Can you die yourself


  • Depression is not a character weakness. It's not a whimsy either. It's a disease.

    Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, presenter and actor
    Photo: Tom Wagner


There are warning signs that can indicate whether a person is at risk of suicide. In a nutshell, you can check whether your girlfriend or boyfriend or you are in danger.

Is my girlfriend or boyfriend in danger?

Above all, there is a risk if ...

  • someone expresses suicidal thoughts
  • someone has a plan of when, how and where he or she wants to commit suicide
  • someone collects pills or gets a gun
  • someone has already attempted suicide
  • someone writes a suicide note or something like that
  • a person who is depressed or at risk of suicide suddenly feels better

The following points can also indicate that a person is at risk of suicide:

  • with general hopelessness and self-loathing
  • when someone suddenly doesn't care about things they love anymore
  • if there are major changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • when someone isolates himself from his friends
  • when someone falls into deep, never-ending sadness and / or depression after breaking up with a loved one
  • if there is a sudden deterioration in school grades or work performance
  • with constant restlessness and overactivity
  • when there is evidence that someone is harming themselves
  • when someone says they want to hurt themselves
  • in the case of drug and alcohol abuse

It is wrong to believe that people who speak of suicide don't! But it is also wrong to believe that a young person who is determined or has decided to take his own life can no longer be dissuaded from his plan. Most are torn between wanting to live and wanting to die.


Everyone experiences low moods, phases of discouragement and crises. Almost everyone is also familiar with phases of exhaustion. But when is it a depressive illness? The signs of depression are not always easy to spot. With the self-test (“health questionnaire for patients” or “PHQ-9” for short) you have the opportunity to see whether there are any signs of depression. The mood questionnaire is also used by doctors and therapists for screening.

Please note that the results are only indicative and do not constitute a medical diagnosis. A conversation with a general practitioner or a specialist in mental illness is necessary for a reliable diagnosis. And if you have not been feeling well for a while and are very depressed, we advise you to see a doctor immediately.


A lot of nonsense is said about suicide. Facts get mixed up with falsehoods. Here's a little seven-question quiz from befrienders.

How many of them can you answer correctly?

  • Question 1

    Anyone who has ever thought of suicide will do so for the rest of their lives?

    True or false?

    not correct

    Mental crises can be overcome. Even if it often doesn't feel like it, there is always a way out of the crisis. Talking to someone is the first step in getting help.

  • Question 2

    If someone has tried suicide before, the chances that he or she will try again are much lower.

    True or false?

    not correct

    A suicide attempt is always a warning signal. At least 80% of all suicides carried out occur after previous suicide attempts. This is especially true of young people.

  • Question 3

    People who have thoughts of suicide do not necessarily want to die.

    True or false?


    Indecision is a distinct feature of a suicidal person. Most are torn between wanting to live and wanting to die. Many just want to find a way to escape an unbearable situation.

  • Question 4

    It is not a good idea to ask someone if they are having suicidal thoughts. Talking about suicide may only make him or her think about suicide.

    True or false?

    not correct

    On the contrary: even if it is difficult for you, a conversation often helps those affected to deal with their suicidal thoughts and to think about ways out of the crisis. The willingness to listen shows them that people care and are ready to help them.

  • Question 5

    When a person who is depressed or at risk of suicide feels better, it usually means that the problem is resolved.

    True or false?

    not correct

    A suddenly positive mood in a suicidal person is no reason to assume the worst is over. For example, the person may feel relieved because they made the decision to kill themselves. Apparent improvement can hide a dangerous condition.

  • Question 6

    The greatest risk of suicide is among young men.

    True or false?


    Depressed boys and men are more at risk of suicide than girls and women because men are more likely to choose methods that are more violent and deadly. Women, on the other hand, choose methods that are more likely to save them - which is why the number of suicide attempts is higher with them. In many countries, the risk of suicide is highest among young men between the ages of 18 and 24.

  • Question 7

    Someone who says they want to kill themselves would never do it. He or she is only trying to let off steam by doing this. Those who really want to kill themselves usually don't talk about it. You just do it.

    True or false?

    not correct

    People who contemplate and talk about suicide are torn with wanting to live or die. Talking about suicide is a clear red flag that should be taken seriously. In 8 out of 10 cases, people announce their suicide.


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