Suicidal thoughts – what do they mean?
Many people will experience suicidal thoughts in their lifetime. For most of us these thoughts will be fleeting, easily dismissed and often in response to a difficult situation or stressful event. Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of depression and you will be asked if you have suicidal thoughts if you talk to a GP or mental health professional about your worries.
Sometimes it can be difficult to recognise that some of your thoughts and feelings are part of a pattern that we would recognise as suicidal – you may be having very negative thoughts about yourself, or feel that people are fed up of you and don’t care. You might be thinking about other ways out of your difficulties – ‘what if I ran away, got run over, just disappeared- then I wouldn’t have to deal with this situation…’
Should I be worried about these thoughts?
You should certainly pay attention to these thoughts, and if someone you care about is saying these kinds of things you should start to think about asking them directly whether they are feeling suicidal; but as we said earlier – for many of us these thoughts can be a helpful warning sign that we are not coping as well as we had thought with a difficult situation, or they may be an indication that we should speak to a GP or someone with some mental health expertise.
For most of us it will be enough to recognise that you are struggling and start making some simple changes to improve your mental wellbeing; there are lots of resources out there to help with this:
It is normal to feel upset and scared about suicidal thoughts, but it does not mean that you are going to act on them. The vast majority of people who experience thoughts of suicide do not go on to hurt themselves or end their life.
When should I ask for help?
You should ask for help if the suicidal thoughts are starting to have an impact on your daily life, or if you are starting to feel that you are at risk of acting on your thoughts. Our understanding is that suicide is a process; a lot of people will experience thoughts of suicide and will have experienced things in their lives which we understand to be significant risk factors- but only a few of those people will move to a state where they feel overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts or begin to make plans to end their life.
If you are not able to dismiss the thoughts of suicide, if they are increasing in frequency and severity, if suicide is feeling like a solution to your problems – then please reach out and ask for help.
Request an assessment at James’ Place
If you believe that we can help, request an assessment using the form below. A member of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Anxiety and suicidal thoughts
Our Clinical Lead Jane Boland explains more about symptoms of anxiety, how anxiety can develop into a suicidal crisis, and how James’ Place can help.