Please be trigger aware when reading this piece.
If you read my last blog post, you will know I recently tried to end my own life. This started me thinking about whether I had hidden any signs of what I was to do from others or if there had been warning signs that had been missed. So I looked up warning signs of suicide and was shocked at just how many I had shown. I thought maybe people hadn’t picked up on the signs because they just weren’t aware what to look out for. Therefore I thought I would write a post about the warning signs I showed and others to look out for.
1. Feeling like a burden to others – This is where I feel I showed a major red flag. It was my constant thought and phrase; “I’m a burden”. I even wrote a blog post about it here. I constantly felt like I was too much for those around me. I would (and still do) say things like “I put too much on you” or “I don’t want to burden you anymore”. It was clearly a sign of where my thinking was going.
2. Engaging in risky behaviours – This was more of a warning sign to mental health professionals who knew I was engaging in more risky self harm. I was honest with them about what I was doing and it maybe should of been a sign my mind was not in a good place.
3. A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future – This was something I expressed a lot to friends and mental health professionals. I felt (and still do to an extent) like things were never going to improve, that everything I was going through was pointless. I could not see myself ever getting better and there was only one way out of this; my death.
4. Frequently talking about death – This leads on from the previous sign, in my case. I would often say things would be better if I was dead or that the only way forward was for me to die. I also had my songs picked out for my funeral.
5. Feeling worthless – This was something else I referred to a lot when talking to others. I felt like I had no worth at all. I would show very little respect for myself, believing that I had little or no worth. I would also, if someone treated me negatively, just accept the bad treatment as I felt it was all I deserved.
6. Social isolation or feeling alone – I have friends but in the weeks running up to the attempt I became a little more distant. I was still in contact with people but not as often or as much. Part of this was because I didn’t feel worthy but also I didn’t want to be a burden or make them aware of my plans.
7. A history of suicidal behaviour – I have a small history of making attempts on my life. This was taken into account by the psychiatrist I saw before my attempt and some provisions were put in place.
These were the main signs I showed but there are other signs that include: feeling trapped, alcohol and drug misuse, giving things away, feeling like you don’t belong, dramatic changes in mood or behaviour, possessing lethal means or aggressiveness and irritability.
If you notice someone is showing the warning signs, and it might not be all of them, then my advice is to talk to them and try to get them some help or support. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day to give advice. Hopefully we can spread awareness of the signs and help to save a life.