When a person has ongoing thoughts of wanting to end their life, it is known as suicidal ideation. These negative thoughts can fluctuate in intensity, and they may be brief or all-consuming. No matter the severity or frequency, thoughts of suicide can make it extremely difficult for a person to function in their daily life.
At Signature Psychiatric Hospital, located in North Kansas City and Liberty, Missouri, we offer suicidal ideation treatment for adults age 18 and older. If a person is battling suicidal thoughts, it is essential for them to seek help immediately.
If you are experiencing suicidal ideation, please call 911 or reach out to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by texting or dialing 988.
Understanding Suicidal Ideation
Suicide is a preventable, tragic response to feelings of hopelessness and despair, and suicidal ideation should always be taken seriously.
Having suicidal thoughts does not necessarily mean that a person truly wants to end their life, but it is a clear indication that they are deeply hurting. Research shows that people who have made suicide attempts think differently while they are in a suicidal state. Because of extreme emotional distress, it can be difficult for them to make sound decisions or identify other solutions.
While a person who is experiencing suicidal ideation may not act on their thoughts, the potential for escalation is too great to ignore any red flags.
If someone talks about having suicidal thoughts, it may be a sign that they are asking for help, and they should be taken seriously. It is crucial to engage in a serious conversation if this happens. Helping a person who has suicidal thoughts seek support can save their life.
Suicidal Ideation Statistics
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 700,000 people die by suicide each year. However, this number does not take into account the number of people who struggle with suicidal ideation or have tried to end their lives.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) states that in 2020 alone, there were approximately 1.2 million suicide attempts among the U.S. adult population.
Available data on death by suicide and suicide attempts may not give us an accurate understanding of the size of the population that is affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, some individuals may not feel comfortable sharing that they are struggling with suicidal ideation, and the number of suicide attempts may be underreported.
Signs & Symptoms of Suicidal Ideation
Though experiencing suicidal ideation does not always mean that a person will engage in suicidal behavior, having suicidal thoughts can be a sign that they need help.
Because many people who have these negative thoughts are not willing to openly talk about their pain, it is important to pay close attention to the warning signs of suicidal ideation so that you can help anyone who is suffering seek the care they need. Signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation may include:
- Low self-esteem
- Intense mood swings
- Feelings of helplessness
- Wanting to be left alone
- Impulsive behaviors
- Shifts in eating habits
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Preoccupation with death
- Getting affairs in order, such as making a will
- Previous suicide attempts
Suicidal ideation can also be a symptom of other mental health concerns, which is another important reason to seek help from qualified professionals at a treatment center like Signature Psychiatric Hospital.
Effects of Suicidal Ideation
If left untreated, suicidal ideation may negatively affect a person’s life in devastating ways. Effects of suicidal ideation can include:
- Employment challenges
- Strained relationships
People who do not receive treatment for suicidal ideation can be at great risk for engaging in suicidal behavior, which can lead to severe physical damage. The most tragic consequence of not receiving treatment is the possibility of the person acting on their thoughts and ultimately dying by suicide.
Benefits of Getting Suicidal Ideation Treatment
There is no single cause of suicidal ideation, but through our comprehensive approach to care, we can help you uncover any underlying concerns that may have led you to struggle with chronic suicidal thoughts.
By receiving individualized treatment at Signature Psychiatric Hospital, you can learn techniques for coping with negative thoughts and begin your journey to healing.
Depending on your specific needs, your treatment plan may include elements of the following:
- Basic medical care
- Medication management services
- Detoxification services for those who have a co-occurring substance use disorder
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
Because suicidal ideation can be a symptom of mental illnesses, it is crucial to seek the help of a qualified professional if you have thoughts of suicide. Our team can provide services that address suicidal ideation as well as other symptoms that may be present.
Finding the Right Suicidal Ideation Treatment Center
Suicidal ideation is a delicate topic that deserves the utmost attention. At our treatment place, you can receive round-the-clock care that addresses your emotional needs.
Our admissions process includes a thorough initial evaluation that will assess your current symptoms and medical history. With this information, our staff can determine therapeutic elements to include in your treatment plan that may best support you throughout the treatment process.
We want to help you continue to achieve your goals after treatment ends. To do that, we will provide you with an aftercare plan to help you build on the progress you made at Signature Psychiatric Hospital. We begin planning for discharge on the day of admission and continually adjust recommendations as needed.
With support from our compassionate team, you can learn to manage your symptoms and begin healing.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Signature Psychiatric Hospital.