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10 Things People Do That Actually Mean 'I'm Thinking About Suicide'

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Sometimes when people are struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s not about what they say — it’s what they do. While it can be hard to say the words, “I’m thinking about suicide,” sometimes people reveal their struggles through their behavior — and if we don’t know what to look out for, it can be easy to miss.

That’s why we asked people in our community to share one thing they do when they’re struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Let’s look after each other. Even reaching out to someone and asking how they are can make a difference. To learn more about suicide warning signs, head here.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. Isolate

“I become very distant and quiet.” — Louise B.

“I shut everyone out. Start doing silly things. Get angry at everything and everyone.” — Rachael E.

“I isolate myself, I stop replying to texts, calls, I pretend I am not home or asleep when people knock on the door.” — Alex F.

“I stop answering the phone, returning calls and socializing. I totally isolate. Lots of, ‘You know I love you, right?’ I also tell friends and family I’m fine, just busy.” — Holly S. 

“I isolate a lot, stay in bed and avoid eye contact with people. Find myself unable to enjoy anything and contemplate getting rid of the things I used to enjoy.” — Holley U.

2. Oversleeping

“Sleep a lot. Like all the time.” — Cynthia T.

3. Reaching Out Using Vague Language

“Sometimes I reach out to a friend via text either in a vague way or with a crying emoji. They never understand. Also when I say, ‘I’m just so tired.’” — Kim E.

4. Engaging in Risky Behavior

“I start doing risky behaviors… crossing the road without looking, not sleeping, self-harming. I just give up with caring about my own safety.” — Caitlin T.

“I become more reckless then normal… driving 90 m.p.h. down city streets, start fights, cutting, go to bad neighborhoods, not sleeping or eating for days.” — Amanda P.

5. Selling or Giving Away Personal Items

“Sell or give things away. No mention of any future plans or goals or dreams whatsoever.” — Nici B.

“I begin organizing and donating things of mine. I don’t want to leave too much of my worldly possessions for others to have to go through.” — Mandy M.

6. Making “Jokes” About Suicide

“Joke about it and how much I hate myself.” — Jess A.

“Sometimes say weird things almost hinting at it, sometimes I’ll say something suicidal and then I’ll laugh after, so they don’t take me seriously even though I’m serious. I also like to post memes that are usually suicide or depression related on Facebook or Instagram. I honestly don’t know why I do this. Maybe it’s my subconscious screaming out for help.” — Melinda O.

7. Stop Taking Care of Yourself

“I stop taking care of myself and say I just don’t feel well. No one can handle it, so I try to keep it away from everyone. It’s isolating.” — Alexandria S.

“Lie in bed all the time. Not eating nor taking baths nor sleeping. Just there.” — April A.

8. Drop Hints Without Saying the Word “Suicide” Directly

“When I text a friend saying, ‘I just can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I give up.’” — Melissa M.

“I say things like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’” — Davin T.

“‘I miss Austin.’ I lost a close friend to suicide. I start feeling super connected to her when I’m feeling that way. So I’ll talk about her.” — Desirae W. 

9. Reaching Out to People Out of the Blue to Let Them Know You Love Them

“I text the people closest to me that I love them dearly, and I hope they always know that. Just in case.” — Makayla B.

“Tell my friends and family how much I care about them and I do more favors for them. I also isolate myself in my bedroom and drink more alcohol than normal.” — Liv W.

10. Become More Outgoing

I become more outgoing. I don’t want my struggle to be all over my face so I make myself out to be happy-go-lucky.” — Moon N.

“I get on my ‘overachiever mode.’ I do everything, and I do everything right. I train at the gym until I can barely walk, go on overdrive with work, get clingy with friends — it’s a lingering thought, that maybe everything will eventually be OK when everything feels right.” — Candy J.

If your worried a friend might be thinking about suicide, here are some resources that might help:

Getty image via eggeeggjiew

Originally published: July 31, 2018
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