Bipolar Disorder- Suicide

by Barb Bergman

Suicide is a real issue for those with bipolar disorder. It is estimated that 20% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder will kill themselves. 50% will attempt it at least once in their life.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people age 10-24. More than 100,000 people in this age range will attempt suicide, 7,000 out of that 100,000 will succeed. 20% of that suffer from bipolar disorder.
Suicide is not something that can be ignored. It will NOT go away. Everyone needs to make a commitment to recognize the warning signs.
How you prepare yourself could be the difference between life and death to someone you love.
Situational Indicators
- loss of relationship, rejection, separation
- death of a loved one
- diagnoses of terminal illness
- loss of financial security
- change of physical appearance
- loss of employment
- loss of self-esteem
- abuse
Emotional Indicators
- depression
- hopelessness
- helplessness
As a person begins to climb from depression the possibility of suicide increases. There are two theories as to why this happens: 1) a person makes up their mind to take their life, they become at peace with the situation. 2) as lethargy lifts, they find the energy to carry out suicidal plans.
Behavior Indicators
- acquiring a weapon
- hoarding medication
- putting affairs in order
- making or changing a will
- increased interest in suicide
- giving away personal belongings
- mending grievances
- checking on insurance policy
- withdrawing from people
Verbal Indicators
- straight forward comments
 * I wish I were dead
 * I wish I had the nerve to kill myself
 * I wish I would die in my sleep
 * If it weren't for the kids, spouse, I would kill myself
- hints
 * I hate life
 * why do I bother
 * I can't take anymore
 * nothing matters anymore
These are not proof positive of suicidal thoughts. A person may give none or no signs. So how do you know for sure? ASK!!!! Be open to discussing this very difficult subject WITHOUT judgment! You could be saving someones life.


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