Suicide can be a painful, touchy and even taboo topic. However, awareness, education and erasing the stigma are paramount to prevention. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone—regardless of age, gender, racial identity, income, status or background.
Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020. and second leading cause of death among people ages 10-14 and 25-34, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s estimated from CDC data that from 2015 to 2019, over 10 million adults in the U.S. reported having suicidal thoughts in the last year.
If you have ever experienced suicidal thoughts, know that you are not alone, and that there is no shame in getting help.
By knowing the warning signs of suicide, encouraging others—and ourselves—to seek help when experiencing suicidal thoughts, and sharing where to get help, we can change these harrowing statistics for the better and save lives.
Warning Signs of Suicide & Suicidal Thoughts
- Wanting to die
- Preoccupation with death
- Planning out a specific way (or ways) to end your life
- Feeling trapped
- Feeling intolerable pain
- Severe depressive feelings
- Feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
- Feeling like a burden to others
- Withdrawing from hobbies and interests that once brought you joy
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Constant agitation and/or anxiety
- Giving away treasured personal belongings
- Other behavior of preparing for death, such as drawing a will or writing notes to loved ones
- Increased substance abuse and participating in other risky or reckless behaviors
While not everyone with the aforementioned warning signs/risk factors will attempt suicide, it’s still important to reach out for help if you or someone you know is at risk for suicide—especially if you or they present multiple warning signs of suicidal ideation. For more information on how to approach the subject of suicidal thoughts and ask for help—as well as how to offer help to someone else who may be suicidal—check out this article by Greatist.
Bottom line: If you or a loved one are at risk of suicide, seek help immediately.
How to Get Help
There are resources and options available for those considering suicide or displaying suicidal warning signs.
In addition to emergency suicide resources, therapy can play a key role in recovering from suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses and mental health issues. Valera Health offers comprehensive, quality care for a diverse range of populations, including those ages 6 and up, the LGBTQ+ community, other minority groups and those experiencing acute to chronic mental illness, including those with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI)—including those with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mood and personality disorders. To learn more or schedule a free consultation with a designated Health Connector today, visit www.valerahealth.com or click here.