Some people may find it difficult to distinguish when to seek help for their depression. They may go to their general practitioner and be asked questions like “In the past two weeks have you been feeling hopeless?” They may be surprised to find out their doctor labeled them as suicidal and referred them to a therapist for more treatment. “I never said I wanted to kill myself, I just said I felt hopeless sometimes, but I don’t want to go out and kill myself!”.
As a clinician, when I hear my clients saying they feel hopeless, or they would be okay if they didn’t wake up in the morning, I know that they are all serious statements. That is why when you go into a doctor’s office, they ask if you have been feeling hopeless. It’s important to answer the questions honestly, because it is a matter of life and death. Getting the right treatment, from the right professionals can actually save your life.
What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. For more information on depression you can visit http://www.mayoclinic.org
What is suicidal ideation?
Simply put, suicidal ideations are suicidal thoughts, they can be classified as active are passive.
What are passive suicidal thoughts?
Passive suicidal thoughts are thoughts of wanting to die or not wanting to be alive. If the thoughts are passive, there is not a plan. Passive suicide thoughts include thoughts include thoughts of extreme hopelessness, wanting to go to sleep and not wake up in the morning, not wanting to stop something bad from happening to you if it were to happen on its own, and things of that nature.
What are active suicidal thoughts?
Active suicidal thoughts are when the passive thoughts have moved from hopelessness into planning out ways to hurt yourself. Examples of this may be doing reckless things in hopes that it might cause you to die, trying to commit suicide, or writing a suicide note.
Things to look out for in loved ones:
Social isolation, giving away their favorite belongings, reckless behavior, making financial plans, verbal warnings such as “you’ll miss me when I’m gone”, looking for means to commit suicide with.
What do I do if I find myself having suicidal thoughts?
If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling hopeless or you are identifying with any of the behaviors or thoughts mentioned in this article, there is no need to be ashamed, there is help for you. Contact your mental health provider today if you do not have one please contact us and we will set you up with the appropriate therapist for your needs.
If you are currently having serious thoughts of harming yourself or have a plan to harm yourself or commit suicide, you need to get help right now.
If you are in the U.S. you can call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).