Suicide Warning Signs

Know the Signs

Learning the warning signs of suicide could save someone’s life. While an individual may not be experiencing all of these warning signs, most will experience more than one and for an extended period of time. Some are obvious while some are more subtle, so it’s important to know what to look for and what to do next if you do notice these behaviors in someone you care about. With each of these warning signs, watch for a change from the individual’s typical behavior. Scroll over the warning signs below to learn more.


You may notice them withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities or friends.

Changes in sleep

They may begin sleeping too much or begin sleeping too little.

Risky, reckless behavior

This could look like driving without a license, drug and alcohol use, shoplifting, driving at excessive speeds etc., because they no longer care what happens to them.

Excessive drinking or substance use

Increased use of drugs or alcohol, or beginning to drink when they have never shown interest in it before.

Unexplainable physical pain

This is one of the most commonly overlooked warning signs of depression and/or suicide-if they continue to experience unexplained aches and pains in their body.

Saying goodbye

People who are thinking about suicide may say goodbye to their friends and family.

Giving away possessions

Possessions the individual has previously shown great interest and adoration for oftentimes can be given away because they think they will no longer have a use for them.

Talking or writing about wanting to die

People who do this are not simply "looking for attention" as we often hear people say. Take this very seriously! Whether it be conversation with a friend, a writing or art assignment turned in at school, a journal entry, etc.-any expression of death should be taken extremely seriously.

Feeling hopeless

This often sounds like "I'm worthless." "Nothing is going well." "Everything is just too much." Again, take this language very seriously.

feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

The individual may be feeling like they are stuck in a situation or in so much pain and there is no way out. Again, feeling hopeless as if nothing can improve or there is no way out but death from their current situation.

Displaying extreme mood swings

These mood swings would be out of character for them and unexplainable.

Looking for a way to kill themselves

They may be researching how to buy a gun or drugs that may be lethal on the internet or asking people about methods.

Talking about being a burden

This may sound like, "Everyone would be better off without me." "Things will be easier without me here."

Acting anxious or agitated

If you notice someone acting overly anxious or agitated for no explainable reason.

Increase in anger or rage

Unexplainable anger and rage that would be out of character for the individual.