The world is a wonderful place to live in and achieve a spectrum of goals, however, that does not mean everybody is enjoying every minute of it. People have to go through inconveniences, hardships, betrayals and suffering – some more than others. All these negative stimuli can disturb the chemical balance in our body and leave a person in an abysmal state of dismay.
Suicide is the intentional and conscious killing of oneself. Suicide has been a taboo subject throughout the ages, however, due to constantly increasing number of cases, it is being openly talked about nowadays so that those who are at risk of committing suicide can be helped. This is also done so that in case they reach out to others for help, they can be understood and given proper attention.
Suicide may happen in a day but the events that lead up to it are often insidious. Looking out for these warning signs can help you identify those close to you who might be fighting an internal battle.
Following are some actions which may or may not precede suicidal thoughts, feelings or tendencies:
- Previous attempts at suicide: If someone close or anyone in general is known for previous suicide attempts, then there is a high chance that they would make another attempt.
- Death-obsessed: If someone mentions death a lot or likes to talk about the subject, then be wary of what they might be considering. Be especially attentive if they also tend to have knowledge about the weapons or means of committing suicide.
- Broaching suicide: If someone casually mentions that they plan to commit suicide, then you should be alarmed. Most people who have committed suicide entrusted their secret to someone, and that someone might be you. Do not cause a panic or attack them with accusations but keep a note of it and try to approach the matter subtly.
- Possession of weapons or means of suicide: Normally people do not possess guns (unless you live in America). Guns are overrated and belong with people who are responsible for protection and security. If someone you know have a gun without any good use like game hunting or being a person of uniform, then you should know that there is no point in keeping a gun. Make sure they are mentally healthy. If not, convince them to seek therapy and lend them an ear in their time of need.
- Depression: Not everyone has the best of times in life. Some situations are too hard, whereas some have it harder due to the imbalance or a depression of chemicals. Those who are depressed get tired of the standstill in life and the constant reminder from those who are ignorant to ‘move on’ and ‘stop being lazy'. They are going through a mental illness and their power if decision is also altered. If you know someone who is depressed, be kind to them and convince them to get therapy.
- Excessive cleaning: It is known that those who are interested in committing suicide try to clean their traces from the world. They start by cleaning their room and removing marks of their existence in hopes that people are not bothered by their remainders. If someone you know, who is going through hard times, and suddenly starts cleaning excessively, then be concerned.
- Lethargy: Depression does not simple mean a depression of mood. Depression is actually the depression of neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain. Due to which all activities in the body slow down, or become depressed. A person suffering from depression will be lethargic. Or perhaps someone who is considering suicide would want to rest themselves before the time of suicide so that their body is prepared for that high-stress situation. Either way, be mindful of it.
- Booze and drugs: Drugs are a gateway or an escape from reality. Those who are not satisfied with life often turn to alcohol and drugs to keep them preoccupied so that they do not have to deal with the bother of their miserable circumstances. Those who seek temporary escape can also eventually turn to a permanent escape as well. They can commit suicide to achieve this.
- Apologizing: If someone is suddenly constantly apologizing to everyone around them for every little thing they did then be careful of them. They might be treading towards the road to taking their life. By apologizing they might be trying to finish unfinished business in life so that they can slip away.
- Writing a will: If someone you know is suddenly very concerned with getting their will written – or even rewritten – it may be concerning. Sometimes things like this are normal if they’ve experienced the passing away or someone close or perhaps have been advised legally. Yet, one can never be too sure and this must not be dismissed as something ordinary.
- Goodbye notes: Man is a social animal and hence, makes a lot of connections over time. We chat, we spend time together and we make memories. We meet up and say goodbye until we meet again. However, if someone is meeting just to bid someone farewell without any apparent reason, then be suspicious of it. This person might be planning a farewell of their own. Do not brush off this major sign.
- Visits: Sometimes someone develops an affinity with someone and hold them very dear. Those who are thinking about committing suicide may be indecisive about the whole ordeal because they feel like they want to spend more time with a certain person and can not bear the thought of parting with them so soon. If someone is paying frequent visits to someone, it may perhaps be just because of a blooming friendship or something normal but it is still of consideration.
- Becoming aloof: Parting front the world and cutting everyone off can make it easier to depart from the world. If someone is becoming aloof, then care should be given to bring them back to all the pleasures and good friends life has to offer.
- Extreme activities: Taking risks and engaging in extreme sports can end up causing an injury, especially if a person intends to be injured – perhaps a means of suicide which people can label as a sudden death.
These are some signs that can serve as a warning to screen those at risk of committing suicide. These signs are subtle and may or may not be used individually as indicators. Most often, a combination of these may be apparent.