Awareness of Suicide – Signs and Symptoms

Family Support

Often the lack of affect or “numbing” of an officer can be very difficult on a relationship. It can also be very difficult to discuss problems with your loved one. A well trained officer is very good at blocking out or responding harshly to tension directed toward them. The more an officer is “nagged” or told “you’re not listening” the higher the likely hood that they really are not listening to you. This is again, a part of their training and often keeps them safe at work. Remaining calm, clear and compassionate with your loved one about the concerns you have is the best way to communicate!

You are the first one to notice that your loved one has changed over their years of service. These changes can be so overwhelming and you may even feel like you don’t know them anymore. You may feel like they don’t care about you or that it’s your fault. You’re not alone! It is common for loved ones to feel that way. You may have wondered if you or your loved one should seek help. Seeking help is a tremendous show of love and strength. Once you’ve noticed the signs of stress you can begin understanding what is going on and begin feeling connected to your loved one again.

  • What are the signs that your loved one is in need of support? You may have noticed some of these symptoms in your loved one:
  • Negative feelings about themselves or others
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed together
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Paranoia, hypervigilance
  • Increased anxiety
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much, gambling, road rage
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping, hard time falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Digestive problems
  • High blood pressure

Reaching out to help your loved one is no small task. It is crucial that you know and find your own supports as you support others! You don’t have to do it all alone. Reaching out to others is the first step. You can call your health care professional, therapist, clergy or other community supports to get started. You can search for programs that specifically support uniformed services professionals in your area.

If you feel someone is in danger of committing suicide or has attempted to commit suicide, stay with that person and call 911 or get them to the nearest emergency room!

Download the Family Support Brochure