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Mental Health -- Question & Answer Listing  
Question / Answer

What are some signs and/or indicators of a person contemplating suicide?

In general, an individual contemplating suicide does so following a traumatic event or circumstance in his/her life with which the person feels he/she is unable to cope. This could be the loss or breakup of an important relationship such as a separation, divorce, or death. It could be a natural disaster, physical assault, severe injury or terminal illness, major financial setback, or severe depression. The individual could have a drug or alcohol problem. Symptoms of an individual contemplating suicide may be: an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness; pain that threatens to exceed the person’s pain coping capacities; feelings of worthlessness, shame or guilt; social isolation; declining performance in school, work, or other activities; neglect in personal hygiene and physical appearance; severe changes in eating and/or sleeping habits, etc. Note that this list of risk factors and symptoms are not conclusive. However, if you suspect someone you know is contemplating suicide, it is very important that you urge them to seek professional help. Do not leave them alone. Suicidal behavior is a cry for help. There are a number of crisis hotlines and professional resources that can help you or a person you care for who is exhibiting suicidal behavior.

What are some signs of depression?

There are a number of symptoms that can signify an individual is depressed such as frequent sadness or crying for no apparent reason, feelings of hopelessness, decreased interest or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities, low energy and boredom, excessive sleeping or the inability to sleep, excessive weight gain or loss, expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior, etc. Note that this list is not conclusive nor does it always represent the behavior of a depressed individual. If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of depression, consult a physician for more information and care.

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