• James McNeil

What are the warning signs? (Part 2)

In the previous post, you read a few of the signs (or red flags) that a person you know might be considering suicide. At the end of the list, I asked if you (the reader) had any ideas to add to the list. I received quite a few responses to this, so today I would like to give three more signs that someone you love could be considering a permanent end to a temporary problem.

1. A complete lack of energy: this is not about a lack of energy for a day or so. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t gone through at least one day where they just “don’t want to.” I’m talking about day after day and nothing changes. This may be hard to spot because the person dealing with it may just get up and do things anyway, but it will be with much less energy. Looking back to my own journey before attempting suicide, I can recognize this in myself. I got up and did what I had to do, but I had no zest for life.

2. Extra happy: This alone is not a red flag. I’m not going to advocate us approaching every super happy person we see and asking if they’re suicidal. I would, however, like you to look at this one in light of the one before. Again, looking back to my life before attempting it, I had gone through an extended period of a complete lack of energy, and then I suddenly was “back to my old self.” Hindsight helps me realize that this was a huge red flag because I had decided what I was going to do. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone else thought it was something positive and celebrated my return to the way I’d been before.

3. Cannot take compliments/ positive input: “Oh you did a great job there!” “Yeah, I was just lucky.” That kind of conversation is normal for someone who is facing the obstacles (such as impostor syndrome) that lead to suicidal thoughts. It’s also one that is very common. When you’re facing impostor syndrome, you will not take any compliment about you or what you’ve done. You honestly feel you don’t deserve it. How do I know this? I still face this obstacle every day. Yes. Every day. “But you wrote the book! Don’t you have all the answers?” (Yes, that was literally said to me.) To that, I say this. Impostor syndrome is not something you’re going to defeat in one day and never face again. Suicidal thoughts and ideations are the same. This is a fight that will go every day because they will fight to come back. But also know this. You. Are. Worth. Every. Fight.

Do you know of any other signs of suicidal tendencies we should discuss? Drop a comment below or email me at or go to to pick up your own copy of Finding Your Personal Mission. You can also click the “shop now” button to wear your motivation with amazing designs from my friends at Really? Designs.

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