Feelings----Negative feelings are often encountered when talking with a person who is inclined
to attempt or commit suicide. Although most feelings are expressed by words or actions, you
will observe a number of symptoms which result from the feeling of depression:
Depression is characterized by the following symptoms:
Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or significant weight
Change in sleep habits, either excessive sleep or inability to sleep.
Behavioral agitation or a slowing of movement.
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities or decrease in sexual drive.
Loss of energy or fatigue.
Complaints or evidence of diminished ability to think or concentrate.
Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach, or excessive guilt.
Withdrawal from family and friends.
Drastic mood swings.
Sudden change in behavior.
Hopelessness, which usually results from a combination of the type of events listed below, is one
of the primary causes of suicide. These events are repeated in this section to reinforce the
chaplain assistant's understanding of what leads an individual to the point of suicide:
Break up a close relationship with a loved one or difficulties in interpersonal relationships with
family or close friends.
Death of a loved one; spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, or pet.
Worry about job or school performance and concerns about failure or doing less well than one
hoped or expected.
Loss of "support systems" or "emotional safety" which comes from moving to a new
Loss of social or financial status of the family.
The compounding and disorienting effects of drugs and/or alcohol.