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Know the Warning Signs

Know the warning signs of suicide and depression
Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

If you notice any of the signs below in someone you know, PLEASE take action immediately! 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 or text 741741 

  • Withdrawn- from friends and family. Isolating in their bedroom and not doing the activities they normally enjoy.
  • Changes in Sleep- they sleep more or are restless
  • Reckless Behavior- they act in ways that could be dangerous and seem careless about consequences.
  • Personality Change-they behave aggressively, or become easily angered or irritated by others
  • Substance abuse- drinking alcohol or using other drugs
  • Physical Pain- they complain about physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches
  • Seem careless about personal appearance- neglect hygiene, personal appearance, or even basic grooming
  • Loss of Interest- they no longer want to do things they once enjoyed
  • Sudden mood change- suddenly happy after a period of sadness
  • Giving away belongings- they give away favorite possessions or throw them away
  • Posting comments on social media such as “someone talk to me before I kill myself” “I’m nothing but a burden” “I just want to die”
  • Talking about feeling hopeless, wanting to die, being a burden to others, or self harming (cutting, searching online for things like ways to die) – it’s time to call for help 1-800-273-8255 or 911 – seek immediate help, do NOT leave the person alone, take them to the nearest emergency room, if you’re concerned about your own safety please call 911.

“Sadly for me, I missed the warning signs and lost my 14 year old son Zachary to suicide on September 16, 2018.

This is what I can tell you; If your friend or family member is constantly telling people they are depressed, don’t brush it off as a phase or take it lightly. Ignoring them would be like coming upon someone treading water, saying they were about to drown.

Sure, they may seem like they are treading water fine at the moment, but eventually they will tire of the struggle and drown. Don’t let that happen! Don’t ignore them. If you don’t know where the lifesaver is located so you can throw it to them, find someone who does. Meaning, if you aren’t sure how to help them, reach out to people who can. 

Laura Kane and Zachary
Laura Kane with her son, Zachary

Seek out the assistance of a parent, a school counselor, a family counselor, or anybody you trust.

Depression is not a normal feeling that will simply go away like hunger pains. Often times, there are reasons why a person is feeling depressed. Counseling can help people get to the root cause of why they are feeling this way. Others experience depression because of imbalances in their body. Taking anti- depressants can help them. Having to take medication does not make someone weak or inadequate, it simply means that something is off inside their body and they need help to rebalance it. The bigger thing of all is to surround them with people and instill hope.

People don’t just wake up and decide to die by suicide, they have reached the point of hopelessness. There are often many little signs that go unnoticed. Mood swings, or isolation can be signs that something is wrong. I dismissed my son Zachary’s mood swings as a result of puberty. While I don’t want you to think that every moody teen is suicidal, I do want you to take notice of when and wh
y they are experiencing these mood swings.

Drug use and self-harm, or cutting, are often used to mask the pain that is being felt. If someone you know starts using drugs or harming themselves, do not overlook these things. There is something else lurking just below the surface, something that they are struggling with.

If you’re the one struggling, please know that you never have to suffer in this pain alone. There are people that love you. There is help! PEOPLE DO CARE in spite of what your mind is telling you. I’ll say it again, YOU ARE LOVED! Please, please talk about it. Don’t go through this darkness alone. Please find hope in knowing that the pain you’re feeling will become manageable, and you can live out a full life!” – Laura