Warning Signs

Warning Signs of Suicide

What leads to suicide?

There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Undiagnosed or untreated depression is the most common condition associated with suicide.

When you're concerned that someone might be experiencing thoughts of suicide, the most important sign to look for is a change in their behavior. Most people die by suicide exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.


If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain


Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue


People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden
  • Improvement