How to Know if Someone is Depressed and Suicidal

Depression is the leading cause of suicide around the world because we live in an era where a lot of people suffer mentally because of the problems they face in society. When you are depressed, it can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems that will later affect your ability to function at work and home. Depression is a common and serious illness that negatively impacts the way people feel, think and act. If left untreated, depression can give an individual a sense that his or her life is meaningless and no longer belongs to this world. 

With that thought, so many people eventually take their own lives. According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, a total of 45, 979 died from suicide and 1.20 million people attempted suicide.

To save the lives of your friends and loved ones, here are six ways to find out they are having suicidal thoughts.

  • They Distance themselves from the Society

People with suicidal thoughts tend to believe that they have no place in society. They often miss gatherings and social events because they feel that society is responsible for their state. The thought of hanging out with anyone in public feeds their desire to end their lives, so the only thing they’re interested in is being alone. They are uncomfortable with the idea of being among too many people and no matter how hard you try to get them out, they see more than just their place in society.

  • They distance themselves from friends and family

When one is depressed, they prefer being alone in their own space. Despite your efforts to invite them to dinner or a family meeting, they just don’t want to come. They rarely answer their calls and even when they do, they don’t often talk or answer your questions. Some feel that their families are the cause of their current condition, while others feel that their families cannot help them. It’s important to be mindful of your friends and relatives who tend to distance themselves from their family.

  • They talk less and keep things to themselves

As I said earlier, people who have suicidal thoughts have no desire to communicate with anyone, and even when they do, it’s always brief and straightforward. They are unwilling to have a lengthy discussion. They’re out of touch with the real world. Everything you say to them makes no sense and therefore they have no desire to sink into your communication. When you want to know more about how their day went, they give you an uncomfortable answer and look. If you notice that your loved one is suddenly behaving this way, it’s time to worry and begin communicating with them.

  • They stop taking care of themselves

People with suicidal thoughts stop caring for themselves because their desire to live and function has gone. They always wear the same clothes and have poor sanitation. For some of them, the desire to function as a human being is no longer required. They simply do not care what the public thinks of their appearance, as their present condition harshly reflects what is going on in their lives.

  • They repeatedly try to reach out to you

Those who have suicidal thoughts always try to reach their loved ones. By reaching out, they believe that you are their last hope of survival and that you are the only person they can rely on. They reach out to you more often. Their messages are always like, “Hi”, “How are you”, “I hope you’re all right”, and “How is your family”. When your loved ones are constantly sending you a message this way, then they are trying to reach out for help. You should reach out to them. You might be able to save a life.

  • They indirectly tell you goodbye

When people are suicidal, they say goodbye to you even if they don’t say so in a literal context. They behave like a different person who knows their time is over. When you pay special attention, their behaviour changes to become a more changed person. They start apologizing for all the things they have done in the past. In the final stages, they tend to give instructions on how each in their circle should be accountable to each other. It is as if they are ensuring that things are in order. They say goodbye in their way without disclosing their suicide plans.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where nobody cares for the man or woman next to us. Suicidal individuals are humans like us who have been left behind by their families and society. I believe we may have come across a potentially suicidal victim during our lifetime. If you run into someone who looks suicidal, don’t sweep him away like he’s going to suddenly improve tomorrow. Please make every effort to make them feel valued, or better yet, refer them to a suicide prevention centre. Perhaps it’s because of you that they will live. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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