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  • Writer's pictureMisti Luke, LCSW

Suicide Warning Signs

Suicide is on the rise in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have increased by over 30% since 2000. Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016 alone. For youth ages 10-19, suicide is now the leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide statistics in Oklahoma are even more alarming. Oklahoma currently has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the United States. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average of every 11 hours, a person takes their own life in Oklahoma.

In light of the increased number of suicides, learning the warning signs for suicide has never been more important.

Man overlooking lake
Man overlooking lake

Suicide prevention starts with being able to effectively recognize red flags that someone you care about may be thinking of ending his or her life. There is no one cause for suicide. However, suicide is most commonly the result of an untreated mental health condition.

Below is a list of common signs to be on the lookout for when concerned that a person might be suicidal. When one of the below is coupled with a recent loss, life-changing event or tragedy the risk for death by suicide is even higher.

If you notice a person talking about one of the following;

  • Long-term, unbearable, physical pain

  • Talking about killing themselves

  • Making comments about being a burden to family or friends

  • Expressing thoughts about feeling trapped

  • Expressing a sense of hopelessness for the future

  • Stating there is no reason to live

People who are considering suicide sometimes display one or more of the following behaviors;

  • Withdrawing from events or activities

  • Isolating from friends or family

  • Giving away possessions

  • Increased drug or alcohol abuse

  • Visiting or calling people to make amends or say goodbye

  • An extreme change in sleeping habits

  • Looking for a means to end his/her life, such as searching online for materials or means

  • Gathering up weapons or pills

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

  • Increased Irritability

  • Depression

  • Rage

  • Humiliation

  • Agitation

  • Fatigue

  • Aggression

  • Anxiety

We can all help prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling, do reach out for assistance. Help is available. Call (800) 273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741741 to access free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

Misti Luke, LCSW is licensed to practice psychotherapy in the state of Oklahoma. She maintains a small, private practice in Broken Bow where she provides individual, group, couples treatment including clinical assessments and consultation. For correspondence or to set up a phone consultation email

Disclaimer: The contents above are for information purposes only and are not meant to assess, diagnose or treat any type of health care condition. If you are in crisis, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

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