The warning signs of suicide

Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs.

The strongest and most disturbing signs are verbal I cant go on, Nothing matters any more or even Im thinking of ending it all. Such remarks should always be taken seriously.

Other common warning signs include:

Becoming depressed or withdrawn

Behaving recklessly

Getting affairs in order and giving away valued possessions

Showing a marked change in behavior, attitudes or appearance

Abusing drugs or alcohol

Suffering a major loss or life change

The following list gives more examples, all of which can be signs that somebody is contemplating suicide. Of course, in most cases these situations do not lead to suicide. But, generally, the more signs a person displays, the higher the risk of suicide.


Family history of suicide or violence
Sexual or physical abuse
Death of a close friend or family member
Divorce or separation, ending a relationship
Failing academic performance, impending exams, exam results
Job loss, problems at work
Impending legal action
Recent imprisonment or upcoming release


Breaking the law
Writing about death and suicide
Previous suicidal behavior
Extremes of behavior
Changes in behavior

Physical Changes

Lack of energy
Disturbed sleep patterns sleeping too much or too little
Loss of appetite
Sudden weight gain or loss
Increase in minor illnesses
Change of sexual interest
Sudden change in appearance
Lack of interest in appearance

Thoughts and Emotions

Thoughts of suicide
Loneliness lack of support from family and friends
Rejection, feeling marginalized
Deep sadness or guilt
Unable to see beyond a narrow focus
Anxiety and stress
Loss of self-worth

If you are worried about someone you know,
make sure you read this page

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