Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Signs of Suicide

Have you noticed disturbing behavior in a friend and think there’s a chance that he or she is thinking about suicide? There are three degrees of severity when discussing suicide. (See previous blog for points one and two.)

1. Call 911 if someone actually attempts suicide.
2. Get your friend to a trusted adult or professional if he or she is seriously contemplating suicide.
3. There are kids who have passing thoughts about suicide

This may be your concern for your friend. He or she may exhibit certain symptoms of suicidal thinking. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, your friend may be on the threshold of seriously contemplating suicide:

1. Does your friend have an unhealthy fascination with death - talking about death, asking questions about death, listening to music or watching videos related to death or dying?

2. Is your friend giving away possessions, cleaning out his or her locker at school, or doing other things that suggest he or she is preparing for death?

3. Is your friend depressed most of the time?

4. Has your friend exhibited sudden changes in behavior, such as acting out or becoming violent?

5. Is your friend often moody or withdrawn?

6. Does your friend want to sleep all the time, or does he or she complain about not being able to sleep?

7. Is your friend often fatigued?

8. Does your friend take dangerous risks, such as driving recklessly or playing with knives or guns?

While these conditions do not necessarily mean that your friend is about to commit suicide, they may indicate that he or she is thinking about it as a way out. You are wise to share your concerns with your youth leader, minister or parent, and discuss what to do. Now is the time to respond proactively.

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