Information on Suicidal Thoughts
If you or your loved one are experiencing an emergency situation you should call 911. For confidential and free support 24/7 call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the 24/7 Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.
Is it normal to have thoughts of suicide?
No. But sadly, many of us have experienced suicidal thoughts, also known as suicidal ideations. According to the CDC, in 2019 12 million adults in the US seriously thought about suicide.
Suicidal thoughts are a common symptom of many conditions and can also be a side effect of some medications. They should always be taken seriously - whether you're experiencing them or a loved one, it's important to seek support right away.
Suicidal ideations range in severity, and different kinds of suicidal thoughts carry different risks:
Passive suicidal thoughts are more general thoughts of death or not being alive, like: "I wish I was never born," but do not include a plan to commit suicide. Passive suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously, even if someone doesn't actually have a plan to take their own life. Passive suicidal thoughts can turn into active suicidal thoughts, so talking to a therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional that can connect you with the care you need as soon as possible is the best step.
In-person care may be better suited for you if you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, but if you're already meeting with a Confidant clinician, be sure to address this with them as soon as possible.
Active suicidal thoughts are higher risk and can be distinguished by having a plan for committing suicide, or having thoughts about specific ways of ending your life. Active suicidal thoughts indicate an emergency situation, and you should seek help right away.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They can provide free and confidential support. (en Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Confidant is not an emergency service provider and may not be able to respond to your needs quickly enough - the services listed above are designed to support you in this situation.
The CDC also lists 12 warning signs to be aware of, they are:
Feeling like a burden
Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
Increased substance use
Looking for a way to access lethal means
Increased anger or rage
Extreme mood swings
Sleeping too little or too much
Talking or posting about wanting to die
Making plans for suicide
Worried About Someone Else?
If you are worried that someone in your life may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, there are 5 steps you should take (learn more at bethe1to.com), the steps are: 1. Ask clearly and directly about suicide. "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" 2. Be there. Listen to their reasons for feeling hopeless and in pain with empathy. Be physically present if possible, or show support by listening on the phone. 3. Keep them safe. Ask if they've thought about how they would do it and separate them from anything that they might use to hurt themselves. If you think they might quickly act upon their suicidal thoughts, call 911. Do not leave them alone. 4. Help them connect. Reach out to the Lifeline to get immediate support: 1-800-273-8255. 5. Follow up with them. Once you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems, follow up in the coming days and weeks and stay connected.