Warning signs of suicide with depression

robin williams

Rest In Peace, Robin.

The news of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide has been such a shock to so many people. I can’t say that it shocked me so much as it ripped my heart out. Many people who suffer from depression cover it by having outwardly bubbly, sometimes even over-the-top personalities, like Robin. Meanwhile, privately, they are crying for help.

Watching him on his latest show “The Crazy Ones,” I could tell his heart just wasn’t in it. Before in his previous roles, his eyes would twinkle with mischief and pleasure. On this show, he just seemed to be going through the motions and, at times, his pain was evident to me. I don’t know how many people picked up on this.

See, I also suffer from depression. I know how he felt. I have struggled with depression most of my life. I was at my lowest after my brother’s death in a car accident 20 years ago. There were many times I contemplated taking my life. Why didn’t I? Because of my daughter, who was a small child at the time. I did not want her to grow up without her mother, as my nephews were going to have to grow up without their father. It is a day-to-day struggle. Some days are easier than others. My children, my husband and my Faith keep me strong.

You or someone you love may be coping with severe depression. Please don’t ignore the signs. If you see any of these signs, seek help immediately.

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Are There Warning Signs of Suicide With Depression?

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) — or the deaf hotline at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).

Warning signs of suicide with depression include:

  • A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Talking about suicide (killing one’s self)
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about

Remember, if you or someone you know is demonstrating any of the above warning signs of suicide with depression, either call your local suicide hot line, contact a mental health professional right away, or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.


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