What to do if you suspect someone is suicidal

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Robin Williams and Kate Spade are two celebrities that died by suicide. Both suffered from depression and substance abuse. (AP)

The suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shocked many people, just like the suicide of comedian and actor Robin Williams in 2014.

They had successful careers, were wealthy and famous. Yet there are common warning signs for suicidal tendencies. Spade was reportedly depressed about a possible divorce. Her sister, Reta Saffo told The Kansas Star that Spade was drinking heavily. Williams had battled depression and substance abuse for years.

Studies have shown that 80 percent of all suicide attempts are done in the spur of the moment.

SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS

There are several risk factors that can lead to suicide. Mental disorders are the most common, including severe depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.

Some warning signs to look for include:
Alcohol or substance abuse
A sense of hopelessness
Problems sleeping or sleeping too much
Withdrawal from activities, friends or family
Expressing rage or extreme mood changes
Feeling anxious or agitated

IF SOMEONE TALKS ABOUT SUICIDE, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

Don't stay quiet if someone is openly talking or posting on social media that they want to die or kill themselves. Ask if they are having suicidal thoughts. Tell the person you care about them and that you want to help them.

Don't dismiss their feelings. Show empathy for what that person is going through. Let them know that depression is a mental disorder and that it is treatable. Offer them hope and encourage them to seek counseling or support.

If someone is an immediate threat of dying by suicide, call 911 or a crisis intervention line.
Related Topics:
societydepressionfamous deathfamous deathssuicidemental health
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