WELLNESS
08/17/2011 04:43 pm ET Updated Oct 17, 2011

'Real Housewives' Husband's Suicide: Do You Know The Warning Signs?

By Alyssa Sparacino

Bravo TV confirmed that Russell Armstrong, estranged husband to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead by apparent suicide Monday night in his Los Angeles home.

Taylor Armstrong, who filed for divorce against her investment banker husband in July after six years of marriage, discovered the 47-year-old’s body hanging in a bedroom. They have one daughter together.

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10 Things to Say (and 10 Not to Say) to Someone With Depression
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8 Signs Someone Is at Risk of Suicide

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if someone is at risk for suicide, although there are warning signs that can be red flags. A suicide note was not found, but reports suggest that Russell Armstrong had major financial troubles, including a $1.5 million lawsuit filed against both him and his estranged wife.

What you should know

Anyone can be at risk for suicide. Nearly 400,000 people attempt suicide in the U.S. each year, and depression is more common than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined.

According to a government report, as many as 8.3 million adults, or about 4 percent of people in the U.S., have had “serious thoughts of suicide.” But there are many myths that surround depression and suicide.

For example, teens aren’t the group at highest risk (it’s actually the elderly, and men in particular). And while three times as many women attempt suicide as men, men are much more likely to die if they attempt it.

What you should do

If you think someone may be at risk for suicide, take it seriously. Keep in mind that people suffering from depression or high anxiety, two leading causes of suicide, may use drugs or alcohol to numb their feelings.

People who talk about harming themselves are at high risk, particularly if they feel trapped or hopeless.

Don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to get help.