Creekside Physio Blog

These Are The Warning Signs Of Suicide You Need To Know

Posted on: March 27th, 2018 No Comments

Suicide warning signs and risk factors

There’s an average of 10 suicides per day in Canada — and for each death, there are an estimated 20-25 attempts. Depression isn’t the only reason why someone chooses to take their life, so it’s important to understand the risk factors and warning signs should you or someone else have suicidal thoughts.

Who’s At Risk?

Having a risk factor does not necessarily mean you’re going to become suicidal, but it’s a good idea to keep your emotions in check — particularly in times of stress. Ask yourself some key questions to determine whether or not your feelings indicate it’s time to seek help.

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child abuse
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Cultural and religious beliefs
  • Local epidemics of suicide (which is why journalists are discouraged from providing details as to not sensationalize the act)
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness


The Suicide/Seasonal Affective Disorder Link

SAD is a form of depression that occurs with the change of the seasons with winter being the most common period. Symptoms include anxiety, stress, weight gain/loss, guilt, lack of concentration, sleeping problems, negativity, social withdrawal, irritability, and unexplained aches and pains. It’s also not uncommon for those with SAD to have suicidal thoughts or tendencies, so it’s crucial that the disorder is being properly treated. Methods include:

  • Light therapy: A combination of natural light and a light box is best.
  • A healthy diet: This is key since there’s likely to be carbohydrate cravings and potential weight gain.
  • Exercise: Regular activity helps boost mood and increase energy.
  • Create an uplifting home environment: Paint a room in a cheery shade like yellow, add more lighting (fixtures or lamps), bring in live plants and flowers, play lively music.


Common Suicide Signs

If you or someone you know has any of these signs, seek help immediately.

  • Feeling depressed, anxious, and worthless
  • Giving possessions away
  • Talking about wanting to die or kill yourself
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Drinking more alcohol than usual
  • Taking drugs
  • Putting affairs in order
  • Making a will
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Making a suicide plan


What To Do If You’re Suicidal

You may think that suicide is the only option, but it’s just because you can’t currently see other options due to emotional pain that’s clouding your vision. This is why it’s important to let a therapist and counselor help you work through your feelings. Consider these precautionary measures:

  • Make a personal promise not to do anything right away: Put distance between your thoughts and actions and make a pact with yourself with a timeframe attached — e.g., “I won’t do anything for a week.”
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: Suicidal thoughts are intensified when under the influence so non-prescription drugs and alcohol should be avoided at all costs — especially if you have a mental health condition like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
  • Make your home safe: Avoid temptation by removing dangerous items like razors, knives, firearms, and pills. Consider staying with a loved one for awhile if you don’t trust yourself.
  • Don’t keep suicidal thoughts to yourself: While it’s easier said than done, suicide can be prevented by sharing your emotions with someone you trust — professional or non-professional. Don’t let fear and shame be roadblocks to your recovery. Seek help.

It’s likely that the reasons behind why someone is suicidal are treatable, so it’s important to remain hopeful. Visualization and breathing techniques coupled with outreach can be the first steps to recovery. While it may seem like things will never get better, those feelings and emotions are only temporary.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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