Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention

Suicide. It’s a sensitive subject that nobody really enjoys thinking about or discussing. But it’s imperative we don’t shove it under the rug just because it’s uncomfortable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2021, someone died by suicide every 11 seconds. 

And the overall numbers are increasing. 

As one of the top three causes of death for individuals between the ages of 10-34, it’s taking a toll on the younger generations. However, it’s important to understand that depression and suicide do not discriminate based on age, gender, or race. Men and women from various demographics could fall prey to depression and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, there is help available. Please consider seeking depression therapy.

Recognizing the warning signs of suicide ideation and getting help right away is one of the best things you can do for yourself or a loved one. Many individuals struggling with thoughts of suicide may try to hide the warning signs, but educating yourself on what to look for could save a life. 

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If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, immediately getting help is crucial.

Suicide Prevention

Why It’s Important to Spot the Warning Signs of Suicide

Early intervention and support are critical when someone is struggling with suicidal thoughts. Knowing what to look for can save a life and prevent the tragic loss of someone you love. Ignoring the warning signs could have devastating consequences since those contemplating suicide often feel hopeless and alone. Knowing someone actually cares is more helpful than you may think. 

Understanding the importance of spotting the red flags of suicidal ideation empowers you to take action and create a much-needed supportive environment for your friend or loved one. When you intervene early, you can provide resources and assistance, ensuring they receive the help they need.

Remember, suicide should not be taken lightly. While it may be uncomfortable to broach the subject, it’s important not to brush it off. Preventing suicide and supporting those contemplating it requires empathy, compassion, and a willingness to listen without judgment. 

Common Warning Signs of Suicide

Behavioral Changes

While everyone is unique, understanding the warning signs of suicide provides valuable insight into their mental and emotional well-being. There are behavioral changes, verbal cues, emotional and psychological indicators, and social and interpersonal signs to be aware of. 

Behavioral Changes

Changes in behavior can be significant indicators that someone you care about is struggling with thoughts of suicide. These changes can manifest in various ways, including:

  • social withdrawal
  • loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • decline in personal hygiene
  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • reckless behavior
  • substance use

Verbal Cues and Expressions of Suicidal Thoughts

Statements such as “I can’t go on,” “I feel trapped,” “I wish I didn’t exist,” and others like this are significant red flags for suicidal thoughts and should be taken seriously. Pay attention to any direct or indirect references to suicide, as they often indicate a cry for help.

It’s crucial to actively listen without judgment when someone expresses these kinds of thoughts. Encourage open and honest communication while offering reassurance and support. And remember, if someone mentions suicide even in an offhand or casual manner, you should never dismiss it or treat it lightly.

Emotional and Psychological Indicators

Recognizing how someone is truly feeling emotionally and psychologically can be challenging. As mentioned previously, many struggling with difficult thoughts and emotions do what they can to hide them. 

However, some common signs include:

  • persistent sadness
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • sudden mood swings
  • sudden calmness

Social and Interpersonal Signs

It’s crucial to pay attention to changes in social interactions, such as withdrawal from friends and family or a sudden change in their social circle. Individuals at risk for suicide may isolate themselves or show a lack of interest in maintaining relationships that were once important to them. 

Those contemplating suicide may also exhibit a preoccupation with death or engage in behaviors like self-harm or giving away their belongings. These are huge red flags and should be taken seriously. 

How to Respond and Offer Support for Someone Struggling With Thoughts of Suicide

Letting someone you care about know you value them and offering your support can make a significant difference. Again, we understand that discussing depression and suicide can be difficult. But it’s worth some discomfort to potentially save a life. 

Here are some helpful tips for supporting your loved ones struggling with suicidal thoughts:

Stay connected
  • Listen empathetically: Be present and listen to what they say without judgment. Let them know you care about them and that you are there to support them.
  • Take their thoughts and statements seriously: If they mention anything about suicide or not wanting to deal with life anymore, you must take it seriously. Even if they say they aren’t serious, you absolutely must not shrug it off.
  • Ask direct questions: If you’ve noticed warning signs of suicide, don’t be afraid to ask them directly if they are or have considered harming themself. Asking them about it doesn’t increase the risk. Instead, it can help open up a conversation and provide an opportunity for support. 
  • Provide resources: Offer information about crisis hotlines, local support groups, or mental health services where they can get immediate help and ongoing support. 
  • Create a safety plan: Work together to create a safety plan that outlines healthy coping strategies, emergency contacts, and steps to take if they feel in crisis. Having a plan can help them feel more in control and supported.
  • Stay connected: Continuously check in with them and offer your support. Let them know you’re there for them, even if they don’t feel like talking. Be a safe and supportive ally for them to turn to when they need help.
  • Remove access to means: If it’s possible, remove access to items that could be used for self-harm, such as medications, firearms, belts, ropes, and sharp objects. 
  • Take care of yourself: Supporting someone struggling with suicidal thoughts can be emotionally draining. Ensure you prioritize your own self-care and seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
  • Help them secure professional help: One of the most important things you can do when you recognize warning signs of suicide is to help them enroll in mental health treatment. Consider making the initial appointment with them and even attending the first or ongoing appointments to show your support. 

Trust BOLD Health for Depression Treatment in San Diego

Help them secure professional help

Individuals struggling with depression and suicide ideation often feel alone, helpless, and like their only way out of their pain is to end it all. They not only need to know you care about and support them, but they also need professional support. 

Here at BOLD Health, we provide high-quality depression therapy in San Diego. Our physician-led team is composed of experts from varying fields of mental health expertise. We’ll truly get to know and understand your loved one, and what brought them to the point of feeling the way they do so we can tailor their treatment to meet their needs. 

We can help you or your loved one navigate the challenging waters of depression so they can find joy in their life again. Our options for depression treatment in San Diego include:

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There’s no shame in reaching out for help. Left untreated, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide, which could lead to a devastating loss. Don’t wait. Contact us to learn more about our several options for San Diego depression therapy.

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