WHEN somebody takes their own life, those close to them are often left in an acute state of guilt. Could they have prevented the tragedy – if only they spotted the signs?
Dr Damien Lowry and Dr Maeve Kenny of the Psychological Society of Ireland, who work with people who have attempted suicide, have pointed to some warning signals.
"There may be many things that contribute to a person feeling suicidal," said Dr Lowry.
"Most people who consider suicide don't necessarily want to die; rather, they want their emotional pain to end."
It is virtually impossible to predict who will and who won't take their own life. However, there are some warning signs that someone may be at increased risk of suicide:
* Becoming more withdrawn and keeping to themselves.
* Becoming depressed or anxious or acting erratically.
* Acting more impulsively or taking more risks, eg giving up a job, driving recklessly.
* Talking about suicide or death.
* Showing unusual rage or anger.
* Having a recent loss, such as, a bereavement, ending of a relationship, losing one's job or moving house.
* Giving away possessions or saying goodbye to people.
* Deteriorating at school, college, work or general lack of interest in things.
"Despite these factors, it is important to realise that often people who are feeling suicidal do not show how distressed they are," he added.
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