Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2004, there was 1 suicide every 16 minutes, 89 suicides per day, and over 32,000 for the entire year. Although there are no official national statistics on attempted suicide, it is generally estimated that there are 25 attempts for each death by suicide. The majority of suicides were committed by firearms followed by poisons. Women attempted suicide three times more often than men; however men were at a four times greater risk of dying from suicide.
Socially isolated individuals are generally found to be at a higher risk for suicide. It has been found that feelings of hopelessness are more predictive of suicide risk than a diagnosis of depression. The majority of individuals who are suicidal often display cues and warning signs.
Warning Signs of Acute Risk:
- Threatening to hurt or kill him or herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself; and/or,
- Looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or,
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.
- These might be remembered as expressed or communicated IDEATION.
Additional Warning Signs:
- Increased SUBSTANCE (alcohol or drug) use
- No reason for living; no sense of PURPOSE in life
- ANXIETY, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Feeling TRAPPED – like there’s no way out
- HOPELESSNESS WITHDRAWING from friends, family and society
- Rage, uncontrolled ANGER, seeking revenge
- Acting RECKLESS or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Dramatic MOOD changesIf observed
Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
American Association of Suicidology