Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Comments or thoughts about suicide — also known as suicidal ideation — can begin small with sentiments like, “I wish I wasn’t here” or “Nothing matters.” But over time, these comments or thoughts can become more explicit and dangerous.
If you have a friend or a loved one who may be facing suicidal thoughts, it is important to be a safe place where they can share their thoughts and feelings. Suicidal thoughts can be masked in several ways — this makes it difficult to know if someone is in need of a supporting hand.
A personality and behavior change might be a sign that a loved one is having suicidal thoughts.
Changes in behavior may include:
- Becoming anxious, irritable or confrontational
- Having mood swings
- Acting recklessly
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Preferring not to be around other people
- Having more problems with work or studies
- Saying negative things about themselves
- Exhibiting signs of self-harm
Recognizing the signs of changed behavior is the first step toward potentially saving a life. Getting resources and support for your loved one comes next.
It can be frightening when someone you love shares suicidal thoughts. It can be even more frightening if you find yourself thinking about dying or giving up on life.
It’s important to understand the severity of these kinds of thoughts. Suicide is a permanent solution to (often) temporary problems. Understand that you are not alone. Resources and support are available to you.
There are several resources available to individuals facing suicide. OTC Counseling Services is a free resource that gives students a safe place to share thoughts and feelings about both loved ones and themselves. If you want to set up an appointment or learn more about our counseling services, visit the OTC Counseling Services webpage.
Counseling Services also offers a suicide risk-assessment as well as a list of other preventive resources online. To learn more, click here.