Suicide: Warning Signs and Risk Factors

Sometimes a suicidal person will give no signs that they plan to commit suicide, but there are some signs that you should know about.

Warning Signs

  • Thinking or talking suicide through, threatening to hurt oneself or thinking of ways to do so
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Substance abuse or increased substance use
  • Purposelessness, no sense of a reason for living
  • Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. “It won’t matter soon anyway”)
  • Anxiety, depression
  • A sense of feeling trapped
  • Anger
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Recklessness, engaging in risky activity without thinking
  • Dramatic changes in mood
  • Hopelessness
  • For someone who has been very depressed, when that depression begins to lift, the person may actually be at increased risk of suicide because the person will have the psychological energy to follow through on suicidal thoughts

Risk Factors

  • Alcohol abuse and dependence
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Drug abuse and dependence
  • Major depression
  • Bipolar depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Hotlines

Suicide Prevention

1-800-SUICIDE [784-2433]

Mental Health Crisis

1-800-273-TALK [8255]

LGBTQ Crisis and Suicide Helpline