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Forum staff reports, Published March 17 2014
Danger signs of suicide crisis
A suicide crisis is a time-limited occurrence signaling immediate danger of suicide. The signs of crisis are: A recent event that is particularly distressing, such as loss of loved one or career failure. Signs of depression, rage, psychic pain or inner tension, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, acute sense of abandonment. Changes in behavior, such as speech suggesting the individual is close to suicide. Be alert to such statements as, “My family would be better off without me.” Sometimes those contemplating suicide talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away. Actions ranging from buying a gun to suddenly putting one’s affairs in order. Deterioration in functioning at work or socially, increasing use of alcohol, other self-destructive behavior, loss of control, rage explosions.
What to do Take threats and attempts seriously. Seventy-five percent of all suicides give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member. Be willing to listen. Ask what is troubling them and persist to overcome any reluctance to talk about it. If your friend or loved one is depressed, don’t be afraid to ask whether he or she is considering suicide, or even if they have a particular plan or method in mind. Do not attempt to argue anyone out of suicide. Let the person know you care, that he or she is not alone, that suicidal feelings are temporary, that depression can be treated and that problems can be solved. Seek professional help. In the Fargo-Moorhead area, call (701) 232-HELP.
Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention