What behaviors are warning signs for suicide?

Suicide causes problems – immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. Approximately 112 Indians die by suicide per day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24-year-olds and more than 9.4 million adults in India have serious thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months. But suicide is preventable. Suicide is not a mental illness in itself but a major potential consequence of many mental disorders, particularly major depression.

Who is at maximum risk of Suicide?

Suicide rates are highest in teens, young adults, and the elderly. People over the age of 65 have the highest rate of suicide. Although women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to be successful. The risk of suicide increases when a person suffers from a psychological illness, such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or trauma caused by physical or sexual abuse.

Depression is the most important sign:

More than 50 percent of people who commit suicide are suffering from depression or mood disorders, including those linked to drug or alcohol dependency. Paradoxically, some prescription medications for depression can also cause suicidal thoughts in some people, so patients using them must be carefully monitored. Suicide risk also is higher in the following groups:

Warning signs of suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • 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
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings