S uicide is not a mental illness; however it can be a tragic outcome for someone who is experiencing mental health issues as well as life events that leave them feeling hopeless, helpless and desperate.
It is also something that people are afraid or embarrassed to talk about.

If you are concerned that someone you know is thinking about suicide, look for the warning signs and talk with the person directly. If necessary take them to a medical professional.

Warning Signs for Suicide
Of course the most important warning signs for suicide include the person talking about killing or hurting themselves. People on the edge of suicide also often talk or write a lot about death or dying, and seek out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, like weapons and or drugs.

These signals are even more dangerous if the person has a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder or if the suicidal person drinks too much (is an alcoholic), has previously attempted suicide, or has a family history of suicide.

It is a good idea to take any suicidal talk or behaviour seriously. It’s not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide—it’s often a cry for help.

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings could save a life.It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs.

More Warning Signs of Suicide
• Preoccupation with death
• Suddenly happier, calmer
• Loss of interest in things one cares about
• Visiting or phoning people to say goodbye
• Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order
• Giving possessions away

It is always hard on those left behind. They have to deal with the feeling that they could have done more. Often there are religious taboos associated with suicide that bring shame on the families. All this contributes to feelings of guilt for those who are left behind.

Noticing the Signs
About 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. However, a suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most people who commit suicide don’t want to die—they just want to stop hurting.

If you are the person who is thinking about suicide, you should know that others have been where you are and have regained their will to live after reaching out and sharing their feelings with a trusted person.

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