If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Suicidal thoughts, ideation and urges can be terrifying for those of us experiencing them, as well as for the people who care about us. When a loved one is depressed, struggling with addictions, or in any kind of crisis, there are some warning signs we can look out for that they may be considering suicide.
An obvious warning sign is talking about ending one’s life, but there are some less obvious ways people might go about communicating this same sentiment. People might say things like “You’d be better off without me, I don’t deserve to live,” or “I can’t take this anymore.” They might speak of feeling hopeless, or of not being able to see any point or meaning in living. They may express that they feel like a burden to the people in their lives. They might describe their pain as being unbearable and themselves as being unable to cope.
They might mix medications or overuse them and take too much, whether prescription or over-the-counter. They may stop taking care of their responsibilities or showing up for work, school or other obligations. They might stop paying their bills, checking their mail or cleaning their home. They may stop communicating with friends and family as usual. They might stop notifying people of their whereabouts or stop checking in altogether. They may start isolating themselves more and avoid having to interact with people.
On the other hand, they may start contacting people to apologize for past mistakes and to make amends. They may reach out to people they haven’t spoken to in years, because they want to come to some sort of resolution before ending their lives. They may demonstrate that they feel unable to forgive themselves.
When people are suicidal, they might start showing less concern for their safety and wellbeing. They might start engaging in more reckless behaviors, more frequently. They may start using drugs or alcohol more than they normally do, and/or drive while intoxicated or under the influence. They might put themselves in other dangerous situations.
Suicidal people might experience heightened depression and anxiety, more frequent panic attacks and major breakdowns in their mental and emotional health. They may feel elevated levels of distress and despair.
These warning signs are only some of the many potential signs of suicidal behavior, and exhibiting these signs isn’t a definitive predictor that the person will be suicidal. The more we can recognize warning signs, the more we can communicate with our loved ones, look out for them and offer our love and support.
Please don’t go it alone. Vista Taos is here to help. Call (575) 586-5078.