are suicidal thoughts normal

We all have startling thoughts from time to time. These thoughts may be grim and cover disturbing subjects that we wouldn’t want to bring up at the dinner table. While a fleeting thought about suicide is something that everyone has probably experienced at some point in their lives, more frequent thoughts about suicide are a reason to be concerned.

Statistics are showing alarming numbers on how many people report that they have suicidal thoughts. Here’s why you shouldn’t take thoughts of suicide lightly and how to seek help.

Do suicidal thoughts come into your mind often? Reach out to Georgetown Behavioral Hospital for immediate help.

How Do We Define Suicidal Thoughts?

Another word for suicidal thoughts is suicidal ideation. It means that you have thoughts about killing yourself or making plans to do so. Suicidal thoughts can pass through your mind very quickly without becoming an obsession.

On the other hand, suicidal thoughts can be dangerous if they continue. Or if they change from random thoughts of not wanting to be alive anymore into making specific plans to take your life.

Is It Normal to Have Suicidal Thoughts?

Nearly everyone has entertained thoughts of dying. Sometimes, a fleeting thought crops up. It can be distressing to realize that you aren’t satisfied with your life or that you can even think that way. You might want to get out of a difficult situation or escape your problems. After all, for many people, suicidal thoughts are about wanting to avoid emotional or physical pain.

However, suicide is not nearly as common as suicidal ideation. In 2020, about 12.2 million adults in the U.S. had thoughts about suicide. Yet, the number that tried to kill themselves is much lower, at 1.2 million.

When Should You Reach Out for Help?

When to Seek Help for Suicidal Thoughts Infographic

Just because a suicidal thought passes through your mind, it doesn’t mean you will take your life. Yet, ideas do sometimes lead to actions. So, it’s important to take a self-inventory to see if these thoughts are becoming a problem and get immediate treatment if needed. Here’s how to know if that time has come for you.

Types, Intensity, and Frequency of Suicidal Thoughts

Think about the types and frequency of your suicidal thoughts. Types of suicidal thoughts include:

  • “I wish I wasn’t alive.”
  • “I wonder how it feels to be dead.”
  • “I just want to go to sleep and not wake up.”
  • “I wish I could get out of this situation forever.”
  • “I can’t go on without my deceased loved one.”
  • “How can I kill myself?”
  • “If I were dead, I wouldn’t be a burden to everyone anymore.”

Some of these suicidal thoughts could be infrequent passing thoughts. However, they can become more intense if you continue to think about suicide. They could also become more frequent. In fact, they may come so often that you have a very hard time thinking of anything else. When the thoughts of suicide become more intense and more frequent and include plans or signs of depression, you should seek help.

Risky Behaviors

Suicidal thoughts can also be accompanied by risky or even suicidal behaviors. Consider going to a psychiatric hospital when you start doing things that are dangerous and you take more risks than usual. Risky behaviors can include any of the following or others.

  • Reckless driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often
  • Engaging in self-harm, such as cutting yourself
  • Having unsafe sex
  • Being strict about what you eat or binge-eating
  • Sleeping problems like insomnia or sleeping too much

Mood Changes

Here’s a way to discover if, for you, it is normal to have suicidal thoughts. Notice your moods.

  • Do your moods change rapidly, going from sadness to anger or anxiety?
  • Do you have mood swings that just won’t stop?
  • Do you feel agitated?
  • Do you feel calm and at peace?
  • Are you grieving a loss or going through major life changes?

Although it might seem like the danger of suicide has passed if you feel calm and at peace, these feelings may come after you have a suicide plan. For many, this calmness arrives after they make a suicide plan. They feel their problems are going to go away as soon as they follow their plan. So, they have a touch of hope.

Can You Recover from Suicidal Thoughts?

You should never ignore or minimize the fact that you are having suicidal ideations. It might be “normal” if it only happens once in a while, and you let the thought go immediately.

However, if you have intense or frequent thoughts of dying, or if you have specific plans for suicide, it’s time to get help. With the assistance and support you get from a mental health program, you can certainly recover from suicidal thoughts.

Your life will always have ups and downs, just like anyone’s does. Yet, with the right treatment program, you can put those intense and frequent suicidal thoughts and plans behind you. Many people have had serious suicidal thoughts and have gotten the help they needed at the time. If those thoughts come back later in life, you can seek help again. You don’t have to go it alone.

Is Suicidal Ideation a Symptom of a Mental Disorder?

Suicidal thoughts can often be a symptom of a mental disorder. You might have major depression or some other depressive disorder. You could have bipolar disorder and be in the depressed phase. PTSD sometimes includes suicidal thoughts as you try to avoid the trauma you have experienced and the PTSD symptoms you are living with.

The only way to know if you have any mental disorder causing your suicidal ideations is to talk to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist. A psychotherapist can also give you a diagnosis in some states. Wherever they practice, a therapist can help you get the help you need right away.

Where to Go for Suicide Prevention and Treatment

The good news is that there are many places to get help. If you live in Southern Ohio or surrounding areas, you can get help at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital. With the support of our mental health professionals and staff, you can discover new ways of thinking and behaving. Moreover, you can learn better ways of dealing with suicidal thoughts so that you can build a more satisfying life for yourself.

When you go to Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, we will keep you safe as we assist you by providing support, various therapies, and medications if you and your doctor determine that you need them. We are a voluntary admissions facility. That means that you must agree to have treatment in our program. At the same time, we encourage you to seek help when suicidal thoughts become distressing or overwhelming. We are here for you at your darkest hour and all along your journey to good mental health.

Are suicidal thoughts running through your mind constantly? Contact Georgetown Behavioral Hospital for treatment that helps.

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