What is Suicidal Ideation and are you Living With It?

What is suicidal ideation? Essentially, suicidal ideation is thinking about committing suicide. It’s an indicator that a person is struggling with depression and may need professional help to prevent suicide. Being able to recognize suicidal ideation is essential to preventing suicide, so answering the question “What is suicidal ideation” is very important.

The Types of Suicidal Ideation

There are actually two types of suicidal ideation including:

Passive: This type of suicidal ideation means that a person is thinking about and glorifying the thought of suicide, but doesn’t yet have a means or a plan for committing suicide.

Active: This more advanced stage of suicidal ideation includes having a plan and means of committing suicide.

Statistics About Suicide

Understanding statistics about suicide and suicidal ideation can spread awareness about this issue and help people who are dealing with a suicidal crisis identify whether or not they need help. According to statistical reporting from the CDC:

  • suicide rates have increased in almost every state since 1999
  • about half of the people who commit suicide weren’t diagnosed with a mental health condition
  • almost 45 thousand people died of suicide in the year 1999 alone
  • since 1999, suicide rates have gone up over 30% for most of the US
  • suicide is not caused by one single factor, but many

Identifying Signs and Symptoms

One thing that loved ones and even people who are struggling with suicidal ideation can do is recognize the signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation. This way, help can be sought and the risk of suicide can decrease. Some of the signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation may include:

  • experiencing homelessness, relationship issues, financial struggles, and other life-altering issues
  • rapid mood swings
  • expressing thoughts of suicide
  • glorifying suicide
  • settling on and acquiring a means to suicide (stocking up pills, purchasing a firearm, etc.)
  • saying goodbyes and writing goodbye notes
  • self-harm
  • partaking in dangerous activities
  • substance use and abuse
  • avoidance and isolative behaviors
  • giving away possessions to loved ones
  • obsession with suicide and death
  • feeling like there is no other way out
  • feelings of despair and anxiety

What Can You Do to Help a Loved One?

Of course, if you believe that your loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you want to help. One of the easiest and most sure ways to better understand if your loved one is dealing with suicidal thoughts is to ask them if they are. There is no harm in doing this – asking this question won’t make a person consider committing suicide if they weren’t already.

Another way you can help is to ask your loved one if they do admit to dealing with suicidal thoughts if they would consider getting help. If they are, you can research facilities that help with this crisis, like Delray Brain Science, and reach out to these facilities together to go over treatment services and options.

If your loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts and doesn’t want help, emergency services are available. You can always call 911 if your loved one is dealing with a suicidal crisis and is threatening to commit suicide. Furthermore, if your loved one already has care specialists like a therapist or has already gotten professional help, it may be a good idea to reach out to these professionals and get involved in their care.