What are the warning signs?

Sometimes, when a person has a deteriorating mental health condition or a person faces a serious, negative life situation, he or she may consider suicide or harming him or herself.

This is not the case for everyone with depression or anxiety, but it’s important to be aware that for some people their condition may become so severe that they may believe these actions are their only option to relieve unbearable pain.

The video below features extracts from interviews with beyondblue's blueVoices members reflecting on the warning signs they saw with their family and friends who died by suicide.

Noticing the warning signs

"Her mood would change dramatically. One minute she would be her bubbly self and the next she'd get really dark"

​Common warning signs

Someone who is thinking about suicide will usually give some clues or signs to people around them, though these may be subtle. Suicide prevention starts with recognising the warning signs and taking them seriously.

 

Suicide warning signs

  • A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
  • Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me”.
  • Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone”.
  • Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
  • Negative view of self – “I am worthless”.
  • Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
  • Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
  • Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
  • Engaging in 'risky' behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die". 
  • Making funeral arrangements.
  • Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I am gone, I want you to have this”.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Feeling like a burden to others – “You would be better off without me”.
  • Making suicide threats – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”.

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Visit the Conversations Matter website for helpful tips on how to talk about suicide. 

Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include: