The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in one week, suicide is on the minds of many people around the country. So it may not be surprising to hear that rates of suicide have increased in nearly all of the United States since 1999, and in half of states, the increase was more than 30 percent. Suicide is the 10th most frequent cause of death in this country; in 2016, there were nearly 45,000 suicides.
While experts usually point to mental illness as the cause, 54 percent of those who commit suicide have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Stressors such as poor health, substance abuse, housing issues, relationship challenges, work, money, and legal problems can lead to distress, despair, and suicide in people who have not necessarily experienced or identified mental illness in their lives.
By recognizing these 12 warning signs in yourself or others, you can help prevent suicide:
- Feeling like a burden
- Being isolated
- Increased anxiety
- Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Increased substance use
- Looking for a way to access lethal means
- Increased anger or rage
- Extreme mood swings
- Expressing hopelessness
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Talking or posting about wanting to die
- Making plans for suicide
If you need help for yourself or someone else, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or through online chat at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org