Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Warning Signs

hand blocks

Suicide most often happens when stressful situations and health issues come together to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and many people don't know they have it or aren't being treated for it. Mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Suicide can be prevented when people recognize warning signs and changes in behavior such as:

If a person talks about:

  • Ending their life
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped/Wanting out
  • Unbearable pain

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

  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger/Aggression
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement
  • Being impulsive
  • Fatigue

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 life, 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