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Often, what appears to be a singular, external pressure or occurrence is merely “the last straw” when added to ongoing stressors, depression and/or hopelessness.  Suicide is the result of a long-term “wearing-away”, an erosion of a person’s ability to cope.  The more warning signs shown and risk factors present, the higher the risk.

Warning Signs

  • Acting differently than they normally do
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as 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 feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Giving away possessions

Risk Factors

  • Previous Suicide Attempt
  • Problems with school or the law
  • Breakup of a romance
  • Unexpected pregnancy
  • A stressful family life. (having parents who are depressed or are substance abusers, or a family history of suicide)
  • Loss of security…fear of authority, peers, group or gang members
  • Stress due to new situations; college or relocating to a new community
  • Failing in school or failing to pass an important test
  • A serious illness or injury to oneself
  • Seriously injuring another person or causing another person’s death (example: automobile accident)
  • Major loss…of a loved one, a home, divorce in the family, a trauma, a relationship

Suicide victims are not trying to end their life – they are trying to end the pain!