Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs in Yourself

Close up of woman with depression.People who are thinking about suicide may not know they are depressed. Certain thoughts, feelings, and actions can be signals that let you know you may need help. The best thing you can do is watch for signs that you may be at risk. Then, ask for help. You can talk to your regular healthcare provider or seek help from a mental health provider.


Depression is a treatable illness. To know if depression is causing you to feel like ending your life, ask yourself:

  • Do I feel worthless, guilty, helpless, or hopeless?

  • Have I been feeling sad, down, or blue on most days?

  • Have I lost interest in my work or people I used to enjoy?

  • Do I have trouble sleeping or do I sleep too much?

  • Do I eat more or less than usual?

  • Do I feel tired, weak, and low on energy?

  • Do I feel restless and unable to sit still?

  • Do I have trouble thinking or making choices?

  • Do I cry more than usual?

  • Do I feel life isn't worth living?

Warning signs for suicide

  • Thinking often about taking your life

  • Planning how you may attempt it

  • Talking or writing about committing suicide

  • Feeling that death is the only solution to your problems

  • Feeling a pressing need to make out your will or arrange your funeral

  • Giving away things you own

  • Participating in risky behaviors, such as sex with someone you don't know or drinking and driving

  • Buying a lethal weapon, such as a gun, or hoarding medicines that could be used in an over dose

If you notice any of these warning signs, call for help right away or go to your closest hospital emergency department. You can also call a mental health clinic or a 24-hour suicide crisis hotline for help and support. Search for local suicide prevention resources on your computer or look for the number in the white pages of your phone book under "Suicide." In an emergency, if you are in immediate risk of harming yourself, call 911. For more information about depression:

  • National Institute of Mental Health


  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK)

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness


  • Mental Health America


  • National Suicide Hotline

    800-784-2433 (800-SUICIDE)