Suicidal Symptoms

When it comes to suicide there are numerous signs to watch for, partly because it is triggered by a variety of factors. Some of those factors are easy to spot and based on everyday behavior. Other factors, however, are much harder to pick up on and can be based on mental illness, changes in a person’s life or even the perils of growing up.

Imminent Symptoms

If you hear someone start to talk about killing themself, it could be a serious sign of unhappiness and a potential imminent suicide attempt. You should take special note if this person has attempted suicide before. Also, watch if a person abruptly begins giving away their belongings, starts putting their affairs in order or has an abrupt change in behavior after a period of calmness.

Medical Problems

Some people who commit suicide suffer from other medical problems that eventually sap their desire to live. Some of these problems can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, insomnia, schizophrenia, alcohol and drug abuse. The New York Times reported that 90 percent of suicides are related to a mental illness.

Among the Young

Suicides are growing among adolescents, according to The New York Times. There are specific symptoms among teenagers to watch out for, including a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, a drop in grades at school, unusual changes in sleeping or eating habits, irritability and a withdrawal from friends.

External Symptoms

A recent loss can trigger a potential suicide attempt. This can be anything from the death of a loved one, a job loss, the end of a romantic relationship or a loss of religious faith. These events can help fuel other symptoms, such as a lowering of self-esteem, a fear that one will lose control and harm someone or a loss of hope in the future.


Behavioral signs can provide clues to someone contemplating suicide. Signs to watch for include a change in personality, a lack of concentration on everyday tasks, fatigue due to a change in sleeping patterns, fluctuations in weight based on appetite and a lack of interest in sexual activity.