In 2010, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. claiming 38,357 lives. Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal people desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems. Most suicidal people give definite warning signs of their suicidal intentions, but others are often unaware of the significance of these warnings or unsure about what to do with them.
Facts About Suicide
- Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, 2nd among persons aged 25-34 years, 4th among persons aged 35-54 years and 8th among persons 55-64 years.
- There is one suicide for every 25 attempts.
- Females have more suicidal thoughts and attempts than men, but men are more likely to die from suicide than females.
- Talking about suicide does not cause someone to become suicidal.
- Suicide occurs across ethnic, economic, social and age boundaries.
- People who have a dependence on alcohol or drugs in addition to being depressed are at greater risk for suicide
- Over 90% of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
- People with a history of trauma (e.g., childhood abuse or combat experience) are at increased risk of suicide
- Talk about suicide, death and/or no reason to live, express a sense of hopelessness
- Seeking firearms, pills or other means to commit suicide
- Have a recent severe loss of the threat of a loss
- Withdraw from friends/social activities
- Lose interest in hobbies, school, etc.
- Prepare for death by making out a will, or giving away prized personal possessions
- Increased substance use
- Dramatic mood changes
- Take unnecessary risks; be reckless, and/or impulsive
- Have a history of a suicide attempt
- Have a physical illness
- Have been “unwilling” to connect with potential helpers
Nearly everyone at some time in his or her life thinks about suicide. Most everyone decides to live because they come to realize that the crisis is temporary, but death is not. On the other hand, people in the midst of a crisis often perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. Frequently, they:
- Can’t stop the pain
- Can’t think clearly
- Can’t make decisions
- Can’t see any way out
- Can’t sleep, eat, or work
- Can’t get out of the depression
- Can’t make the sadness go away
- Can’t see the possibility of change
- Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
- Can’t get someone’s attention
- Can’t seem to get control
If you experience any of these feelings; get help!
If you know someone who exhibits these feelings, offer help!
Because many suicidal people are not thinking clearly or rationally, they may be quite attracted to a permanent resolution to what is only a temporary problem.
Talk to someone. You are not Alone.
- A community mental health agency
- A family physician
- A school counselor or psychologist
- A suicide prevention/crisis center
- A private therapist
- A religious/spiritual leader