Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I see clients who are at risk of harming themselves. While there’s no one way to prevent suicide, there are a few signs to watch for that can indicate you need to seek support.
If you have experienced feelings of trying to harm yourself in the past, or if you are a survivor of a suicide attempt, it can be scary to think about suicide at all. I want to calm your fears that talking about suicide will make you want to do it more. If you have a trusted friend who knows of your previous attempts, let them know when you may be struggling.
Some of the signs you can watch for in yourself are:
- Loss of interest in people and things you used to care about. When you start to withdraw from your community and the things that make you feel connected, that can be a sign that there are underlying issues that you need to address.
- Increasing alcohol or drug use. If you normally consume a glass of wine with dinner and have switched to stronger drinks more frequently, then you may be at a higher risk of suicide. Try to identify which emotions you are masking with the need for alcohol or drugs. Are you self-medicating?
- Taking more risks that usual. Things like speeding or standing too close to a high window can increase your adrenaline and make you feel in control. A single speeding ticket may not be cause to worry but exhibiting risky behavior is a sign that your self-care is not at a healthy level.
- Sleepless nights or sleeping too much. Changes in your sleep patterns can make you more prone to feeling overwhelmed. When you are fully rested, your mind is clearer and you are able to find more creative solutions to any challenges or perceived challenges you are facing.
While you can watch for these signs in yourself, you may find it easier to spot these signs in others. If you are looking for ways to improve your mental health and level of self-care, check out my blog post on How to Model Good Self-Care as a Business Leader.
Reach out to your network and let a trusted person know that you are struggling. If you find yourself at a loss of who to turn to, start with me. I am here to listen and help guide you to a healthier frame of mind.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) for Teens and Adults