In the United States, suicide rates have been on the rise for years, and they continue to do so. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in our country. Each year, more than 44,000 Americans take their own lives. That’s an average of 121 suicides per day.
While anyone can take their life, certain groups are at a higher risk than others. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, and middle-aged adults (45-54 years old) have the highest suicide rate of any age group. However, the most alarming statistic is that suicide rates are increasing fastest among young people aged 10-24.
If you’re worried that someone you love might be suicidal, there are certain signs to watch out for.
While it may seem like a hopeless situation, when you know the risk factors and recognize the warning signs, suicide can be prevented. Psychiatrist Tatiana Falcone, MD, offers information to help you determine if a loved one is at risk.
Suicide risk factors
Suicide rates have been on the rise in the United States for years, and they continue to increase. While there is no single cause for suicide, various risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of attempting or completing suicide.
Some of the most common risk factors for suicide include mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Substance abuse is also a significant risk factor, exposure to violence or trauma. Other factors that can increase the risk of suicide include feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
If you are concerned that someone you love may be at risk for suicide, it is essential to alert the warning signs. These can include talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself, expressing feelings of hopelessness, withdrawing from friends and family, giving away prized possessions, and mood swings.
1. Substance abuse
Substance abuse is a severe problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 20 million people in the U.S. have a substance abuse disorder. The most commonly abused substances include alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids.
The effects of substance abuse can be devastating for individuals and their families. Substance abuse can lead to addiction, financial ruin, criminal activity, and even death. The suicide rate continues to rise in the U.S., and substance abuse is a leading contributor to suicides.
If you are concerned that your loved one may be struggling with a substance abuse disorder, you can take steps to get help. There are also resources available for family members of individuals struggling with addiction. It is essential to seek help as soon as possible before the problem spirals out of control.
2. Prolonged stress
Prolonged stress, whether from work, family problems, or other factors, can lead to serious health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates continue to rise in the United States. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in this country.
While anyone can be at risk for suicide, certain groups are more likely to take their own lives. These include middle-aged adults (45-54 years old), white men, and those diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
If you are worried about a loved one who seems to be under a lot of stress, there are things you can do to help. First, talk to them about your concerns. Let them know that you care and want to help.
3. Mental illness
Mental illness is a term for a wide range of mental health conditions. It includes diagnosable mental disorders, like major depression or schizophrenia, and problems with mood, thinking, and behaviour that are not severe enough to be diagnosed as mental disorders. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the U.S.—43.8 million people—experiences mental illness in a given year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide each year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.2 Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-29 years and is the second leading cause of death in young people 10-24 years old. such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia
4. Chronic illness
Chronic illness is often thought of as an individualized experience, with unique symptoms and challenges for each person who deals with it. However, there are some commonalities among people living with chronic illness, including a higher risk for suicide.
One study published in The Lancet found that people with chronic illnesses are almost twice as likely to die by suicide than those without chronic health conditions. The suicide rate for people living with a chronic disease is now more significant than the rate for those with cancer.
There are many reasons why someone living with a chronic illness might be at risk for suicide. For example, they may feel overwhelmed by their diagnosis, frustrated by their limitations, or isolated from friends and family. They may also feel like they are a burden to others.
5. Historical factors
While suicide rates have been on the rise in the United States for years, several historical factors are believed to contribute to this problem. One significant issue is how society has viewed mental health over time. For centuries, people with mental health conditions were considered possessed by demons or evil spirits. As a result, they were often shunned by their communities and subjected to cruelty and abuse.
While attitudes towards mental health have changed over time, the stigma associated with these conditions still exists today. This can lead people struggling with suicidal thoughts to feel ashamed and isolated, which can increase their risk of harming themselves. Additionally, many people who die by suicide have a history of trauma or abuse. This can include sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional neglect. These traumatic experiences can cause lasting damage that increases a person’s risk of suicide.
Four signs that someone might be considering suicide
Suicide rates in the United States continue to rise. Each year, suicide kills more people than homicide. While anyone can die by suicide, certain groups are at a higher risk, including middle-aged white men and women, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and black men and women. In addition, there are many signs that someone may be considering suicide.
Warning signs include talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself; expressing feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness; talking about being a burden to others; increasing alcohol or drug abuse; withdrawing from friends and activities; abnormal mood swings; and giving away prized possessions.
If you notice any of these signs in someone you know, it is essential to talk to them about your concerns and get help. You can call a suicide hotline in your area or go to the emergency room.
Red flags your loved one is considering suicide include:
1. Mood changes
Suicide rates continue to rise in the United States, and mental health experts are still trying to figure out why. In 2016, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in America, claiming more than 45,000 lives.
While there is no single answer to this question, one potential factor contributing to the increase in suicides is mood changes. Mood changes can be caused by various factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, and traumatic life events.
If you’re concerned that your loved one may be at risk for suicide due to mood changes, there are things you can do to help them. First and foremost, it’s essential to talk to them about how they’re feeling and offer your support. You can also encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
Isolation has long been known as a critical risk factor for suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, when people feel isolated or alone, they are more likely to experience depression and contemplate suicide.
In 2017, the suicide rate in the United States reached its highest point in 30 years. Nearly 45,000 Americans took their own lives that year, and most of them were not diagnosed with a mental illness.
Many people who die by suicide do so impulsively, and isolation is often a critical factor in their decision-making. Feeling disconnected from others can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
If you are concerned that your loved one is at risk for suicide, you must reach out to them and offer support. Let them know that you care about them and want to help them through this difficult time.
3. Excessive worrying
It is normal to worry from time to time, but when worrying becomes excessive and constant, it can signify an underlying mental health disorder. For example, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that the suicide rate in the United States continues to rise. Researchers believe that excessive worrying may be a contributing factor.
Excessive worrying can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety, increasing the risk of suicide. However, if you are worried about someone you love who seems to worry excessively, there are things you can do to help.
First, talk to your loved ones about their worries and tell them that you are there for them. Next, encourage your loved one to seek professional help if needed. Finally, make sure they have access to resources like hotlines and support groups if necessary.
4. Reckless behaviour
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates in the United States continue to rise. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in America, and one person dies by suicide every 12 minutes.
While anyone can die by suicide, certain groups are at a higher risk. For example, men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide, and white people are more likely than black or Hispanic people to take their own lives. The most common method of suicide is firearms, which account for almost half of all suicides.
If you are concerned that someone you love may be at risk for suicide, there are warning signs to look out for.
Suicide prevention: When to call 911
The number of suicides in the United States continues to rise, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also found that suicide rates increase more quickly for women than for men.
This disturbing trend underscores the importance of knowing when to call 911 if you think someone is at risk of harming themselves. “It’s essential to remember that suicide is not a problem that one person can solve,” says Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “It takes a village.”
If you’re worried about someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to them—and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- To determine if your loved one needs immediate help, watch for these behaviours:
- Buying a weapon, collecting pills or searching online about suicide.
- Parting with possessions.
- Organizing personal items or paying off debts.
- Saying permanent goodbyes.
Fortunately, dealing with a suicide risk factor — or even exhibiting warning signs — doesn’t mean someone will attempt it. But if you or someone you know needs help, the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800.273.8255 (or via chat) is a free resource that connects people in crisis to a local counsellor. If you feel like a loved one is in immediate danger, take them to the hospital or call 911. The key to saving a life is to get help sooner than later.
Source: | Cleveland Clinic