Stress, anxiety, and relationship problems have been causing you more grief than you’re accustomed to dealing with. You’re losing sleep, have trouble eating, and drift further away from family members, friends, and others. Many individuals who have encountered feeling like this may be struggling with suicidal ideation. Fortunately, there has been a significant breakthrough in treating suicidal ideation in the form of ketamine.
Suicide is a major health concern in the United States, resulting in almost 46,000 deaths in 2020 across all age groups. It’s a form of death caused by harming yourself with the intention of drying. A suicide attempt is when someone hurts themselves with resoluteness to end their life, but their attempt is unsuccessful.
Suicidal ideation, also called suicidal thoughts or ideas, is a wide-ranging term that describes various notions, desires, and obsessions with death and suicide. Dealing with suicidal ideation – from understanding its triggers to treatment options – is difficult for clinicians, researchers, and educators due to the lack of a consistent definition.
Ways to Cope with Suicidal Ideation
Besides overcoming suicidal ideation, an essential first step is recognizing the warning signs of suicide in you or someone else. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Talking about suicide
- Talking about feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and no purpose in life
- Feeling trapped with no way out
- Agonizing emotional or physical pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Getting personal affairs in order, giving away personal belongings, and making a final goodbye
- Risky behavior
- Anxiety, agitation, or anger
Having thoughts of suicide doesn’t mean your life has to end. There are ways to overcome suicidal ideation, including:
- Learn to solve problems. Suicide isn’t the only way to solve your problems. Try keeping a journal where you can write down a list of all the troubles in your life. Then, make a list of practical solutions. Are any of them worth pursuing? Rely on a trusted family member or friend to bounce your ideas off for feedback. Take things in small measures, focusing on one or two minor problems for immediate relief and a little breathing room. Afterward, you can start tackling more significant issues. The Antidepressant Skills Workbook may be helpful.
- If you’re having suicidal thoughts, think of the reasons your life is worth living: People contemplating suicide do so to create an escape from pain, but they don’t always want to die. Low feelings encourage you to remain focused on the negative in your life, making it preferable to consider suicide as an option. But you do have reasons to live: loved ones, cherished pets, faith, personal and professional goals, dreams, or responsibilities to others that provide them with reasons to live. Remind yourself of them because they can be a powerful antidote to suicidal ideation. Write them down.
- Remember something from the past that helped you overcome suicidal thoughts.
- Engage with someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or a therapist, who provides the comfort level needed to talk about what’s bothering you and how to solve it. Sometimes just discussing your feelings can help, but it’s important to be open and honest. Keeping a suicide plan to yourself is the wrong way to go. Talking can bring relief, build trust, and reduce a sense of isolation.
- Do the reverse of how you feel. If thoughts of suicide bubble up, do the exact opposite of what you’re feeling or thinking of doing.
- Reach out to a trusted family member, friend, or anyone else who can provide counsel.
- Research the cause of your feelings. What’s going on?
- Be open to diverse ways to resolve your problems.
If you’re depressed, have other mental health or medical problems, or face stressful personal difficulties and are contemplating suicide, reach out to your healthcare provider or a mental health specialist. By talking about your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, a clinician may be able to help you build coping skills to deal with your problems and lead a healthy, productive life.
A mental health problem could result in a diagnosis of depression or another psychological issue, or your healthcare provider could uncover a medical problem triggering suicidal thoughts. Treatment options exist, including talk therapy, antidepressants or other medicine, self-help, caring for an underlying medical problem, or even ketamine therapy. Many other helpful resources are available, too, including local faith-based and community support groups and national organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and many others.