For HELP NOW click Veterans Crisis Line, or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or Veterans Crisis online chat, or text Veterans Crisis Line 838255.
Finding hope again and reconnecting
Some Veterans find that they feel numb and lose interest in things they used to enjoy. Others start to feel hopeless, which may lead to thoughts of suicide. By reaching out for support, these Veterans connected to resources for recovery, including counseling or the Veterans Crisis Line. Learn how they discovered ways to enjoy life again.
Check the “VA on Suicide” page for complete descriptions and understand, with answers to questions like:
How do I know if I am suicidal?
What are the warning signs of suicide?
There are different types of warning signs you may see in yourself or another person who may be in crisis. All warning signs require attention, and some require immediate action. Some people will make jokes about suicide when they are having suicidal thoughts. Others may even appear calmer or happier than usual because they have decided to attempt suicide and feel relief at making a decision. Not everyone who makes a suicide attempt shows warning signs. However, warning signs of suicide should always be taken seriously, even if the person seems to be joking.
“I know a lot of people think about suicide. I know I have. But committing suicide is the exception, and you need to ask for help.”
If you recognize any of the following signs of suicide in yourself or others, you should reach out for support:
- Feeling hopeless, trapped, or like there’s no way out
- Having persistent or worsening trouble sleeping or eating
- Feeling anxious or agitated
- Feeling like there is no reason to live
- Feeling rage or anger
- Engaging in risky activities without thinking of the consequences
- Increasing alcohol or drug misuse
- Withdrawing from family and friends
The following warning signs require immediate attention:
- Making a plan for how or when to attempt suicide
- Frequently talking, writing, or drawing about death or about items that can cause physical harm
- Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities without thinking about the consequences
- Behaving violently such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights, or engaging in acts of self-harm
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
- Acting as though you have a “death wish”; tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
- Giving away prized possessions
- Putting your affairs in order, tying up loose ends, and/or making out a will
- Seeking access to firearms, pills, or other means of harming yourself
It is important to get help right away if you notice any of the signs above. Getting support can help you see that solutions to your problems exist and that suicide is not the answer.
What is the treatment for suicidal thoughts and behavior?
What can I do to cope with suicidal thoughts and behaviors?