Suicidal Thoughts/ Tendencies
Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide.Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide.
Suicidal thoughts are common, and many people experience them when they are undergoing stress or experiencing depression. In most cases, these are temporary and can be treated, but in some cases, they place the individual at risk for attempting or completing suicide.
Most people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through, although some may make suicide attempts.
Anyone who has suicidal thoughts should ask for help. If a loved one is having these thoughts, measures should be taken to help and protect them.
A person who is experiencing or could experience suicidal thoughts may show the following signs or symptoms:
- feeling or appearing to feel trapped or hopeless
- feeling intolerable emotional pain
- having or appearing to have an abnormal preoccupation with violence, dying, or death
- having mood swings, either happy or sad
- talking about revenge, guilt, or shame
- being agitated, or in a heightened state of anxiety
- experiencing changes in personality, routine, or sleeping patterns
- consuming drugs or more alcohol than usual, or starting drinking when they had not previously done so
- engaging in risky behavior, such as driving carelessly or taking drugs
- getting their affairs in order and giving things away
- getting hold of a gun, medications, or substances that could end a life
- experiencing depression, panic attacks, impaired concentration
- increased isolation
- talking about being a burden to others
- psychomotor agitation, such as pacing around a room, wringing one’s hands, and removing items of clothing and putting them back on
- saying goodbye to others as if it were the last time
- seeming to be unable to experience pleasurable emotions from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction, or sex
- severe remorse and self criticism
- talking about suicide or dying, expressing regret about being alive or ever having been born
A significant number of people with suicidal ideation keep their thoughts and feelings a secret and show no signs that anything is wrong.
A significant number of mental health problems, including depression, can be successfully treated or managed with medications and talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or counseling.