Suicide Red Flags: Signs You Should Take your Loved One to a Therapist
Is your friend at risk of suicide? Even if the person has not asked for it, he may still want your help and you could be in the position to prevent something irrevocable and tragic from happening. While there’s no foolproof guide in determining whether an individual intends to take his own life, experts over the years have learned to recognize a pattern of behavior among suicidal people. Below are four warning signs you may need to take your loved one to a therapist for suicide counseling:
- Talks about dying or self-harm – As per government data, 70% of people who commit suicide give people a hint of their plans, if not tell them directly. So, if someone tells things like “I’d better be off dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born” or “Perhaps, in the next life…,” take him seriously. Even if expressed jokingly, it’s still an indicator that the thought has crossed his mind, and it came out as a “slip of the tongue,” as they would say.
- Depression – Is your usually cheerful friend looking blue these days? Does he always appear tired? Is there a noticeable gain/loss in weight? Is he no longer as sharp and focused as before? Does he prefer to spend more time alone rather than go out and socialize? In order to cope, some people even turn to drugs and alcohol, binge-eat, or drown entirely in stupor.
- Internet searches. Web browser histories may also point to clues that someone is contemplating suicide. He may search about methods for self-destruction, read articles about death, suicide stories etc. If he’s not that decisive, he could be engaging in suicide forums and talking to anonymous people in the same situation as he is for relief.
- Settling affairs. You know he’s been depressed these past weeks but then suddenly he emerges from his private world all happy and calm. While it’s a good thing for him to socialize once more, a sudden reappearance, however, may also mean that he has made up his mind to commit suicide. Has he been giving away some of his prized possessions? Reconnecting with friends and families unexpectedly, saying “goodbye” as if they won’t be seeing each other again?
Contrary to popular notion, not all people who commit suicide are mentally deranged. Some of them are grieving for a loss, feeling desperate and trapped, or undergoing extreme emotional pain such that to them, there seems no other escape but death. In truth, these feelings can be managed with professional treatment. If you think a friend has a suicidal tendency, consult with a Newport Beach therapist, such as those from Superior Psychiatric Services, for early intervention.
8 Signs Someone Is at Risk of Suicide, Health.com
Suicide Prevention, HelpGuide.org