Symptoms and Danger Signs

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about suicide.

  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.

  • Preoccupation with death.

  • Suddenly happier, calmer.

  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.

  • Visiting or calling people one cares about.

  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.

  • Giving things away.

A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or psychiatrist.

Symptoms of Major Depression

Not all people with depression will show all symptoms or have them to the same degree. If a person has four or more symptoms, for more than two weeks, consult a medical doctor or psychiatrist. While the symptoms specified for all groups below generally characterize major depression, there are other disorders with similar characteristics including: unipolar depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorder, or attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity. Remember that only a medical doctor can diagnose depression.

In Adolescents

Depressive illnesses/anxiety may be disguised as, or presented as, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, drug/alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, risk-taking behavior such as reckless driving, unprotected sex, carelessness when walking across busy streets, or on bridges or cliffs. There may be social isolation, running away, constant disobedience, getting into trouble with the law, physical or sexual assaults against others, obnoxious behavior, failure to care about appearance/hygiene, no sense of self or of values/morals, difficulty cultivating relationships, inability to establish/stick with occupational/educational goals.

  • Physical symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, neck aches, arms or legs hurt due to muscle tension, digestive disorders. (ruling out other medical causes)

  • Persistent unhappiness, negativity, irritability.

  • Uncontrollable anger or outbursts of rage.

  • Overly self-critical, unwarranted guilt, low self-esteem. Inability to concentrate, think straight, remember, or make decisions, possibly resulting in refusal to study in school or an inability (due to depression or attention deficit disorder) to do schoolwork.

  • Slowed or hesitant speech or body movements, or restlessness (anxiety).

  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities.

  • Low energy, chronic fatigue, sluggishness.

  • Change in appetite, noticeable weight loss or weight gain, or abnormal eating patterns.

  • Chronic worry, excessive fear.

  • Preoccupation with death themes in literature, music, drawings, speaking of death repeatedly, fascination with guns/knives.

  • Suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempts.

Symptoms of Mania:

  • Decreased need for sleep.

  • Restless, agitated, can't sit still. Increased energy, or an inability to slow down.

  • Racing, disorganized thoughts, easily distracted.

  • Rapid, increased talking or laughing

  • Grandiose ideas, increased creativity.

  • Overly excited, euphoric, giddy, exhilarated.

  • Excessive irritability, on edge.

  • Increased sex drive, possibly resulting in affairs, inappropriate sexual behaviors.

  • Poor judgment, impulsiveness, spending sprees

  • Embarrassing social behavior

  • Paranoia, delusions, hallucinations

National Suicide Hotlines USA
United States of America

Toll-Free / 24 hours a day / 7 days a week

1-800-SUICIDE 1-800-273-TALK
1-800-784-2433 1-800-273-8255 


1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
Deaf Hotline

DISCLAIMER: Our trained counselors try our best to help all who contact us, but we can not, and will not be held responsible for the actions taken by those individuals that decide to talk to us or get any advice from us.
If someone desires to harm themselves, we can do nothing to stop them and we can not and will not be held responsible for ANY individual's decision to harm themselves or end their life.

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