Are you aware that most mass school shooters commit suicide and that one of the reasons they commit a mass school shooting is in order to commit suicide?
RECOGNIZING RISK FACTORS FOR YOUTH SUICIDE
There are 5 general risk factors to identify people who are at risk of attempting suicide.
- Physical Signs: Fatigue, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes, and a lasting cough.
- Emotional Signs: personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression, and a general lack of interest.
- Family Influenced Signs: starting arguments, breaking rules, or withdrawing from the family.
- School Signs: Decreased interests, negative attitude, drop in grades, many absences, truancy, and discipline problems.
- Social problems: new friends who are less interested in standard home and school activities, problems with the law, and changes to less conventional styles in dress and music.
People who are most at risk of attempting suicide are those who:
- Have made previous attempts;
- Have a family history of suicide
- Have had a recent stressful event or loss in their lives.
- Have easy access to lethal weapons, especially guns.
- Have suffered a divorce or separation in their family.
- The formation of a new family with stepparents and stepsiblings
- Moving to a new community can be very unsettling and can intensify self-doubts.
- Change in eating and sleeping habits
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
- Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away
- Drug and alcohol use
- Unusual neglect of personal appearance
- Marked personality change
- Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
- Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Not tolerating praise or rewards
- Complain of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside
- Give verbal hints with statements such as: I won’t be a problem for you much longer, Nothing matters, It’s no use, and I won’t see you again
- Put his or her affairs in order, for example, give away favorite possessions, clean his or her room, throw away favorite belongings,
- Become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
- Have signs of psychosis (hallucinations or bizarre thoughts)
- Disruptive school behavior
- Substance abuse
- Extreme personality changes
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Significant loss or gain in appetite
- Difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep all day
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
- Sadness, irritability, or indifference
- Having trouble concentrating
- Extreme anxiety or panic
- Drug or alcohol use or abuse
- Aggressive, destructive, or defiant behavior
- Poor school performance
- Hallucinations or unusual beliefs
- Suffered a major disappointment, rejection, failure, or loss such as breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, failing a big exam, or witnessing family turmoil.
While these are warning signs, they are not all of the possible signs. Suffering from one of these symptoms certainly does not necessarily mean that one is suicidal.
If a child or adolescent says, “I want to kill myself, or I’m going to commit suicide, always take the statement seriously and immediately seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional. Make it clear that you care; stress your willingness to listen. An estimated 80 percent of all those who commit suicide give some warning of their intentions or mention their feelings to a friend or family member.
Not all suicide attempts lead to successful suicides. The National Institute of Mental Health believes that as many as 25 suicides are attempted for each one that is completed. Teen suicide attempts are calls for help. Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females. However, females are more likely than boys to attempt suicide. So, even though teenage girls make more attempts on their own lives than teenage boys, the boys are more likely to actually complete a suicide attempt.
Source: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center Source; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
There is a section in my best-selling book Amazon book, Preventing School Violence: A User’s Guide on Suicide. It has received 9 5-star reviews on Amazon.