Warning Signs Of Suicide

There is no single cause of suicide. Similar to how having a reliable circle of friends can serve as protection, certain conditions, such as substance abuse and untreated depression, might increase your risk of suicide. Learn more about the risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs of suicide.

Call 911 or the emergency service in your country if you see or hear the following:

Someone making threats to harm or kill themselves or expressing a desire to die. especially if they possess a weapon or other means of self-infliction.

Attempting to commit suicide by searching for fatal means, either physically or online, when they are depressed.

Someone who discusses death and suicide in speech, writing, or online postings when such topics are unusual for the person.

Know the Risk Factors

Risk factors are factors that increase the likelihood that someone will think about, attempt, or commit suicide. They cannot forecast or cause a suicide attempt, but they must be understood.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

Warning Signs

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Are You or Someone You Know In Crisis?

You are not alone and help is available, dial the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline