Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal ideation is when a person has thoughts of committing suicide and ideas to do with their own suicide. It’s apparent in people who are at high risk for suicide and can be experienced in people living with a variety of mental health or physical health conditions.

Understanding More About What Suicidal Ideation Is

Suicidal ideation is commonly referred to as suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can include thinking about committing suicide and even making a plan to commit suicide by choosing the means, and place in and by which to commit suicide. Suicidal ideation can even mean making plans for what happens after committing suicide (leaving belongings to others, writing a goodbye note, etc.). Not every person who is living with suicidal ideation acts on their suicidal thoughts. But, people who are experiencing suicidal ideation are at a higher risk for committing suicide, so it’s important that people who are living with this reach out for help as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk for Suicidal Ideation?

There are specific groups of people who are at higher risks for experiencing suicidal ideation including people who are:

  • diagnosed with mental health issues
  • have family members who have committed suicide
  • have experienced traumatic events
  • struggling with drug abuse or addiction
  • living with chronic pain
  • dealing with grief

Recognizing the Causes of Developing Suicidal Ideation

Along with some things that can make people more at risk for developing suicidal ideation, there are some things that can cause the development of suicidal ideation. Some of the causes of dealing with suicidal thoughts and ideation can include:

  • suddenly and traumatically losing a loved one
  • feeling hopelessness for the future
  • side effects of medications
  • feeling trapped in traumatic situations (like abusive relationships)
The Importance of Setting a Safety Plan

People who are struggling with suicidal ideation can benefit from making a safety plan when they do experience suicidal thoughts. This way, they can overcome these thoughts when they occur and keep themselves safe from suicide. The best safety plans can be made with the help of mental health professionals like therapists who specialize in depression and suicidal ideation. Some things that you can include in your suicidal ideation safety plan can include:

  • utilize coping strategies like reaching out to a friend, journaling, or meditation
  • know your triggers and avoid them
  • tell loved ones and mental health specialists about your suicidal ideations so they can support you in times of crisis
  • remove means of suicide in your home (weapons, pills, etc.)

Getting Help for Suicidal Ideation Through Brain-Based Treatments

Suicidal ideation is often caused by mental health issues like treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, or severe anxiety. People living with these issues may have tried every type of treatment and feel like there is no way out – besides ending their own lives. But, that’s not true – there are treatments that can help to address suicidal thoughts and ideation as well as mental health issues.

Brain-based treatments work to address mental health issues inside the brain, unlike other treatments like prescription medications. Some of the brain-based treatments at Delray Brain Science for mental health issues that may lead to suicidal ideation include:

TMS: TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment that helps to stimulate areas of the brain that are responsible for symptoms of certain mental health issues. Sessions are fast and there is no downtime, so patients can go back to their daily lives afterward. And, with results after only a few sessions, many people find that managing symptoms of mental health issues can be quick with TMS.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: Ketamine is a medication that works to stimulate areas of the brain that aren’t functioning as they should, leading to the development of various symptoms of mental health issues. Ketamine infusion therapy administers low doses of ketamine directly into the bloodstream, allowing people facing a number of mental health issues to receive fact-acting relief.

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