Suicidal ideation, strictly speaking, entails wanting or thinking about taking your own life. We can distinguish two kinds of suicidal ideation:
· Passive suicidal ideation
It is characterized by wishing that you could die, or that you were dead. Passive suicidal ideation however, doesn’t actually involve plans of dying by committing suicide.
· Active suicidal ideation
This type of suicidal ideation does not only involve wishful thinking about dying, but also planning how to do it.
It is important to note that suicidal ideation can occur as a symptom of other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depression, but it can also occur in people who suffer from other types of mental disorders, or don’t have mental health condition at all.
Suicidal Ideation Symptoms
There are several warning signs hinting that your loved one, or yourself might be contemplating a suicide. These symptoms include:
• Isolating from loved ones
• Feeling trapped or hopeless
• Talks about suicide or death
• Increase in use of substances
• Frequent mood swings, rage, anger and/or irritability
• Engagement in risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex or drug use
• Acting in a way that hints of saying goodbye to loved ones
• Accessing the tools that may serve in a suicide, such as drugs, medication or firearms
• Feeling of extreme anxiety
If you suspect that your loved one might be contemplating a suicide, the best course of action is asking them directly. Some people are keeping silent, afraid that talking about suicide might give a suffering individual an idea to end their life, which is farthest from the truth. Asking about it actually shows that you care about them and that you are concerned for their wellbeing.
Another wrong belief is thinking that passive suicidal ideation is less serious and worrying than active suicidal ideation. Passive suicidal ideation is oftentimes composed of active and passive components and can very quickly turn active.
If talking with your loved one brings admission that they are contemplating suicide, your next step is to be there for them when they need you and to make certain they are safe. You should consult a suicide hotline and involve a mental health professional as soon as the situation allows it.
Can We Prevent Suicide?
There is no absolute certainty that suicide can be prevented, but risks can be significantly reduced by taking a timely action. Best way to prevent suicide is to be alert to the signs of depression and other mental disorders, to be familiar with the risk factors, to recognize suicide warning signs, and act as soon as it is possible.
Our organization Amethyst Azul, has been formed with a specific goal in mind - to help relieve mental and physical pain, prevent suicide, and increase access to care to those who need it the most. We believe that with our work, dedication, and the help of our donors, we can make a difference. If you have any inquiry about our program or the ways you can get involved, send us an e-mail or give us a call at 410-870-5482. We are looking forward to hearing from you!