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Places to turn when you are thinking about suicide

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photographer

Roman Stoic philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” Many that suffer from mental illness could likely identify with that statement. The Centers for Disease Control report that 41,149 suicides were reported in 2013 making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Suicide is also a growing concern for United States servicemen and women.  Recently a statistic generated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has stirred up controversy. The statistic releases states that an average of 22 United States Veterans commit suicide each day. While the statistic was complied using a massive amount data that lacked categorization to a specific demographic, it’s still clear that the suicide rate amongst servicemen and women remains a concern. The VA offers tips to friends and family members that suspect their loved one may be suffering from PTSD or a related illness. Some of the warning signs are as follows: 
Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a Veteran needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of harming themselves.
There is little difference between the symptoms experienced by a veteran in crisis as opposed to anyone else experiencing suicidal thoughts in terms of the warning signs. Those who are considering suicide often show signs of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and/or hopelessness, such as:
Appearing sad or depressed most of the time
Clinical depression: deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating—that doesn’t go away or continues to get worse
Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep
Neglecting personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance
Withdrawing from friends, family, and society, or sleeping all the time
Losing interest in hobbies, work, school, or other things one used to care about
Frequent and dramatic mood changes
Expressing feelings of excessive guilt or shame
Feelings of failure or decreased performance
Feeling that life is not worth living, having no sense of purpose in life
Talk about feeling trapped—like there is no way out of a situation
Having feelings of desperation, and saying that there’s no solution to their problems

Their behavior may be dramatically different from their normal behavior, or they may appear to be actively contemplating or preparing for a suicidal act through behaviors such as:
Performing poorly at work or school
Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities—seemingly without thinking
Showing violent behavior such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights or self-destructive violence; feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge

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