Suicidal Thoughts or Threats - Topic Overview
occurs almost twice as often as murder. Each year, about 36,000 people in the
United States die by suicide. In the U.S.:1
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for
people ages 15 to 24 and the second leading cause for people ages 25 to
- Suicide rates have increased for middle-aged and older adults. One
suicide death occurs for every 4 suicide attempts.
- Women try
suicide more often, but men are 4 times more likely to die from a suicide
- A gun is the most common method of suicide.
Many people have fleeting thoughts of death. Fleeting thoughts
of death are less of a problem and are much different from actively planning to
commit suicide. Your risk of committing suicide is increased if you think about
death and killing yourself often, or if you have made a
Most people who seriously
consider suicide do not want to die. Rather, they see suicide as a solution to
a problem and a way to end their pain. People who seriously consider suicide
feel hopeless, helpless, and worthless. A person who feels hopeless believes
that no one can help with a particular event or problem. A person who feels
helpless is immobilized and unable to take steps to solve problems. A person
who feels worthless is overwhelmed with a sense of personal failure.
Most people who seriously consider or attempt suicide have one or more of
the following risks:
The warning signs of suicide change with age.
Anytime someone talks about suicide or about wanting to die or
disappear, even in a joking manner, the conversation must be taken seriously. A
suicide attempt—even if the attempt did not harm the person—also must be taken
seriously. Don't be afraid to talk to someone you think may be considering
suicide. There is no proof that talking about suicide leads to suicidal
thinking or suicide. Once you know the person's thoughts on the subject, you
may be able to help prevent a suicide.