prominent warning signs of suicidal tendency and immediate actions to be taken.
Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior
YOU might have heard a friend or family member utter the phrase, “I want to die!”, desperately and in frustration. The situation would be above the level of help you are able to give them. Still you are concerned about the fact that the dear one is at loss. Suicidal tendencies always arise when a person feels he is at the rope’s end and wants to let go too. Not all individuals with the suicidal tendencies tend to verbalize the wish. But there are certain common behaviors exhibited by depressed person with suicidal inclination, that help us identify the condition before the tragedy occurs. Here are some tips that will surely help to identify the individuals at the brink of self-induced death:
1. Emotional State
The most evident mood presumably is depression. Person will not laugh or joke, facial expression is gloomy and verbalizations are pessimistic in general, especially when relating to self. There is only one situation where a suicidal person will speak hopefully, which I will come to soon. Outburst of anger or crying over minor issues can be frequent.
The person’s imaginations and thoughts focus on successful methods of ending life. They may also verbalize their thinking by asking questions like, “Do you think getting hit by a truck hurts much?” or “Taking how many of these tabs, do you think, will be fatal?”
The person is generally restless. He/ she lacks concentration, yet is preoccupied. These individuals can also be seen making arrangements to settle their personal, family and other matters. They may pay off their debts, sell properties, join for family insurances and write their own wills, and even try to fulfill their loved one’s wishes they were so against till then. The person can also be found writing depressing poems and sad stories which cumulate in death of the core characters.
4. Eating and Sleeping Habits
Extremes of behaviors are seen in either of the cases. Depressed persons can hog or starve. They can have insomnia or sleep for hours, not even eating or bathing. Sleeplessness is due to anxiety, and over-sleeping is due to incapability to face life while awake.
The person has very low self-esteem and no motivation feelings at all. Words like,” I can’t go on”, “I am a loser”, “why try when I am bound to fail?” are common. These individuals will not usually have a goal to live for. They also feel that other people find them disgusting, a burden or ‘less than human.’
6. Past History of suicide
Individuals who have tried once to do self-murder are the one’s who try again. If any of your loved one has escaped suicide, be watchful, as there is a very high percentage of chance that they will try again, unless the situation changes.
7. Change of mood
Note well when a person who was feeling down for a long time suddenly gets happy and light-hearted. It can mean that they have decided on carrying out their suicidal plan. They will suddenly be carefree and jocular. These changes will be a relief to the family member, as they consider that the person is at last getting back to life, when indeed the reverse is imminent.
PS. Another method of suicide is Passive Suicide. The person may starve or fall asleep in a bath-tub or sink.
So what should we do if we diagnose a suicidal predisposition? Talk with the person. Ask if they have any such thoughts. Don’t have the misconception that asking such a thing will instill the negative idea in the person. They don’t. Most cases the individual will admit if he/she has the reflection. Don’t over react, but be sympathetic But never promise confidentiality in such a situation. Tell family/friends responsible, seek medical or psychiatric help as soon as possible. Remove all harmful, dangerous and sharp objects like bed sheets, revolver, knife, blades, medicines, belts, class items, away from the person. Always have someone to watch over the person and never leave him alone.