What is suicidal ideation?
It means wanting to take your own life or thinking about suicide.
Many different factors can contribute to suicidal ideation. Often these thoughts hit when you are in despair and out of control of your life. It might feel like you have no meaning or purpose. Relationship problems, trauma, substance use, a crisis of some sort, pressure at work, a physical health issue, or financial difficulties can all be contributors.
There are a variety of risk factors for suicidal ideation and suicide, such as:
- Attempted suicide in the past
- Mental health disorder
- Hopeless, isolated, and/or lonely
- Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
- Chronic physical illness like cancer, diabetes, or a terminal disease
- Family history of suicide
- Drug or alcohol abuse disorder
- Childhood abuse or trauma
Warning signs that you or a loved one are thinking about or contemplating suicide include:
- Isolating from loved ones
- Feeling hopeless or trapped
- Talking about death or suicide
- Giving away possessions
- An increase in substance use or abuse
- Increased mood swings, anger, rage, and/or irritability
- Engaging in risk-taking behavior
- Gathering the means to kill yourself, such as medication, drugs, or a firearm
- Acting as if you’re saying goodbye to people
Seek treatment and/or call or text a suicide hotline if you are your loved one is experiencing suicide ideation.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.
Crisis Text Line – 741741