NEW YORK --
Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. The following information is provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.
Warning signs of suicide include:Unrelenting low mood Pessimism Feelings of Hopelessness and/or helplessness Desperation Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension Withdrawal from activities that previously afforded pleasure Isolation Sleep problems Irritability Physical complaints: stomach aches, headaches Increased alcohol and/or other drug use Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
Observable signs of serious depression:
Making a plan is a sign: Giving away prized possessions Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications Unexpected rage or anger
The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.