Below are examples of clues people thinking of suicide often give when they are feeling desperate and hopeless. One clue may or may not mean a great deal, but any clue is worth exploring.
Direct Verbal Clues
- I’m going to kill myself
- I’m going to commit suicide
- I’m going to end it all
- I want to end it all
Indirect Verbal Clues
- I’m tired of life
- What’s the point of going on?
- My family would be better off without me
- Who cares if I’m dead anyway?
- I can’t go on anymore
- I’m so tired of it all
- I just want out
- You would be better off without me
Coded Verbal Clues
- Soon I won’t be around
- You shouldn’t have to take care of me any longer
- Soon you won’t have to worry about me anymore
- Goodbye, I won’t be here when you return
- Sudden rejection by a loved one
- Recent move
- Death of spouse, child, friend (especially by suicide or accident)
- Diagnosis of terminal illness
- Flare up with friend or relative
- Donating body to a medical school
- Purchasing a gun
- Stockpiling pills
- Putting personal and business affairs in order
- Making or changing a will
- Taking out insurance or changing beneficiaries
- Giving away money and/or possessions
- Changes in behavior, especially episodes of screaming, hitting, throwing things, or failure to get along with family, friends and peers
- Suspicious behavior – going out at odd times of the day or night – waving or kissing goodbye (if not characteristic)
- Sudden interest or disinterest in church or religion
- Scheduling a doctor’s appointment for no apparent physical reason
- Loss of physical skills, general confusion or loss of understanding, judgment or memory
Conditions Sometimes Associated with Suicidal Behavior
- Depression or hopelessness, particularly when accompanied by anxiety
- Drug abuse
- Serious family issues resulting in fights where there has been physical violence or threats of violence
Questions to Ask
- Are you thinking of harming yourself?
- Have you worried about suicide?
- Do you wish you could end it all?
- Do you feel you would be better off dead?