Interpersonal Problems and Suicide

What is an interpersonal problem?

It’s normal to have occasional quarrels or conflicts with one’s family, friends, colleagues, or spouse. Interpersonal problems arise when these quarrels and conflicts start taking up too much space or become a source of distress.


What are the signs of interpersonal problems?

A number of signs may indicate relationship problems, including:

  • Frequent fights
  • Frequent disagreements
  • Communication breakdown with the other person
  • Avoidance of the other person
  • Bouts of anger
  • Physically aggressive behaviour

What causes interpersonal problems?

Interpersonal problems can have many causes, including:

  • Differing opinions, values, beliefs, or life goals
  • Family changes (birth of a child, divorce, separation, or new relationship)
  • Financial problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Addiction issues (alcohol, drugs, gambling, Internet)
  • Mental health problems
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Relationships that lack trust and respect

What are the effects of interpersonal problems?

Interpersonal problems can have all sorts of consequences, including:

  • Negative emotions such as sadness, anger, disappointment, or anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression and/or burnout
  • Feelings of abandonment or isolation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Addiction issues
  • Suicidal thoughts

Interpersonal problems and suicidal thoughts

People experiencing interpersonal problems may have suicidal thoughts. If this is the case for you, consult the following sections:

01 Taking stock of your mental health

The first step toward taking back control is identifying what’s causing your suicidal thoughts.

02 Taking care of yourself

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and regain your balance when you’re having suicidal thoughts.

03 Talking about it with your loved ones

Asking for help from your family and friends isn’t always easy. There are different ways of going about it.

04 Finding support services

Every day, all sorts of people contact support services to get the help they need.

What to do if you’re having interpersonal problems

It’s possible to find a way forward despite interpersonal problems. If one or more signs indicate that you may be having interpersonal problems, first call Info-Social at 811, option 2, to discuss your situation with a psychosocial worker and be referred, if necessary, to resources in your area that can provide support.

For an assessment and follow-up with a healthcare professional, consult a general practitioner (your family doctor, for example), a psychologist or contact your local CLSC.

Other resources can help people having interpersonal problems.

Here’s some advice for people with interpersonal problems

What I'm going through...