September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and it highlights the fact that suicide is one of the major causes of death for young adults, which is tragic given that they have their entire lives ahead of them. Suicide is a phenomenon that transcends race, gender or demographics. If you or someone you care for displays or expresses suicidal thoughts, help should be sought immediately.
Indications That Someone May Be Suicidal
While a suicidal individual may make statements which indicate they may kill themselves, this isn’t always the case. Rather than expressing their intentions in words, some individuals instead will show it by their actions. Those that seem extremely aggressive, who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, or who seem to involve themselves in extreme, unnecessary risks which show they have little regard for their lives are likely candidates for suicide.
People rarely wake up one morning and decide to kill themselves; there are usually events in their lives which trigger this reaction. Catastrophic loss, particularly the death of a loved one or friend, or the loss of one’s eyesight, hearing, limbs or other five senses could cause extreme grief that could result in suicidal thoughts. One common trait among those who are suicidal is that they will isolate themselves from friends and family. They may talk about death a lot and not even be aware of it.
There are also red flags which indicate someone is about to kill themselves soon. Friends and loved ones must be aware of these so that they can intervene in time. For instance, if you notice someone you care about suddenly giving away possessions which are prized, things that they would normally never give to anyone, this should be a warning, particularly if they are saying goodbye and putting other affairs in order. Anyone who does these things, who has been depressed for an extended period of time is at greatest risk. In the moments before committing suicide people will often go from being depressed to suddenly happy and relaxed, which can throw off those around them.
Who Is At Greatest Risk of Committing Suicide?
Certain demographics are at greater risk of taking their own lives than others. For example, research shows that people younger than 24 years of age and older than 65 are at greatest risk of ending their lives. Those who are addicted to controlled substances have a much higher risk than those who remain sober. People who are isolated away from family members or friends also have a greatest risk of suicide, but some people are introverted by nature so isolation alone is not a sufficient indicator.
Anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience, including assault, witnessing the murder of a loved one, the theft of something priceless and irreplaceable, divorce, being falsely accused of committing a crime could all be factors that might drive an individual to take their own lives.