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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What feelings and emotions should you look out for in someone that may be suicidal?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Lifeline is a national charity delivering 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians. Lifeline connects people to a broad range of national … View Profile

    Intense emotions and high levels of distress may be exhibited by a suicidal person, but this is not necessarily the case. Quiet resignation and calmness may also be associated with a state of suicidality.

    Observable emotions surrounding suicidal experiences may include:

    •    Despair and resignation
    •    Sadness and profound melancholy
    •    Grief and feelings of loss and abandonment
    •    Helplessness and worthlessness
    •    Anger and frustration

    Events and challenges in life can be difficult and sometimes devastating – prompting emotional distress.

    Some people live with the impacts of trauma and abuse, continuing mental or physical ill health, or discrimination and social exclusion, which affect how they emotionally respond to particular events.

    Be aware of:
    •    How the person feels about their life?
    •    What these experiences mean to them?
    •    Whether they experience an emotional pain (a pain inside) that feels bearable.

  • David Lawson


    We all have times when we need to talk with a person who really listens to us, someone outside our family or social circle - … View Profile

    Distress and calmness and everything in between are the emotions that can be displayed by someone at risk of suicide. Which means it can be hard to know if someone is at risk of suicide. However when they are showing high emotions such as despair and sadness which is greater than what they normally are then they could be at risk of suicide.

    The point to remember is we all have different ways of expressing our emotions and dealing with them. Being willing to sit and listen with a person who is hurting/sad can often lead you to ask the question Is it Suicide we are talking about?

    Look for changes in habits, routines, behaviour and feelings - ie happy person now sad, tidy now untidy these give you clues that suicide maybe being considered.

  • Susan Wolf


    My aim is to listen and understand. Specialising in LGBTQI/GLBT and all other atypical lifestyles. Other areas include depression, anxiety and communication within families and … View Profile

    I agree with the collegues above, but would also note that people who are truly suicidal may mention that they are, so don't take any comments about suicide lightly. They may also start giving away things precious to them, like games or clothing or furniture. I know these are not emotions, but they are more signs to be aware of.

    Good luck.

  • 1


    Ivan Bakich

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    I work in the area of Clinical Psychology including Testing, Intellectual Assessments and Basic Neuropsychological Assessments. I am also a Psychotherapist, Marital/Couples and Family Therapist, … View Profile

    Apart from severe depressive symptoms, HELPLESSNESS and HOPELESSNESS are very often the drivers of completed suicides. Many health professionals and the public say that it  is DEPRESSION which drives one to suicide. True, depression is one of variables but helplessness and hopelessness may play a decisive role in carrying out the act.

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