Violence against self / Suicide

Violence against self and suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. Some people who have trouble dealing with their feelings don’t react by lashing out on others. Instead, they direct violence toward themselves. The most final and devastating expression of this kind of violence is suicide. The following are some warning signs of this kind of violence:

  • previous suicide attempts
  • significant alcohol or drug use
  • threatening or communicating thoughts of suicide, death, dying or the afterlife
  • sudden increase in moodiness, withdrawal, or isolation
  • major change in eating or sleeping habits
  • feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness
  • poor control over behavior
  • impulsive, aggressive behavior
  • drop in quality of school performance or interest
  • lack of interest in usual activity
  • getting into trouble with authority figures
  • perfectionism
  • giving away important possessions
  • hinting at not being around in the future or saying good-bye

Pay close attention and get help if warning signs go along with the following events:

  • a recent death or suicide of a friend or family member
  • a recent break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • a conflict with parents or other family members

Often, intense psychological pain accompanies such events. Death seems like the only way out. But it isn’t. When you recognize the warning signs for this kind of violence, do something about it. Tell a trusted adult what you have seen or heard. Talk to someone about what you are going through. They can help work out the problems that seem so unsolvable but, in fact, may not be.

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