This is one of the first questions almost everyone asks after a suicide is: Why? Why would someone you love end their own life? How could I not have seen this coming? Suicide is very complicated, and it is almost always leaves many questions unanswered. Often, we never learn exactly why our loved one took their life. At least 90 percent of all people who died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time, most often depression. The decision generally comes from a place of helplessness, hopelessness, and deep despair. People who are impulsive, or who use alcohol and drugs, are at higher risk. The choice to die by suicide may seem to have been made in a few impulsive moments of deep turmoil…or it may have been a decision that had been contemplated for some time due to unrecognized, untreated mental illness.

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