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What Suicidal Risk Factors to Look for in Those Living With Depression

Updated on February 25, 2013

90% of those who commited suicide were either living with depression, substance abusers and/or had a mental problem. It is much easier to spot suicidal tendencies in known depressed individuals, because their signs and symptoms are more emphasized. They also may use unusual methods to try and draw attention to themselves. Even if they appear to be okay, there are always clues as to when they are about to commit suicide.


This is the number one indication that a person is about to commit suicide while living with depression. They may even say it like their joking. They may say it crying. They may be always talking about death. Any form of argument that may be related to death. It may become a sudden obsession. When living with depression the feeling of hopelessness is very great and the depressed individual really needs someone to talk to.

Buying a weapon

Taking steps towards a plan of suicide is a definite indication. If a person buys a gun or any other weapon when there are no obvious conflicts or need for one, should raise a big red flag even if they joke about it. Suicides are 5 times more likely to happen in homes with guns. When confronted, the depressed individual may give assurance that the gun is not for suicidal purposes. Even if they are telling the truth, there are times when they are in an unstable emotional state and make bad impromptu decisions.

Bursting into tears

Emotional swings are precursors to suicide but are not definite indicators, as this may just be a sign of clinical depression. However before a person commits suicide, they are faced with great guilt and remorse. They know that they are going to hurt the feelings of a lot of people and do not know how to cope with such an emotion. At this point they are confused and vulnerable.


Obvious Substance Abuse

The individual no longer tries to hide his or her drinking problem for example, especially if they would normally try to hide it from observers. This means that they no longer care. This may also be as a result of their increasing dosage of alcohol or drug. They may eventually keep increasing the dosage until they unintentionally or intentionally die of an overdose. The person living with depression may also start doing drugs that they would not normally abuse. Taking on other risky behaviors is not exclusive to substance abuse; it can come in other forms such as excessive speeding.

Giving away Stuff

If they are giving away their guitars and autographed footballs, something may be wrong, especially if its stuff that they would normally fight over, then this is a reason for intervention. This is not a clear cut indication of suicidal behavior. However, it’s good to question their motives. It may not be giving stuff away but more like setting things in order before they are gone.

Sudden Calmness

If a once irritable depressed person suddenly becomes calm and happy, this may not be a good sign. The individual may have become comfortable with the idea of ending all the pain soon. Therefore, they are happy that it will be all over soon. In order to make sure that the individual is 100% okay, indirect questions about upcoming events should be posed to the individual living with depression. Questions like an upcoming trip to Disney world. Direct questions should also be asked if suspicions arise.


In conclusion detecting suicidal risk factors requires intuition and common sense. Don't wait until it's too late to assist the person living with depression. You could always call the suicide hotline for additional help.


More Articles about Living with Depression:

· How to Spot Teenage Depression: The life of teenagers is filled with a lot emotionally turmoil. This article explains how to spot teenagers living with depression and offer assistance.

· Foods that can cause Depressions: Discusses the negative impact that processed foods can have on someone living with depression.

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    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Cardisa, I have written this hub based off personally experience. Never really tried it, but did take out a life insurance on myself!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect inspired, This article was specifically designed to offer assistance in preventing suicides. Thanks for participating.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Rasta, I have lived with depression for years and have attempted suicide more than once. What hit me about the article, and it also tricks many people, is the calmness you talk about. When you have finally made up your mind to do it, you feel calm and free and people take that as a sign that you are okay.

    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 5 years ago from Wales UK

      rasta1 this is a very interesting piece of information thanks for your knowledge & for sharing it. It's good to have the knowledge that something could be (fatally) wrong within the life of another individual whom is already depressed & you have provided many samples for 'awareness' of this fact enabling the opportunity for some help to come their way.

      Regards Dale