Suicidal ideation Therapy
Strictly speaking, suicidal ideation means wanting to take your own life or thinking about suicide. However, there are two kinds of suicidal ideation: passive and active.
Passive suicidal ideation occurs when you wish you were dead or that you could die, but you don’t actually have any plans to commit suicide.
Active suicidal ideation, on the other hand, is not only thinking about it but having the intent to commit suicide, including planning how to do it.
Suicidal ideation is one of the symptoms of both major depression and the depression found in bipolar disorder, but it may also occur in people with other mental illnesses or no mental illness at all.
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation for the general world population is about 9% and about 2% within a 12-month period.1
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 4.3% of U.S. adults ages 18 and older had thoughts about suicide, with the highest prevalence among adults ages 18 to 25.2
For people with mental health disorders, the rate is significantly higher. The exact numbers are unclear, but since suicidal ideation is a symptom of mental health disorders like major depression and bipolar disorder, the problem exists at a far greater percentage in these populations.
Suicide is on the rise, with half of the states in the United States reporting more than a 30% increase since 1999 and nearly all the rest reporting increased rates since then, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death among 10- to 34-year-olds. Women attempt suicide more often than men, but men are successful about three to four times more often than women
Warning signs that you or a loved one are thinking about or contemplating suicide include:
- Isolating yourself from your loved ones
- Feeling hopeless or trapped
- Talking about death or suicide
- Giving away possessions
- An increase in substance use or misuse
- Increased mood swings, anger, rage, and/or irritability
- Engaging in risk-taking behavior like using drugs or having unprotected sex
- Accessing the means to kill yourself, such as medication, drugs, or a firearm
- Acting as if you’re saying goodbye to people
- Feeling extremely anxious
If you think a loved one is thinking about or planning suicide, ask. It’s a myth that you’ll give another person the idea to kill him or herself. Asking shows that you’re concerned and that you care about the person.
Be aware that passive suicidal ideation, wishing that you could die in your sleep or in an accident rather than by your own hand, is not necessarily any less serious than active suicidal ideation. It can quickly turn active and it most certainly has a blend of active and passive components.
If you or anyone you know are having suicidal ideation, please speak to our team in full confidintiality for a free consultation.