Suicide Warning Signs

Suicide warning signs are not always obvious. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.

  • Talking or writing about suicide. Making statements such as, “I’m going to kill myself,”  “I wish I was dead,” or “I am just so tired of life”.
  • Buying guns or knives, or stockpiling pills
  • Withdrawing from social contact
  • Severe mood swings
  • Thinking constantly about death, dying or violence
  • Depression or a sense of hopelessness
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changing normal routine, including eating and sleeping patterns
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order
  • Saying goodbye to people as if for the last time
  • Personality changes, such as an outgoing person becoming withdrawn, or a well-behaved person suddenly acting rebellious

Additional Risk Factors

  • Stress over school, relationships, expectations
  • Previous suicide attempts — almost half of teens who commit suicide had made previous attempts
  • Family history of abuse, suicide or violence
  • A recent loss such as a death, break-up or parents’ divorce
  • Being bullied or being a bully; Cyber bullying
  • An estimated 75% to 90% of adolescent suicide deaths are associated with mental illness
  • LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) are 4 times more likely to make a suicide attempt than their peers

Learn more, including warning signs that are specific to teens and older adults at Know the Signswww.suicideispreventable.org