problems are obvious to others

Situational Clues

  • Loss of a relationship, friend, etc.
  • Loss of status (not making grades or team or exclusion from peer group)
  • Divorce of parents
  • Violence within the family
  • Parent over-emphasis on achievement
  • First year of college
  • Period of time immediately following long bout of depression or hard times
  • Physical problems along with changes in behavior or performance
  • Exposure to traumatic experiences

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