Experts: Start talking about aging and suicide

An elderly man holds his walking stick in May.

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*KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS*In the case of multiple or severe signs, seek immediate professional help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) provides acccess to trained telephone counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Talking about suicide, death, and/or no reason to livePreoccupation with death and dyingWithdrawal from friends and/or social activitiesExperience of a recent severe loss (especially a relationship) or the threat of a significant lossExperience or fear of a situation of humiliation or failureDrastic changes in behaviorLoss of interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.Preparation for death by making out a will (unexpectedly) and final arrangementsGiving away prized possessionsPrevious history of suicide attempts, as well as violence and/or hostilityUnnecessary risks; reckless and/or impulsive behaviorLoss of interest in personal appearanceIncreased use of alcohol and/or drugsGeneral hopelessnessRecent experience of humiliation or failureUnwillingness to connect with potential helpers*Source: Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

Editor's note: This article is the first in a three-part series about aging and suicide.