Indicators of Suicide Overview and Analysis

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The indicators of suicide may include the characteristics of the current situation, mood, and cognitive activity of a person, which shows an increased degree of suicidal risk. Among the situational indicators of Stephanie’s suicidal behavior, I would highlight a break with her boyfriend and problems in the relationship with her mother. Behavioral indicators include the abuse of psychoactive substances, marijuana, and alcohol (Plummer et al., 2014). Among cognitive indicators, there are negative assessments of Stephanie’s personality and her future, the presence of suicidal thoughts and intentions, as well as depression, hopelessness, and despair.

First of all, the nature of family relationships played an important role in the formation of Stephanie’s depression and suicidal behavior. Her relationship with her mother was disharmonious, which, of course, affected the psychological climate between family members, especially Stephanie’s psyche. Perhaps, the lack of attention was the main cause of suicide. Stephanie’s mother Sara started hoarding when her daughters were in high school (Plummer et al., 2014). This pathological hoarding, called Diogenes syndrome, is a mental disorder characterized by an extremely dismissive attitude to everyday issues, social isolation, apathy, and a tendency to collect and accumulate unnecessary, obsolete things. It is obvious that Sara was negligent to her children and did not pay much attention to Stephanie’s life (Plummer et al., 2014). This fact has led to depression, behavioral problems, and attempts to commit suicide.

In addition to the disharmonious relationship with her mother, Stephanie broke up with her boyfriend and suffered from depression. Depression is a disease with biological, social, and psychological components and must be treated properly (Singer & Slovak, 2011). It often becomes chronic, as in Stephanie’s situation, with exacerbations and remissions. Mental and neurological disorders, alcohol, and drug abuse also influenced the risk of suicide. Substance abuse and depression are closely related, and there is an interdependent relationship between depression and the abuse of various chemicals (Miers et al., 2012). Stephanie was initially at risk since she suffered from depression and anxiety disorders, and the relationships with her mother and boyfriend just escalated the situation.

The best way to respond to the indicators of suicide is to communicate with a person. People often think that a direct question about suicidal thoughts can harm since it will push a person to such an idea. However, sincere and open communication can help to save lives. Both individual psychiatrists and medical institutions such as the World Health Organization recommend asking direct questions in the case of concern for a person (Miranda-Mendizábal et al., 2017). I would talk to Stephanie about her feelings, try to look at the world through her eyes, and understand what exactly went wrong, why life seems unbearable to her. I would talk to her family as well, asking them to pay proper attention to Stephanie and make her feel needed. An adolescent needs parental communication, and if parents do not spend time with their child, it can cause problems.

Adolescents who want to commit suicide especially suffer from intense feelings of alienation. If a child suffers from depression, like Stephanie, it is important to communicate about the disturbing situation. People who are going to commit suicide to think that they are not needed by anyone, have no choice, and no one cares about them. When parents or specialists listen to a teenager, on a psychological level, they express deep concern. For an adolescent who feels that he or she is useless and unloved, the caring and participation of a responsive parent is a powerful reassurance. This is the best response that can penetrate the isolated soul of a desperate child. Thus, suicide can be prevented by being careful with each other.


Miers, D., Abbott, D., & Springer, P. R. (2012). A phenomenological study of family needs following the suicide of a teenager. Death Studies, 36(2), 118-133.

Miranda-Mendizábal, A., Castellví, P., Parés-Badell, O., Almenara, J., Alonso, l., Blasco, M. J., &… Alonso, J. (2017). Sexual orientation and suicidal behavior in adolescents and young adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 211(2), 77–87.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

Singer, J. B., & Slovak, K. (2011). School social workers’ experiences with youth suicidal behavior: An exploratory study. Children & Schools, 33(4), 215–228.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Indicators of Suicide Overview and Analysis." January 6, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Indicators of Suicide Overview and Analysis." January 6, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Indicators of Suicide Overview and Analysis." January 6, 2023.