We have all had bad days, and suffering from a sleep disorder, as you know, can make a bad day worse. How many days have I found myself at the edge of my rope, irritable, grouchy and depressed from lack of sleep? More than I can count, that’s for sure. I did not know, however, that there was a connection between sleep and suicide.
As we may have suspected, in many cases insomnia and related sleep disorders can be signs of psychological distress. Often one of the earliest signs of depression is the inability to fall asleep, often due to anxiety, worry and stress.
It turns out that sleep disorder symptoms dovetail with those of depression. You may know someone who is showing signs of having a hard time falling asleep, and may also be depressed. In many cases of depression, if the condition goes untreated sleep and suicide are a horrible reality.
It’s important to know the early warning signs of depression in order to better help friends, relatives and acquaintances–you may actually save a life!
Here are the warning signs of depression:
Consider these warning signs of suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
The higher the degree of severity of these signs the greater the risk of suicide.
Here are some steps to take right away if you recognize any of these symptoms:
- Do not leave the person alone
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional