Suicidal Thoughts

Suicide – Warning Signs And Prevention

“Although suicide often seems to occur without warning, the reality is that eight out of ten people who take their own lives do give warning signs. The problem is, most people don’t know those signs.” –
Vanita Halliburton, Founder of the Grant Halliburton Foundation

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death overall in the United States and the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Suicide kills more teens and young adults than any disease process.

Overall, almost 40,000 Americans commit suicide every year.

Depression occurs more commonly in individuals with other psychiatric conditions, including substance abuse, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, and PTSD — just to name a few. The good news is that these mental health issues can be managed successfully with medication and therapy, experts agree. The bad news is that only about 4 in 10 people experiencing mental health challenges receive services, according to the SAMHSA report.

“There’s almost this myth if you talk to someone about whether he or she is suicidal, that will increase the risk, which is totally not true. Most of the time, people are relieved when you ask them. It’s a secret they’ve been keeping that they’re scared of. When they talk about it, you can help create a plan for them to feel better and to address the problem.”

If you feel a loved one may be considering suicide, pay close attention to their talk, behavior, and mood:


If a person talks about:

  • Wanting to die or kill themselves
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden
  • Feeling trapped and hopeless
  • Experiencing unbearable pain


A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acting recklessly.
  • Withdrawing from activities.
  • Isolating from family and friends.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Aggression


  • Depression
  • Loss of interest.
  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anxiety


If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the following signs, please seek help:

  • Sense of hopelessness about the future
  • Drastic changes in behavior or personality
  • Uncharacteristic impulsiveness, recklessness or risk-taking
  • Expressions of rage, uncontrolled anger, aggressive behavior
  • Preoccupation with death, dying or suicide through writing, artwork or talking
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Extreme anxiety or agitation; inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • A recent severe stressor, such as real or anticipated loss of a relationship, unplanned pregnancy, victim of bullying or family conflict
  • A previous suicide attempt or exposure to another’s suicidal behavior

SOURCE: Grant Halliburton Foundation
(409) 200-2220

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