Danger Signs of Depression

The American Foundation for Suicide Depression reports that even though most people with depression are not suicidal, those who are suicidal are depressed. Most people who commit suicide have a psychological illness such as depression or manic depression and there are certain danger or warning signs you should be aware of. If someone you know is in danger or hurting themselves, help them seek immediate emergency attention by going to an emergency room or calling 911.

Experience of a Precipitating Event

Someone who may be at risk for suicide may have experienced an event that causes a lot of emotional distress. Examples include a death in the family, a fight with a loved one or a loss that the person cannot deal with. Someone who already has a psychiatric or emotional problem and experiences a precipitating event should seek professional help so she can cope with it.

Preoccupation with Death

A person may verbalize that he is thinking about suicide or talk about how he might commit suicide. He may report that he is thinking about his death and what would happen if he were dead. He might mention thoughts of killing himself in a joking manner, or he may threaten to hurt himself or someone else.

Putting Affairs in Order

Someone who is suicidal might be putting a plan into action. For example, she might buy a gun, write a will or compose good-bye letters. She might make arrangements for someone to take care of her pets or other responsibilities. She might make visits to friends or relatives to say good-bye for the last time.

Loss of Control of Emotions

The American Foundation for Suicide Depression reports that a person who is at risk for suicide may experience an intense affective state. This means he might feel desperation, rage, psychic pain or inner tension, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, or acute sense of abandonment. He also might not be functioning like he usually does. He may have a lot of anger, not be in control of himself at work or school, or may be self-destructive. In some cases, a person may experience a sudden sense of calm and happiness. Others might abuse substances, be apathetic, appear restless or have a change in sleep patterns.

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