I think we make light of suicide in this generation. I have followed people on social media who constantly talk about suicide and I always brushed it off because I thought the were just looking for attention or something. In my head, I thought that if somebody really wanted to kill themselves, then they would do it without telling anybody. Boy was I wrong!!!
I have been hearing about a rise in suicide stories lately, and it seems like the people who are actually committing suicide are getting younger and younger. I remember about 10 years ago, I had a friend who’s daughter committed suicide. His daughter was only 14 years old at the time she passed away. It was so sad because I met her on few occasions and she was SO BEAUTIFUL and such a sweet girl. Her dad told me the reason she committed suicide is because her parents were going through a divorce and she wanted to live with her dad but didn’t want to leave her younger brother. She felt like she was being forced to choose and she hung herself. Looking back I wonder if there were any warning signs. A lot of times as parents, we don’t realize how much our actions affect our kids.
Here are a list of signs and behaviors to be aware of and that might suggest someone being at risk of suicide include – but are not limited to:
- Direct and indirect verbal expressions: “I don’t want to live anymore”, “there is nothing to live for anymore”, “people will be better off without me”
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Increase in drug and alcohol use
- Risk taking behavior
- Agressive, impulsive and/or violent acts
- Expressions of hopelessness and purposelessness
- Lack of self care or outright neglect of self
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling tired most of the time
- Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight
- Changes in eating and sleeping pattern
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and interests
- Giving away prize possessions and/or making a will; tidying up personal affairs; writing notes; making notes on belongings
- Reconnecting with old friends and extended family as if to say goodbye
- Previous unresolved or recent suicide attempt(s)
- Unusual happiness and peace after an intense period of turmoil and displaying the above characteristics
If you know anybody who may be experiencing any of these issues, let them know that you care about them. Also, call 1-800-273-TALK to be connected to a crisis center, says the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. A lot of times, they are actually reaching out for help in their own way.