Today, 130 Americans will take their own life. Tomorrow, another 130 will. A life is lost to suicide every 11 seconds in this country.
Almost everyone knows someone who has died by suicide, tried to commit suicide or a family who lost someone to suicide. There are subtle and not-so-subtle warning signs of suicide that we should all know. As Ivanhoe reports, we could end up saving someone’s life.
“Natalie was 22 years old when she took her own life,” shared Marie Dudek Brown.
Suicide doesn’t discriminate. But most of its victims have one thing in common …
“Ninety percent of people that die by suicide have a mental illness,” stated Denisse Centeno Lamas from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Depression, substance use disorders, and psychosis are the most relevant risk factors. That’s why it’s important for loved ones to know the signs. Some are easier to see …
“Giving their possession away, talking about suicide, writing about suicide, being impulsive,” continued Lamas.
Then there are the subtle signs, including changes in sleeping patterns, changes in behavior, they may become emotionally distanced at home or at work. And be aware if they have a new interest in accessing lethal means … not just purchasing a gun, but stockpiling pills. If you notice any of these things, experts say it’s OK to ask them about it.
“Research has proven just by talking about suicide, you won’t put the idea on the person. On the contrary, you will give some relief to that person who actually wants to die by suicide and wants to open up,” Lamas revealed.
And talking about it is the first step to stopping it. For every one suicide, there are 25 attempts. That’s 25 times someone survived. Maybe the next attempt is someone you could save.
According to the CDC, men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.