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Warning signs

It has already been said that suicide is a very complex phenomenon that depends on many factors. Therefore, it is difficult to give a precise definition of the indicators of suicidal intentions.

Literature often mentions impulsivity as one of the characteristic of persons who have committed or attempted suicide. However, a large number of people who have committed or attempted suicide previously did think about it, deciding whether to do it and plan how, when and where. It is therefore very important to know that signs of this process can often be identified - and that help can be offered or looked for. Studies have shown that about 80% of people who commit suicide show some of the following signs before his/her death:

  • personality changes – they are sad, isolated, sensitive, nervous, tired, indecisive, apathetic, sometimes agitated and hyperactive
  • behavior change -they cannot concentrate on work, school, regular duties, stop taking care of their appearance
  • changes in sleep - sleep too long or have insomnia, wake up very early in the morning, have nightmares
  • changes in eating habits – face lack of appetite and loss of weight, or eat too much
  • lose interest in friends, sex, hobbies, general activities that they enjoyed previously
  • more worried - about money, illness (real or assumed)
  • fear of loss of control - that they will “ go crazy” and harm themselves or others
  • burdened with guilt, shame, self-hatred
  • have no hope for the future - "I'll never get better, I will always feel like this”
  • abuse drugs or alcohol
  • have recently lost a loved one (death, divorce, break up ...) or something else that is important to them (work, money, status, self-confidence, self-esteem, faith ...)
  • arrange their affairs, debts, say goodbye to friends and relatives, give away valuable personal belongings
  • have suicidal impulses, ideas, statements, plans, previous suicide attempts
  • hazardous behavior (careless in traffic, driving under the influence of alcohol ...)
  • were or are victims of violence (physical or sexual)
  • are under criminal investigation / go to jail or out of jail.

Of course, each of these characteristics does not have to mean anything by itself, but a combination of several of them often indicates that there is a risk that a person will commit suicide. If you are concerned about someone and want to help him/her, read the page  'how to help'.