Across all age groups, suicide rates have been trending upward for the past two decades. According to the CDC, there were over 47,000 suicides in the United States in 2017.
When one thinks about suicide or wants to take their own life, that is defined as suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation, however, can take two forms: passive and active.
When a person has passive suicidal ideation, they wish that they were dead or could die, but do not make any plans to do so.
If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal ideations and intrusive thoughts, contact us today to learn more.
What Are Suicidal Ideations?
When you have suicidal ideation, you are contemplating suicide. Whether or not these thoughts include a suicide plan is unclear.
Suicidal ideation is sometimes referred to as “suicidal thoughts.” Not everyone who has suicidal ideas acts on them. It’s important to seek help immediately if you or someone you know has it.
How to Help a Loved one
The thought of someone considering suicide, or words that make it sound like he or she might, can be quite disturbing. If someone you know is discussing suicide, and you have no idea how to help, you might worry that you might make the situation worse with your intervention.
But it’s always better to take action than to do nothing.
The next steps after someone has admitted to being suicidal are crucial. Immediately pushing someone to join a recovery center is not the best idea. However, asking questions to find out how the person is doing and whether or not they are in danger is a great first step.
Direct questions should be along the lines of:
- How are you dealing with things in your life?
- Do you feel like giving up?
- Are you thinking about dying?
- Are you thinking about suicide?
- Have you thought about suicide before?
- Do you have access to things that could cause you harm?
People won’t be pushed into self-destructive behavior if you ask about suicidal thoughts or feelings. On the contrary, giving feelings the chance to be discussed may reduce the risk of suicidal thoughts being acted upon.
Know the Warning Signs of Suicidality
Suicide can be prevented. Whether you or a loved one is feeling suicidal, learning about the warning sign is very important to getting help. There is a chance you may save the life of someone you love.
FOR IMMEDIATE HELP
If you or a loved one are troubled by thoughts of not wanting to live or are experiencing suicidality, get help right away.
- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Call a suicide hotline. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 any time of day — press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line or use Lifeline Chat.
Usually, when a person is planning suicide, there are some tell-tale signs. Here are some examples:
- They withdrew money from their accounts
- They’re giving away cherished items to their friends or family
- They’ve started cleaning out their rooms as if they are planning to move
- They made arrangements for their pets
- They stopped paying their bills
All of these tasks are usually done when the person knows they will no longer be present. So if you have noticed these changes, begin a conversation.
However, this conversation should not be confrontational or argumentative. Instead, show empathy and understanding for what they are feeling. If a person denies any suicidal tendencies, then don’t push them.
Instead, create a safe space for them to be able to express themselves. This can be as easy as leaning into the conversation and only listening to them speak. This way, the person will start feeling heard, which will make them more inclined to open up.
If the person admits that they’re suicidal, immediately thank them and show gratitude. Statements such as “thank you for opening up to me” will make the person feel more empowered in the conversation.
If a person refuses to get professional help, do not leave them unattended for the next few hours. Instead, make a plan with them to determine what can change within this time. For example, you could take temporary ownership of any weapons or illicit drugs.
This plan could also include taking a walk, eating a healthy meal, or even taking a shower! Oftentimes, people who are suicidal forget about everyday tasks. By implementing these routines again, the person can begin to reattach themselves to reality.
Get Help with ClearWave Mental Health Today
Now that you know more about suicide ideations, you can better understand how to get help. Reaching a state of well-being is a long journey. Fortunately, our staff is there to help you the whole way. Our FDA-cleared TMS treatment for depression can help you improve your mental health and depressive symptoms.
So if you’re ready to start your journey to a healthy and better life, call today and schedule an appointment today.