(3) Suicide gestures. A suicide gesture is an act that is indicative of self-
destructiveness, but the level of lethality is so low that it could not cause death.
A suicide gesture is usually made in front of at least one other person or the
person making the gesture anticipates discovery shortly after the act.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, SGT Act goes to the latrine and
scratches his wrists with a ball-point pen.
One evening in his quarters, SGT Jinx puts an unloaded pistol to his
head and tells his wife, "I won't put up with this anymore."
(4) Suicidal threat. This refers to saying or doing something that reveals a
self-destructive desire. These threats are made by people who are wishing to call
attention to their situation and who are trying to manipulate others.
A husband tells his wife, "if you leave me, I'll drive my car off a mountain."
(5) Suicidal ideation. This refers to having thoughts about killing yourself. It
is normal for people to have such thoughts at one time or another in their lives.
(6) Hardcore suicide. This refers to persons who comprise a small
percentage of those who attempt suicide. They do not give warning signals or clues, nor
do they seek help for their suicidal feelings. They make the decision to kill themselves
impulsively and select a means or method which kills quickly. Very little can be done to
help these people.
When persons are expressing self-destructive intent in words, or behavior,
it is always serious. Persons who are considering ending their lives are
experiencing intense levels of anxiety and feel helpless to act in what they
perceive to be a hopeless situation. You should treat any situation of this
nature for the crisis it is. Do not attempt to dismiss the situation by saying it's
just a threat, gesture, and so forth. You may well be this person's "last hope."
Suicide is widely dispersed and is not limited by age, sex, race, social-
economic status, or profession.