Answering the Question "Why?" Why would a person want to commit suicide when they have so much to live for? The answer is that many people are in such great pain or in such difficult circumstances that they feel that their lives aren't worth living. Suicidal thoughts may be brought on by a major life transition, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the end of a relationship-situations that may leave people feeling overwhelmed, desperate, hurt, and helpless.

Other people may be experiencing a steady decline in the quality of their lives, and may blame themselves and think that something is wrong with them. The more they blame themselves, the less worthy they feel of having success, having friends, or having fun. They perceive the future as being hopeless. Others feel so buried under so many little things that have gone wrong that they feel like they are drowning.

All of these people may be in such a world of pain and hurt that death ceases to be scary; it begins to look like an easy way out. They've lost their perspective on reality, and suicide seems to be a simple solution to end their despair.

What are the Warning Signs? There is no "typical suicidal person." However, there are several behaviors that can indicate that a person is seriously considering suicide. These include:

Any combination of these actions might alert both family and friends that a person is struggling with life and considering suicide as an option.

What Can I Do? One of the most important things that you can do if someone you care about talks about suicide is to remain calm and listen to that person. Remember, people who are feeling suicidal isolate themselves, so reaching out to them is vital. They need you to encourage them to talk and then they need you to listen carefully. Other important things to keep in mind include: