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Mental Health

Suicide Prevention: Know These 4 Warning Signs

Trigger Warning/Disclaimer: Suicide 

September is a month full of healthcare awareness, and this includes suicide prevention. Suicide is a painful subject, but it is necessary to understand it. Suicide does not have one single cause, but just a few causes could include a heartbreak, unstable food or home security, a broken home, social pressure, a loss of a loved one, undergoing a crisis, or a long battle with mental illness. The reality of suicide is that it happens too often, it truly is heartbreaking how many people relate to the subject in different ways. 

One significant way to prevent suicide is to acknowledge the warning signs; these can be warning signs you notice from yourself or from those around you. The more you notice that you or someone you know are experiencing these things, the higher the chances of you reaching out for help. 

Before we get into the warning signs, please note that it can be hard to pick up on these signs for those around you because those who have been dealing with mental illness have learned how to hide these feelings. Because of this, think about those in your life who have recently spent less time with you or have been inactive in social media and life. If someone comes to mind, check in on them. 

Changes In Behavior

There are many changes in one’s behavior that could be a suicidal warning sign. This could include extreme mood swings, unstable sleep patterns, or increased boredom and uninterest in life. If you notice someone experiencing major highs and lows in significant aspects of life, this could be a warning sign. The list is not limited, but these are significant changes that tell people that something is off.

Withdrawal From People and Life

This is the isolation warning sign. An example of this could be inviting a friend to hang and the friend says they cannot, however it goes to the point where they decline every plan to get together.  Someone who is feeling suicidal most often withdraws from friends and social life because the energy to bring to these events are lively and they become too draining and exhausting to attend. Because of this, they often spend the majority of their time alone and isolated.

Feeling Like A Burden

This most commonly refers to the phrase “they will be better off without me.” A person feeling suicidal believes they are more of a problem than a person, and because of this the burden of simply existing for others to help becomes too hard to deal with. It can be hard to notice that others do in fact care about one’s well-being.

Giving Away An Important Possession

This is one of the most well-known warning signs of sucide. This could be giving away their favorite necklace or ring, or any object that has personal and deep meaning. When this happens, a person thinking about suicide wants someone they love to have something to remember them by.

Please note that the list is not limited and there are other warnings to notice, but these categorize very prominent signs. If you are feeling like you relate to these signs, know there is no shame in feeling this way and no shame in reaching out for help. You are not alone, even if you believe so. There are a multitude of resources online, and so many people who want to help if you reach out to them. If you read these signs and someone you know came to mind, reach to them, even if you are scared to.  Do not invalidate their feelings or make them feel worse for feeling this way. Let them know you are there to help in any way possible. 

We are not alone. There is always hope. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Georgia Crisis and Access line: 1-800-715-4225

Crisis text line: 741741

I'm Natalia Duron, a freshman at KSU and a Journalism and Emerging Media.
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