Skip to main content

Warning Signs

Warning signs

 

Warning signs of suicide can be organized around the word “FACTS.”

 

FEELINGS

  • Hopelessness: feeling like things are bad and won’t get any better
  • Fear of losing control, going crazy, harming himself/herself or others
  • Helplessness: a belief that there’s nothing that can be done to make life better
  • Worthlessness: feeling like an awful person and that people would be better off if he/she were dead
  • Hating himself/herself, feeling guilty or ashamed 
  • Being extremely sad and lonely
  • Feeling anxious, worried, or angry all the time

 

ACTIONS

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Talking or writing about death or destruction
  • Aggression: getting into fights or having arguments with other people
  • Recklessness: doing risky or dangerous things

 

CHANGES

  • Personality: behaving like a different person, becoming withdrawn, tired all the time, not caring about anything, or becoming more talkative or outgoing
  • Behavior: can’t concentrate on school or regular tasks
  • Sleeping pattern: sleeping all the time or not being able to sleep at all, or waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Eating habits: loss of appetite and/or overeating and gaining weight
  • Losing interest in friends, hobbies, and appearance or in activities or sports previously enjoyed
  • Sudden improvement after a period of being down or withdrawn

 

THREATS

  • Statements like “How long does it take to bleed to death?”
  • Threats like “I won’t be around much longer” or “Don’t tell anyone else . . . you won’t be my friend if you tell!”
  • Plans like giving away favorite things, studying about ways to die, obtaining a weapon or a stash of pills: the risk is very high if a person has a plan and the way to do it.
  • Suicide attempts like overdosing, wrist cutting

 

SITUATIONS

  • Getting into trouble at school, at home, or with the law
  • Recent loss through death, divorce, or separation; the breakup of a relationship; losing an opportunity or a dream; losing self-esteem
  • Changes in life that feel overwhelming
  • Being exposed to suicide or the death of a peer under any circumstances

 

Download a pdf copy of the FACTS Warning Signs

*Adobe Acrobat Reader will be required to view this pdf. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, please visit Adobe’s website, at this link www.get.adobe.com/reader/, to download your free version.