“So, when was the last time you had a suicidal thought?”
“Honestly, on my way to your office. But they are just thoughts and I know they are just thoughts. I don’t feel any inclination to actually follow through with it.”
The difference between suicidal ideation (thoughts) and suicidal tendencies (actions)
According to my research, because of my history of mental illness and constant suicidal thoughts
I am a suicide risk
Granted, I have never attempted suicide or put that much thought in to it. I just write about it a lot! But I am a risk nonetheless!
Does everybody have these thoughts? Maybe some times or at least once, right? But I can’t recall a day without them. I’ve been this way since I was at least 13; so at this point it’s all I know.
“Nearly 8.3 million adults age 18 and older in the United States (3.7 percent) had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to the first national scientific survey of its size on this public health problem.” [source]
I don’t remember being surveyed for that! And how many people deny their suicidal thoughts when asked out of fear of being “sick” or different? I’m not saying that having suicidal thoughts is healthy or even normal, but I wanted to make the distinction because thoughts don’t always lead to actions. But they can. And they should be taken seriously, on all levels.
“It is a myth that people who talk about killing themselves do not do it. Four of five people who attempt suicide have given clues about their intentions before they acted on them. It is important to take seriously any talk about suicide or any indication that suicide is a possibility.
Some common warning signs that a person is thinking about suicide include:
- talking about death or making suicide threats
- making such statements as “You would be better off without me” or “I’m no good to anybody” (even if these are said jokingly)
- having any of the symptoms or signs of depression
- exhibiting major personality changes or unexplainable odd behavior
- making a will or giving away cherished possessions
- seeking isolation and becoming uncommunicative
- being fascinated with death
- taking a sudden interest in religion if previously not religious, or rejecting religion if previously devout.” [source]
Check, Check and Check! While I have done some of these things (and still do) I have not ever attempted suicide. By traditional means anyway.
Suicidal tendencies, in my opinion, are actions that lead to suicide or attempts of suicide. A tendency to commit suicide instead of just thinking about it. Things like:
- Self-Harm (Cutting, Burning, etc)
- Recklessness Endangerment or Unnecessary Risk Taking with the Intent of Self-Harm
- Suicide Attempts or Failures Themselves
But, of course, these are much harder to spot.
Thinking is not doing, unless it’s in that Tom Cruise movie. Suicide is a hard thing to catch because if it happens, it is too late to prevent.
Again, I do not mean to trivialize suicidal thoughts or the fascination with the idea of taking one’s own life, they are very dangerous ideas. Just because I haven’t attempted it yet doesn’t mean I won’t. There is still time for me! Maybe I’m just procrastinating on my death. You know, like everyone else.
After a long battle with depression, Will Hightower, age 2X, died today. He didn’t kill himself, he was murdered… by cancer!
P.S. I’m not a medical professional or expert on depression or mental health. This blog is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat depression. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.
And stick around to see Videos about depression on my YouTube Channel!
And read this book! The Depression Cure