Suicide is the act of killing yourself, most often as a result of depression or other mental illness (www.apa.org).
How to determine if a person is suicidal
A suicidal individual will begin to lose interest in work or school, give away beloved possessions, talk to himself, withdraw from friends, or look around with suspicion. For an individual that does these and tells you that he is considering ending his life by committing suicide, you may consider the following intervention:
Ask these questions with caution. Don’t be judgmental:
• You must be overwhelmed by all that is happening. Am I right?
• How are you coping with life?
• Do you, at any time, feel hopeless?
• Do you feel like just giving up?
• What will you say about hopelessness?
• Do you think of hurting yourself?
• Are you thinking about dying lately?
• Are you thinking about suicide now?
• Have you ever thought of committing suicide before?
• What is your knowledge of suicide?
• Are you keeping any weapon with which to hurt yourself?
What are the common suicidal statements?
These are some of the common statements of a suicidal individual:
• “Life is nothing to me”
• “I can take my life if I want”
• “I wish I was never born”
• “I don’t deserve to live any longer”
• “Live is boring”
• “I wish I were dead”
Symptoms of Suicide
A suicidal individual may engage in one or several of these acts:
• Keeping a lethal weapon
• Buying prescription pills that are strong and dangerous for overdose
• Withdrawal from others
• Mood swing
• Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
• Changing normal routine
• Engaging in risky behavior and bidding people farewell.
Suicidal acts are dangerous and death may not be reversible. If you are considering suicide, please speak with a professional counselor.
© Copyright 2021
Dr. Silas Falokun is the coordinator of the Prison Rehabilitation Ministry International (PREMI) in North and South America. He is a behavior interventionist and an expert in prison matters. He is an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.