Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Suicide often not preceded by warnings

September 24, 2012
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Krisally Alisa
November 13, 2012

This article reminds me once again of how dangerous depression can be. Without any warning, you can lose a friend or a family member and then you ask yourself: why? How come i didn’t see the problem was so big?! It’s so sad and painful…depression is treatable! Just don’t let it ruin your life or anyone else’s.

October 30, 2012

Very informatic post on suicide. And the points the pre-suicide behavior are noticable

John Simmons
October 14, 2012

The low calorie blueberry muffins (4-12) are truly great, worth the price of health letter
many times over. JS

Running on Empty
September 27, 2012

For me, I think about suicide daily. if your serious be berry careful who you tell. I have decided it will be spontaneous and most likely via drug OD.

September 29, 2012

I lost my little brother to self inflicted gun shot on June 24th 2012. I have no idea what he felt. I know I have many times tried and failed. Some real tries too. I found him. I relive that monet, that image of him like that every day. I cant get it out no matter how hard I try. Not to mention a few days later, on my birthday my father ODed and passed. You really may feel alone but I dont think you can imagine what you would put your loved ones thru to find you dead, I hope you can seek help and save them from the feelings I feel!! I love you if noone else does…I MEAN THAT!

September 25, 2012

I have a history of suicide attempts since my teen years. Each time I’ve noticed the “warning” signs you mention – well, people really LIKE them. Giving away that painting someone has been admiring for years? Yay! They’ll pay for shipping!! Willing to hang out with someone all day and let them talk about themselves non stop? They’ll buy the next round! Returning borrowed property? Making amends for old harms? GREAT! So your life is going down in flames – eh! Pass the marshmallows!

All this reaffirms the lie that “the world will be better without me”.

In my case the people who got in the way of my plans were not folks I was very close to at all. But they had good intuition and the guts to get in my face. The signs are there more often than not, I suspect. You just have to step back to see them.

September 29, 2012

My boyfriend committed suicide some months back. He had a history of attempts but it is still shocking once it happens. Needless to say the ones left behind are broken beyond belief. There is no goodbye or preparation. Caryn, it makes me sad to think that you’re implying that people are too selfish to do anything to help someone who is suicidal. This reaffirms the blame and guilt survivors feel in the wake of their loss. I may not have been the best girlfriend in the world, but I sure as hell don’t need someone telling me I should blame myself for not recognizing the warning signs. We are all human. We make mistakes, or in this case, miss the warning signs. I refuse to blame myself or anyone else for that matter for his death.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.