One-third of people who take their own life never communicate their intentions to anyone. However, suicidal people often show symptoms that you can recognize as warning signs. Here are 5 common signs we’ve encountered while helping the young women in our program:
1. Lost Interest in Hobbies and Passions
Your daughter might appear to have completely checked out or disengaged with life. She is no longer interested in pursuing the activities she loves or the hobbies that made her happy.
2. Struggles With Depression or Other Mental Disorder
90% of young women that commit suicide struggle with depression or some other type of mental disorder. Sometimes it is hard to tell if your daughter has depression. Some common signs are:
- Cries a lot without knowing why
- Sleeps too little or too much
- Frequently sick, has headaches or body pains
- Numbs pain by seeking immediate gratification (substance abuse, over-eating, sex, shopping, cutting or other self-mutilation, etc.).
3. Attempted Suicide in the Past
About 20% of people who have died by suicide have made a prior attempt. If your daughter has attempted suicide in the past please check in with her frequently. Be supportive and show unconditional love as she goes through the ups and downs of life.
4. Suicidal Ideations
This is a clinical term meaning talking or thinking about death. Often these women say things like, “I wish I wasn’t alive” “You would be better off if I was dead” or “If I was gone…”
5. Has an Active Plan.
This is the most severe sign of a potential upcoming suicide attempt. 50% to 70% people who attempt suicide talk with someone beforehand. Ask your daughter’s friends, check her social media accounts or read her journal. You can even ask your daughter directly if she has a plan to commit suicide. Why would she tell you if she did? Suicide is a cry for help. Suicidal young women desperately need and want help with the pain they are feeling. They will often open up about their plans if simply asked.
If your daughter has an active plan to commit suicide this is a crisis requiring immediate attention.
What to do-
1. Take it seriously. Take immediate action. If your daughter is actively suicidal do not leave her alone, take her to a walk-in clinic, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
2. Ask questions, listen, and validate her feelings.
3. Seek Professional help. Call us at 866-309-8762 to see if we can help your daughter.
If you are considering suicide please call the national suicide prevention lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are not at immediate risk, please reach out to the safe people in your life for support. If you are a young woman who feels like you can benefit from our program, please contact us at 866-309-8762.
Resources and Articles
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- National Institute for Mental Health
- International Association for Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
- Suicide Is Preventable
- Key Research Findings
- Risk Factors and Warning Signs
- Suicide Warning Signs
- Common Signs of Someone Who May be Suicidal
- The Urge to End It – Understanding Suicide – NYTimes.com