How to Detect Suicidal People
Suicide is a disturbing event that claims the lives of thousands of people each year. It not only destroys the life of the person involved, but can devastate the lives of others who are close to that person. Luckily, some suicides can be prevented through speedy intervention. Intervention depends on being able to recognize risk factors and warning signs that a person may be suicidal.
Recognizing Suicidal Tendencies
Notice if a person is severely depressed. Symptoms of depression include withdrawal from people, sadness, frequent crying, feelings of hopelessness and emptiness, sleeplessness, anxiety and lack of interest in activities that the person used to enjoy.
Ask the person key questions such as: “Have you ever thought about killing yourself? Have you ever attempted it before?” Thoughts of suicide and prior attempts place a person more at risk.
Ask if the person has a plan for carrying out suicide. A specific plan means that the person is much more likely to go through with suicidal thoughts.
Find out if the person has a mental illness or history of substance abuse. Mental illness and substance abuse are risk factors for suicide.
Find out if the person’s family has a history of suicide or violence in general. This also increases the odds that the person might commit suicide.
Talk to the person’s friends and family if he will not answer your questions honestly. Find out if she has been talking about suicide or exhibiting evidence of depression.