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Signs Of Suicidal Ideation

Signs Of Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal ideation refers to thinking contemplating, or making plans to commit suicide. While anyone can have occasional negative thoughts, suicidal ideation becomes a cause for concern when these thoughts become persistent and overwhelming, lasting for days or weeks.

What Causes Suicidal Ideations?

Suicidal ideation is often caused by a combination of stressors and mental health conditions. Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or job loss, can all trigger suicidal thoughts.

Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders (SUD) can also trigger or increase the risk for suicidal ideation. It is worth noting that not everyone who experiences suicidal ideation will go on to attempt or die by suicide. However, it is essential to take all thoughts and plans seriously and seek professional help as soon as possible.

Warning Signs Of Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal thoughts can manifest in many different ways. Some people may have specific plans, while others may have more vague, fleeting thoughts. Warning signs that someone is thinking about suicide include:

  1. Talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself: This can include making comments about being better off dead, expressing feelings of hopelessness, talking about being a burden to others, and saying that they can’t see any way out of their current situation.
  2. Expressing a strong hatred for oneself or others: If someone is filled with rage, talking about revenge, or making threats of violence, it could be a sign that they are considering suicide as a way to escape their pain.
  3. Preoccupation with death and dying: This can manifest as a sudden interest in death and violence, as well as an obsession with topics like murder, self-harm, and suicide.
  4. Giving away prized possessions: If someone close to you starts giving away things that are important to them or writing a will, it could be a sign that they are preparing for their death.
  5. Changes in sleeping or eating habits: Insomnia, loss of appetite, and significant weight loss or gain can all be warning signs of serious psychological distress.
  6. Withdrawing from social activities: If someone starts isolating themselves and withdrawing from the people and things they used to enjoy, it could be a sign that they are struggling internally.
  7. Expressing feelings of hopelessness: If someone is continually talking about feeling trapped like there’s no way out of their current situation, it could be a sign that they are considering suicide as a way to escape their pain.
  8. Engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors: This can include excessive drug or alcohol use, driving under the influence, and engaging in compulsive, harmful behaviors.
  9. Saying goodbye to people: If someone is suddenly saying goodbye to the people in their life, it could be a sign that they are contemplating suicide.
  10. Getting the means to commit suicide: This can include stockpiling pills, buying a gun, or purchasing other lethal means of suicide. It can also include looking up methods of suicide online.

The Bottom Line

If a loved one or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, they might be dealing with suicidal ideations and may be at risk of harming themselves. Call 911 or the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline if you think someone is in immediate danger of harming themselves.

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