The most tragic thing to happen to an individual is knowing that a close one committed suicide. Not only is it heartbreakingly sad but it also makes you question whether you could have done something to help. Though most of us don’t know what we can do to help people suffering from mental health issues, there are some things we can learn. This World Suicide Prevention Day, TC46 is spreading awareness about some common suicidal behaviour and traits you can watch out for amongst family and friends. Remember, mental health issues need professional help but there are ways you can be there and support someone.
10 Signs You Can Know To Understand Someone Going Through Suicidal Thoughts
1. Changes In Sleeping Patterns
Studies show that constant changes in sleeping patterns can be a sign of suicidal behaviour. You might have heard that someone who is depressed finds it extremely difficult to get out of bed, the same situation might occur to people struggling with suicidal thoughts. They might experience insomnia or can find themselves struggling for hours before waking up and going about their lives. These kinds of changes in sleep might look small but should be addressed when noticed.
2. Accessing Lethal Means
If someone tells you they have bought something dangerous and illegal to have, it might be a cry for help. It can be a gun, some unprescribed pills or drugs, and possession of these items can be a sign that they are having suicidal thoughts. Someone might start taking pills without anyone noticing. So, if you have the slightest doubt, look out for this sign. It’s important to be aware of any lethal means someone you are concerned about may have access to. With access, the risk of suicide goes up.
3. Changes In Behaviour
This is one of the first things you would notice when someone is having suicidal thoughts. There is a sudden change in their natural behaviour. For example, someone who is usually jolly and energetic all the time can appear to be rather dull. They might also have some unusual mood swings, like laughing when they are crying or sometimes crying for no reason. You should keep an eye out for these behavioural changes in your loved ones.
4. Substance Abuse
Someone who is thinking of suicide might end up believing that their problems are bigger than their life. This isn’t true, but they might indulge in self-harm without caring about the consequences. Substance abuse does social, physical and emotional harm and what starts an escape, might make them feel more stuck than ever. So if you know someone who is excessively drinking, smoking or taking any other form of drug a lot, it might be a sign.
5. Emotional Distance
Someone who is feeling suicidal can become detached from life and from other people. They might not feel the emotions as before and feel like they cannot control their own lives. They might isolate themselves and give you unreasonable explanations for not being able to indulge in typical activities they used to be a part of. And while acting differently doesn’t directly indicate suicide but it can be a sign of depression. People who feel depressed lose interest in things they once enjoyed a lot and become dissociated.
Read here how you can motivate a loved one to attend therapy.
6. Mentioning Strong Feelings Of Guilt
One of the most common reasons for suicide is the feeling of guilt. Some people can’t handle their past mistakes or are unable to move forward. This might make them feel like there is nothing to live for. If someone is constantly mentioning their feeling of guilt and shame about something they did in the past, it can be a sign that they are thinking about suicide.
7. Physical Pain
Physical pain is most of the time overlooked as a symptom of depression and suicide but that shouldn’t be the case. Your body reacts according to the way you feel, it tries to point out that something might not be right. So any kind of physical discomfort as in, headaches, stomach upset or body pain can be signs of suicidal thoughts.
8. Saying Goodbye To Friends And Family
If someone is way too emotional saying goodbye and you know that they are going through a tough time, it can be a sign of them having suicidal thoughts. People with suicide on their minds tend to say their final goodbyes to the people they love. So if someone you know is behaving unusually when saying goodbye, it can be a moment of concern.
9. Talking About No Reason To Live
You might come across suicidal people telling you they don’t want to live or that they have no reason to live. That is a clear sign that they need help. Someone who is thinking of suicide thinks that there is no good in life and it’d be better if they weren’t living it, you need to help them realise their worth. You can suggest your loved one seek professional help and get through this hard time in their life.
10. Giving Away Precious Personal Items
This is a sign of people not wanting to do anything with the things they loved at one point. Giving away personal possessions without any particular reason can be an indication that they think after they are gone someone can get great use of the items they love. Their attachment towards these things leads them to do this. This is also a sign to be concerned about.
Suicide Helpline Numbers In India
Connect With A Call:
- iCall – +919152987821
- AASRA – We’re Here To Help – +919820466726
- Jeevan Aastha Helpline – 1800 233 3330
- Fortis Stress Helpline – +918376804102
- HITGUJ Helpline – 02224131212
- Vandrevala Foundation Helpline – 18602662345
- Sumaitri – 01123389090
- Lifeline Foundation – 03324637401, 03324637432
- Saath – +917926305544, +917926300222
- One Life – +7893078930
- Manastha – Online Counselling & Therapy Consultation Platform
- YourDOST – Online Counselling & Emotional Wellness Coach
- HopeQure – Online Counselling & Therapy
- Minderapy – Online Therapy & Counseling Services
- IPH (Institute For Psychological Health) – Mental Health For All
With greater awareness of these and the less subtle signs of suicidal thoughts, it is easier to know when to get help. These were the 10 signs that you can know to care for someone who is in their lowest time. When you start noticing any of these, it’s time you take action. Please note that this is a sensitive situation to be in and should be handled with extreme care and precaution. So make sure you get professional help when required.