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Recognizing suicidal behavior part one

Depression and suicidal ideations
Depression and suicidal ideations

Recently the body of Andrew Koenig, also known as Boner Stabone from the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, was discovered in a park in Vancouver eleven days after he was reported missing. In a press conference with Koenig's parents, it was revealed that the 41-year-old actor committed suicide.

Just days after this Marie Osmond’s son reportedly committed suicide by jumping from an apartment window.

Both families must be devastated. Suicides are very difficult losses to bear. To know that your loved one was so troubled that they could not see any way out of it but to take their own life, is a horrible truth to accept and unfortunately many people blame themselves for not seeing the signs or not doing something about signs they remember in twenty/twenty hindsight.

When someone is depressed they sometimes feel there is no way out of the dark hole they feel they are stuck within. Seeking help is often so difficult for them that they simply do nothing. Inaction is caused by the overwhelming exhaustion that many depressed persons experience and these feelings can lead to the decision to end these horrible feelings they are trapped within. Even with the depressive symptoms, the act of suicide seems to them like the last thing they can do to escape the continuing downward spiral.

Symptoms that can be observed in a loved one who is possibly considering suicide may include the following, as well as others:

  • Loss of interest in things they used to like
  • Lack of energy or desire to do anything
  • Sad, even tearful affect
  • Eating, sleeping, or drinking too much or too little
  • Talking about death or dying
  • Expressing desire to escape their feelings and situations that may be upsetting to them
  • Morbid talk and actions
  • Giving away previously prized possessions
  • I don’t care attitude
  • Finalizing things in their life and expressing care for loved ones

The important thing to remember is that it is best to use your gut feelings and if you think something is really wrong, then try to get help for your loved one. Do not be afraid to ask them if they are thinking of suicide. Your question will not make them think of it if they were not already.

Trust your instincts and ask openly if they are thinking of killing themselves. Talk to them about getting help and that depression is temporary and that there are medicines and therapies to help them. If you fear for their safety do not leave them alone but have someone remain with them and get them help.

Part two has emergency numbers for Knoxville and surrounding communities.


  • Debbie Dunn, School Conflict Resolution Examiner 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this insightful article.

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