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Recent Pair of Celebrity Suicides Raise Questions About Mental Health Awareness

In the past week, fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain both committed suicide. While we are saddened by these two tragic losses, their deaths highlight the importance of educating the public about suicide awareness and prevention. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we here at Anderson Boutwell Traylor are far too familiar with the mental health issues that can develop after a crash or other type of serious accident. From traumatic brain injuries to PTSD, an accident can cause numerous disorders that can force a person to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. In this blog, we explain how to spot the warning signs of depression and suicide.

Why Do People Commit Suicide?

A person can decide to commit suicide for a number of different reasons, there isn’t just one cause for suicide because each person has their own unique motivations. Additionally, the conditions of each individual’s mental health varies. Although there are many factors that than contribute to a person’s suicide, most suicides tend to occur when stressors and health issues build up and converge to create a strong sense of hopelessness and feelings of despair.

Depression is the condition that is most commonly attributed to suicide, and unfortunately, it is often undiagnosed or isn’t treated at all. When conditions like depression, anxiety and substance abuse problems continue to be unaddressed, it significantly increases a person’s risk for committing suicide.

What Are the Warning Signs of Suicide & Mental Health Disorders?

If you are concerned that someone you know is depressed or thinking of possibly taking their own life, you should pay close attention to changes in their routine behavior or the appearance of new or peculiar behaviors that they have never exhibited before. You should be particularly concerned if the new or changed behavior is likely linked to a painful event, loss, or sudden change in the person’s life. Many people who commit suicide will allude to these warning signs with what they say or by what they do.

If a person talks about any of the following things, they might be depressed or suicidal:

  • Wanting to Kill Themselves
  • Feeling Hopeless
  • Having No Reason to Live
  • Feeling Like They Have No Options
  • Feeling Like a Burden to Others
  • Experiencing Unbearable Pain

When it comes to changes in behavior, the following things might indicate if the change is related to a painful event or loss:

  • Excessive & Increased Alcohol & Drug Use
  • Withdrawing From Friends & Activities
  • Recent Internet Searches for Ways to Commit Suicide
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep or Sleeping Too Much
  • Randomly Visiting, Calling, or Texting People to Say Goodbye
  • Giving Away Their Valuables & Other Prized Possessions
  • Aggressive Behavior or Frequent Fatigue

People who are thinking of committing suicide often display a combination of the following moods:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Loss of Interest in Their Passions
  • Depression
  • Humiliation/Shame

What Risk Factors Contribute to Suicide?

The following mental health characteristics or conditions increase a person’s risk of taking their own life:

  • Substance Abuse Issues
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Serious Physical Health Conditions

Environmental factors that can contribute to suicide include:

  • Easy Access to Firearms & Weapons
  • Easy Access to Drugs
  • Stress, Harassment, Bullying, Unemployment, & Relationship Problems
  • Financial Problems, Divorce, or the Death of a Loved One

Historical factors that are often associated with suicide are:

  • History of Suicide Attempts
  • History of Childhood Abuse, Neglect, or Other Traumas
  • Family History of Suicide

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking of committing suicide, you should call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK to get support.

The thoughts and prayers of the attorneys and staff at Anderson, Boutwell, Traylor are with all those struggling with mental illness and the friends and families who love and support them.

If you or a loved one have developed depression or other metal health conditions after being in an accident, you might be entitled financial compensation that can be used to get the support you need. Contact our team of Louisiana brain injury lawyers to discuss your case today.