Suicide is a difficult topic to discuss amongst your family and friends. If you are having difficulties bringing the topic up to someone close to you and you suspect that they may be suffering internally with potential suicidal thoughts, it is important to speak with one of our professionals at the Grief Recovery Center in Houston.
More often than not, we hear stories of suicide where family and friends of the suicide victim are blindsided by their choice to end their life. And, not to downplay this truth because many suicidal individuals keep their thoughts in isolation and live a double life to hide how they truly feel. But, there are certain signs that are significant to take note of that is significant for those suffering from suicidal thoughts.
When you think that someone you know may want to hurt themselves because of a struggle or challenge that is bringing them to consider committing suicide. At the Grief Recovery Center, we want to help you recognize these signs in adults, as well as in teens and children.
Suicide Risks and Warning Signs in Adults
At the Grief Recovery Center, our counselors often encounter clients that have a higher risk to become suicidal than others. These risks do not necessarily raise the alarms for concern, but they are risks that should be considered when you may be wondering whether a loved one has a possibility of developing suicidal thoughts.
The most prominent of these risks are individuals who have depression and other serious mental as well as chronic medical health conditions. Clients with severe anxieties, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and substance and alcohol abuse disorders are more likely to consider suicide overall.
Other risk factors include individuals who have had a history of physical and sexual abuse, previous suicide attempts, and a family history of mental illnesses. A close friend or a family member’s recent death by suicide can also increase the chances of suicidal thoughts for those closest to the deceased.
Lastly, our expert therapists at the Grief Recovery Center suggest that individuals who are having relationship problems such as a difficult divorce, or a failing relationship, are at a higher risk of developing suicidal thoughts. Overall, risk factors for suicide increase for those experiencing tremendous stressors that they feel like they cannot overcome.
Behaviorally, if you know anyone or have witnessed a close family member or friend behave according to the following, it is vital that you contact one of our Grief Recovery Center’s counselors immediately:
- Extremely depressed moods that are followed by a sudden peace or contentment. Individuals who display this behavior often have the plan to complete their suicide attempt.
- Continuously talk openly about death, or dwell on the topic of dying and committing suicide.
- Updating wills, giving cherished personal belongings away, or saying goodbye or making amends with others.
- Talking about being in despair or being in agonizing pain that they feel is a burden to those around them.
- Extreme mood swings going from depressed, or angry with
Suicide Risks and Warning Signs in Teens and Children
While it is important to take all suicide threats seriously, it is especially vital to pay attention to suicidal statements from teens and children. Immediate treatment should be sought with our Grief Recovery Center’s counselors if your child or teen have expressed any interests in death and suicide.
Some of the risk factors for increased chances of suicide in children and teens can include:
- Depression and other mental health problems in the child or teen, or a parent suffering from depression or other mental health or substance use problems.
- Previous suicide attempts, as well as having a friend, family, peer, or someone they look up to recently attempt suicide or died by suicide.
- History of having a disruptive life or an abusive family life, which can include a history of sexual abuse, being bullied, or alcohol and drug use.
- Insecurity about their sexual orientation.
- Struggles in school academically and socially
Knowing the risk factors are important when it comes to assessing whether our children and our teens are more risks to consider suicide. However, it does not necessarily mean that they will attempt suicide for certain. There are specific behaviors that you can watch for, according to the Grief Recovery Center, if you are unsure whether to be concerned or not.
Children and teens who begin to withdraw from friends and family, and display an immediate change in personality, going from being bubbly to being reclusive and shy may be struggling. It is essential to communicate with them and to seek professional advice at your earliest chance. This is especially the case if they have ever made suicidal statements, or become engrossed with death in their everyday conversations, writing, or drawings.
Although they may not have too many possessions in their youth, teens and children that may be considering suicide may give away their personal belongings that they treasure. They may also begin to display risk-taking behaviors such as cutting for attention, drive recklessly, or being promiscuous.
Our Grief Recovery Center’s counselors also recommend taking note of other disruptive behaviors such as the neglect of personal appearance, fluctuations in hostile behaviors, failing grades, absences from school and social events, and running away from home.
Other red flags include changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits. Huge fluctuations such as overeating or extreme weight loss, or insomnia or oversleeping are signs of a troubled child or teen. They may express feelings of shame, guilt, worthlessness, and/or hopelessness that is very out of character for the individual.
If someone you know has displayed any of the above behaviors, the responsible thing to do is to contact a trained therapist immediately. Although you may want to talk it through with the individual, it is considerably more effective to seek assistance from one of our trained counselors at the Grief Recovery Center. You can contact us at the Grief Recovery Center for more info today.