How to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Suicide

On World Suicide Prevention Day, we would like to bring awareness to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest statistics. Suicide rates have sharply increased in the last couple of years and rates in half of the states have increased more than 30%. According to the CDC, there has been an increase across age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Additionally, 54% of those who committed suicide did not have a known mental health condition. With this in mind, here are risk factors and symptoms to recognize to help prevent suicide in loved ones.

Risk Factors for Men and Women

We sat down with AdvantageCare Physicians’ psychiatrist, Dr. Seth Resnick, who explained to us that suicide among males is four times higher than amongst females and that Caucasian males over the age of 85 are at the greatest risk for suicide in the country right now. Risk factors that put individuals at a higher risk for suicide include:

  • Social isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Unemployment
  • Military-related trauma
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Mood disorders

It is important to be aware that females are actually more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts as they experience depression at roughly two times the rate of men.

Prevention

You can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs. The following signs may mean that someone is at risk for suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
  • Behaving recklessly; acting anxious or agitated
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, talk to them and help your loved one get the support that they need.

For more information on mental health and available services, visit EmblemHealth. And if you are in need of immediate help, call the 24-hour, toll-free, confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

Additionally, NYC Well has a staff of trained mental health professionals that operate free and confidential services that are available 24/7 via phone, text, and online chat: 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355).

Resources
NYC Health: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/suicide-prevention.page
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/vs-0618-suicide-H.pdf