If you are a person who is diagnosed with a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder (or another mental health disorder), then you are likely familiar with the symptom of worrying about death. This can cause you to have a passive wish to die or to actively begin planning your death, or you may find yourself absorbed with thoughts of dying at times.

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, you may have reached a place in your life where you wish you were dead. Although they seem too extreme thinking, they can be very real for some people.

What to do if you have suicidal thoughts

If you have suicidal thoughts, do not hide them or be ashamed of having them, they can be a symptom of a greater condition such as depression. If death haunts your head, then;

    • Communicate it. Assume that you are thinking about death and then call a trusted friend or family member and tell them what is on your mind. The people around you will want to help you and if you think you can’t talk to anyone, talk to the hope phone number (for USA): 888 044 444 When you are the loved one of someone who seems suicidal, ask them directly if they are thinking of becoming hurt. Despite popular belief, this won’t plant the idea, but it will let the person know that you care enough to ask. If she says she’s having these thoughts, make sure she’s safe, find out how active the thoughts are, and get her help right away.
    • These feelings are temporary. You may feel like your life is out of control, like it’s never going to get better but like any other emotion this is temporary and will soon fade from your mind. Do not act impulsively that can cause you a domino effect that generates great pain around you. Remember that there are people who care about you and want you to stay alive by their side, whether you like it or not.
  • Seek help as soon as possible. If you feel a strong need to kill yourself then call the hope phone as soon as possible or go to your family doctor. The telephone number indicated above is available at any time, but if you can wait to speak with someone, go to the emergency room or your doctor as soon as possible. You may have a mental health disorder, and if you have been diagnosed with a disorder you may need medication or psychotherapy to get better.

Suicidal ideas

Suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideation is one of the hallmark symptoms of major depression and the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. Suicidal ideation has two forms: active and passive.

Passive suicidal ideation

Passive suicidal ideation involves thinking about death to a marked degree, which can take the form of imagining yourself dead or wishing you were dead , but having no plans to harm yourself. For example, you can imagine yourself lying in a coffin or wishing to die in a dream or in a car accident. 

You can imagine what will happen at your funeral and obsess over what to leave people in your will, but you are not actively planning anything. You may even have religious or philosophical beliefs that prevent you from allowing your suicidal thoughts to turn into more than just thoughts .

“I wish I was dead” is a common phrase most people utter nonsense, but when you are depressed , that thought can become fact. If this happens take it seriously and remember that passive suicidal ideation can turn into active suicidal ideation very quickly.

Active suicidal ideation

With active suicidal ideation, “I wish I were dead” progresses to thoughts or plans to make it happen. A stressful event may cause you to feel urges to kill yourself, or the progress of your mood disorder may be the culprit. Suicidal thoughts are almost always caused by a combination of factors that make you feel trapped, out of control, a burden on others, and / or your life will never get better.

Whether or not you have a plan for suicide in mind, these thoughts should be taken very seriously. Some of the higher risk factors for completing suicide include a history of previous suicide attempts , having a substance use problem, the presence of significant life stressors, and access to firearms or other lethal means. Active suicidal ideation is also dangerous because the decision-making process is disrupted. You need to seek help immediately for any suicidal thoughts that cross your mind.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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