Eight out of ten people who kill themselves have usually
given clear signs that they were considering suicide. While these signs can
appear in almost anyone at some point in their life, it’s important to be aware
of them and to take them seriously if they are showing up in the people you
care about, work with, or share with in any way:
Making a threat of suicide (“I wish I were dead,”
“I’m going to end it all.”)
Expressing hopelessness, helplessness, or
worthlessness on a fairly regular basis (“I just don’t matter.” “What’s the
point in trying? Nothing ever works out for me.”
Talking about death a lot, especially if not a
regular subject of their conversations in the past (“I’ll bet being dead is
Having previous attempts at suicide in their
background (that you know about…)
Often seeming depressed, moody, or angry (“Why does
this always happen to me?” “I don’t want to do anything anymore.”)
Having conflict at school, work, or in their personal
relationships (Being bullied is often a precursor to suicide among young
people. Watch for the signs in your child or sibling that suggest he or she is
being mistreated by peers or teachers or others in some way.)
Substance abuse (Studies show that more than half of
all adolescent suicides and attempts are associated with drug and alcohol
Taking high risks (Speeding, going to risky places, no
longer caring about consequences, etc.)
Withdrawing from other people (especially if the
person has usually been fairly social.)
Behaving differently than usual, or in odd ways
Sleep difficulties (usually accompanying other signs)
Loss of appetite (Can also indicate other kinds of
conditions, so monitor closely to see if other signs are present as well.)
Giving away prized possessions (Many who are secretly
contemplating suicide will begin to give away items that they have long held
dear. Jewelry, favorite books, furniture, mementos, cars, even money.)
Suddenly seeming happy after exhibiting several of
the above behaviors (Depression can often change temporarily to euphoria,
especially when the decision to commit suicide has been reached.)
What to do
if you fear someone is suicidal
Take immediate action. Depending upon the urgency of the
situation, call your doctor, hospital, mental health facility, suicide hotline,
or 911. Even if the person gets angry with you, you are doing the right thing.
In 2010, a Facebook friend exhibited several of the signs on
the above list in her posts and comments. After a while, it seemed a bit
serious. I contacted Facebook, and ultimately, the authorities in her place of
residence. I also let some of our mutual Facebook friends know about the
situation. We all agreed that intervention was necessary.
After everything settled down, she expressed extreme anger,
unfriended all of us, and we’ve not heard from or about her since.
My guess is that we probably saved her life. At least we
hope so. Being unfriended was a small price to pay.
You're writing the script. Might as well be the STAR!
“All change results from a change in meaning.” Margaret Wheatley
The number of books, CD sets, and pop therapists who say they can give you the roadmap to happiness is staggering. And I have read at least most of them over the last 30 years. Some have interesting things to suggest, most are pure crap, simple as that. Many are out to make a buck or increase their patient load, or build a mail order business. Some have your genuine interests at heart but it’s not always easy to tell which ones do, which don’t.
They almost all make the whole thing ‘way too difficult, or simplistic, or even radical. “Follow my plan and you’ll be walking on a cloud by sundown.” Yeah, right. Three hundred pages to wade through and at the end, “Now, what did I just read? What am I supposed to do? Too many rules. This is too frustrating!”
Actually, creating happiness is not all that difficult, simplistic, or radical. It’s common sense, really. Read this little group of suggestions for yourself and see if you don’t agree that it’s not only possible, it’s highly probable that by applying even a portion of them, you’ll find yourself feeling a heck of a lot better. And all in only 740 or so words. Good deal, eh?