Family & Friends

Warning Signs of Suicide: When to Get Help

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Every 15 minutes, someone commits suicide. An estimated 5 million Americans have attempted to take their own lives, with around 865,000 people attempting suicide each year.

More than 90 percent of suicide victims have a significant psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. While mood disorders, such as depression, and substance abuse are the most common, a large percentage of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) make attempts on their own life. About 70 percent of people with BPD will attempt suicide, and between 8 and 10 percent of people with BPD commit suicide.

These statistics, provided by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), paint a bleak picture. But, if you know the warning signs, suicide is preventable.

Suicide Warning Signs

During this week, National Suicide Prevention Week, take the time to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of suicide so that you don’t lose someone you love:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Acts of rage or uncontrolled anger
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life

If a friend, family member, or other loved one is exhibiting any of these warning signs of suicide, it is important to get them needed help. Remember that most people who are suicidal don’t actually want to die – they just don’t see any viable alternatives to their problems.

Getting Help

If you begin to recognize the warning signs of suicide, especially if your loved one is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, take the time to talk with them about what is bothering them. Be sure to do so in a way that is non-judgmental and supportive.

If your attempts at talking with them are not enough, or you believe suicide is imminent, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or seek professional help immediately.

Once your loved one has stabilized, it may be a good idea to have them enter therapy to help them determine why they believed suicide was their only option. If your loved one has a psychiatric disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder, seek treatment that can address the symptoms of the psychiatric disorder that may cause an increased risk for suicide.

Catching the warning signs early and reaching out is the best way to prevent someone who is thinking about suicide from actually committing it. You can find out more about suicide prevention at the American Association of Suicidology’s website.

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