Suicide cases have been increasing day by day. It’s become the fourth most common cause of death in the world. We can prevent suicide from happening by noticing the signs people give us (when they are thinking about suicide). This phase is called suicidal ideation.  

Keep reading this article to learn about these signs that can save a person’s life.  

When a person is broken down by life crises, economic or social factors, mental or physical health problems, etc., deciding to end his life seems the best option. And this kind of thinking is suicide ideation. But this thinking does not always end up becoming the plan of suicide.  

But at this point, people start thinking that suicide is better than living. That’s why there are two types of suicide ideation:  

  • Passive suicide ideation 
  • Active suicide ideation
     
    • Passive suicide ideation: When people think about suicide but never plan to execute it. This ideation makes a person think that killing himself/herself will solve things, but in the mind, they trust that situations will change in the future.  
    • Active suicide ideation: When people think about suicide and start planning to execute it. This ideation is a result of all negative things happening in life and the only option seems to end those things by killing himself. 

In both these cases, the person gives signs that we need to notice.  

Passive suicide ideation doesn’t need immediate help but in the case of active suicide ideation, you need immediate help as you don’t know when they can execute their plan of suicide. Passive suicide ideation is easily treatable because people never plan to suicide, so they easily listen and understand what you want to say. Active suicide ideation makes people isolate themselves so that they can get all the information and plan how to commit suicide.  

Signs to watch out for 

Although, people with active suicide ideation don’t give any external signs because they don’t want people to find out that they planning to suicide but there are chances they can give some signs that you should look for: 

  • Start talking about dying, or not being around in the future.  
  • Giving away possessions to friends and family members.  
  • Start living in isolation or withdraw from social life.  
  • Mood changes (if aggressive, start living calmly, or if always look happy start living sadly).  
  • Always look hopeless and sad.  
  • In talking- use phrases like “If I am not around,” “When I am gone,” and “If I were to kill myself.”  
  • Collecting information on how to kill yourself or collecting things that are harmful and dangerous.  
  • Don’t engage in the activities that they once enjoyed. 
  • Increased consumption of alcohol or drugs.  
  • Engage in dangerous and harmful activities or behaviors. 
  • Previously have tried to attempt suicide and have scars.  
  • Changes in their sleeping or eating patterns. They sleep less and eat more.  
  • Suffering from chronic illness.  
  • Believe that emotional pain ends through dying.  
  • Feel guilty or ashamed.  
  • Hate themselves  
  • Sudden changes in personality or behavior. 
  • Intense anxiety or increased irritability.  

If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, call for help.   

Getting help  

You can get immediate help by calling 911.  

Usually, treatment is by psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of suicide.  

  • Psychotherapy or talk therapy helps the person to manage their feelings and emotions which lead to suicidal ideation. Family therapy or support groups help loved ones to understand better what they are going through, giving them support to improve their condition.  
  • Lifestyle changes like doing exercises regularly, avoiding drugs and alcohol, learning stress management techniques, eating a good diet, and getting good quality sleep, improve your mood and help to change your thinking. 
  • Medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics, or anti-anxiety medications help to treat stress, anxiety, or depression that can lead to suicidal ideation.  

Suicide ideation is the first step that can lead to suicide. Not all ideations end up in suicide. But chances are high when a person’s life goes through a crisis, trauma, heartbreak, loss of a loved one, economic problems, etc. So, we must never ignore the warning signs that other people give us. Notice them and help save lives.  

Want to how to manage a suicidal person until help arrives? Call us at 718-DORAL-55 to talk to a psychiatrist. At Doral Health & Wellness we have the best Mental Health Clinic in East New York. Log on to www.doralhw.org to know more.