Depression And Suicidal Triggers
Given a person is depressed and having suicidal thoughts, there are certain triggers which intensify the suicidal urge. Recognizing those triggers of renewed suicidal urges which are present in your life will help you to understand what is happening to you and begin to allow you more control of your emotions.
1. Beginning Therapy and After Therapy.
Suicidal urges are particularly high just after a depressed patient first enters therapy. When beginning therapy the very symptoms give rise to thoughts such as “this will never work”, or “why should I put myself through this, when there is no possible hope of success”. Combined with these thoughts may be the possibility that the patient and therapist do not connect or bond . The expectation that therapy will fail, especially if this is not the first attempt, is devastating. We begin to believe that if therapy fails, then we will never be rid of this pain, and what is the use of going on.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! It is particularly tragic when a patient has gone through therapy and the depression has substantially lifted, that they then kill themselves. It happens! Depression is episodic, in that it can come and go, sometimes in an instant. If a person is feeling euphoric and at long last can envision themselves as depression free in the future, any setback will cause a flight back to the conditioned response of suicidal ideation.
2. The Antagonists.
3. Natural Events and Suicidal Thoughts
4. Substance Abuse and Depression
Work On Problem Solving
If your depression is related to a situation in your life, it may be helpful to spend some time problem-solving. Ask yourself what is making you feel the way you do and then come up with a few strategies to change or resolve the situation.
For example, if you feel depressed because you just lost your job, you could get someone to help you with your resume or seek out a life coach. Another option would be to get job skills training so you are more appealing to employers.
As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So, if your problem feels particularly large or difficult, focus on the baby steps you can take that will lead you in the direction of a solution.
Talk To Someone You Trust
Often it can be a big help just having someone to whom you can express your feelings. Someone who will listen when you’re feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts. This person can be anyone you trust, such as a friend, relative, clergy, or therapist.
Keep in mind that not everyone understands depression. Therefore, when talking to friends about your depression, let them know how they can help. Ask them for their support and encouragement.
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When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Belmaker, R. H., & Agam, G. . Major Depressive Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 358, 5568.
Kessler, R. C., Birnbaum, H. G., Shahly, V., Bromet, E., Hwang, I., McLaughlin, K. A., Sampson, N., Andrade, L. H., Girolamo, G. de, Demyttenaere, K., Haro, J. M., Karam, A. N., Kostyuchenko, S., Kovess, V., Lara, C., Levinson, D., Matschinger, H., Nakane, Y., Browne, M. O., Stein, D. J. . Age differences in the prevalence and co-morbidity of DSM-IV major depressive episodes: Results from the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 351364.
Depressive Disorders. . In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
Suicide prevention help
Remind Yourself Of The Good Things In Your Life
When you are feeling bad, it’s very easy to forget all the positive things that you still have in your life. They get pushed to the back of your mind. That’s why it’s helpful to remind yourself of these things from time to time.
One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, sit down and write about all of the things you are thankful for. It may not take away your thoughts or feelings entirely, but you may notice that it helps.
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How Can I Tell If Suicide Is A Risk
The clearest warning sign of suicide is talk about wanting to die. And the best way to determine whether suicide is a risk is to ask. It is popularly believed that asking someone directly if theyre thinking about suicide will put the idea in their head, but that is not the case. The person is likely to be relieved they want to feel better but dont know how.
People in the depths of hopelessness give clues to suicide risk in the way they talk. They talk about having no purpose, feeling trapped, being a burden to others, or feeling unbearable pain. There are behaviors that signal risk, tooisolating themselves, searching online for ways of ending their life, calling or visiting people to say goodbye, giving away possessions. Sometimes a very sudden improvement in mood can signal suicide.
Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
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Ask Them Questions And Spend Time With Them
There is no one right thing to say when a friend is depressed or feeling suicidal, but being thereasking questions, making time, showing up, and being physically presentcan make all the difference.
“If a friend tells you they are depressed, you should ask them more about it. How bad is it? Are they still functioninggoing to school or work, taking care of themselves adequately?” said Dr. Victor Schwartz, JED Foundation chief medical officer and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at NYU. “Spend some time with them talking, going for a walk, or having something to eat with them.”
You can also help your friend take care of themselves by bringing them food thats easy to heat and eat, driving them to work, school, or doctors appointments, or sleeping over if they need company. Offer these things, and then ask if theres anything else your friend needs that you can provide.
Dr. Urszula Klich, a clinical psychologist and the president of Southeast Biofeedback and Clinical Neuroscience Association, notes that brushing off a friends suicidal thoughts or trying to distract from them can do more harm than good. Research shows that attempting to get someone not to think about something makes the brain perseverate on it longer, she explained to HG.
Risk Factors For Suicide
Not all people with risk factors will be suicidal. In addition to depression or other mental illness, risk factors for suicide include:
- Current or past history of substance abuse
- Past history of suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
- Firearms in the home
- Feelings of hopelessness
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Why Do Teens Try To Kill Themselves
Most teens interviewed after making a suicide attempt say that they did it because they were trying to escape from a situation that seemed impossible to deal with or to get relief from really bad thoughts or feelings. They didn’t want to die as much as they wanted to escape from what was going on. And at that particular moment dying seemed like the only way out.
Some people who end their lives or attempt suicide might be trying to escape feelings of rejection, hurt, or loss. Others might feel angry, ashamed, or guilty about something. Some people may be worried about disappointing friends or family members. And some may feel unwanted, unloved, victimized, or like they’re a burden to others.
We all feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions or situations sometimes. But most people get through it or can put their problems in perspective and find a way to carry on with determination and hope. So why does one person try suicide when another person in the same tough situation does not? What makes some people more resilient than others? What makes a person unable to see another way out of a bad situation besides ending their life?
The answer to those questions lies in the fact that most people who die by suicide have depression.
Depression: What You Need To Know As You Age
If youre one of the more than 14.8 million American adults who experiences major depression, you may feel so bad that you cant get out of bed, be around the people you love or participate in activities that you usually enjoy. Actually, there are more than 50 different symptoms of major depression, ranging from the well-knowncrying and sadnessto those you might never associate with depression, such as anger, workaholism and back pain.
Depression is a disease that affects every aspect of a persons life, not just mood, says Johns Hopkins expert Andrew Angelino, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Howard County General Hospital. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease.
People who are depressed are far more likely to have other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, back problems, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to have worse outcomes. Untreated depression can even affect your immune response to some vaccines.
Depression is not just debilitating it can be deadly. An estimated one out of five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
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Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed.
This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse. If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
On The Life I Could Have Lost On The Lives We Could Still Be Losing
A few days ago I told a roomful of people both strangers and friends that I am chronically depressed and suicidal.
Notice the present tense. I am still chronically depressed and suicidal. I am pretty certain people dont really believe me. I look like I am the furthest away of being a person you would think is thinking of ending her life every other week, if not day.
That is the whole point though.
There is no telling how someone with chronic depression and suicidal tendencies should look.
Before I go on, I want to make it clear that what follows is entirely my personal telling of my story, I am not speaking on the behalf of all depressed and suicidal people, because they are complex conditions they cannot be reduced to one persons story.
I have had countless people tell me that I have so much light on my face, that I am full of life. I tell them paradoxically, I have so much light on my face, and I am full of life, precisely because I think about killing myself all the time.
Life becomes a choice. It is not something I am automatically wired for, just for mere survival. Every single day, it becomes a fight. Do I want to live?
When I was younger, that answer often came back with a flat no. I did not want to live. Life was meaningless, often tedious. I did not understand why I had to exist.
Sometimes, it is not the pain that drives me closest to death. It is when I am my most sane self, and I find tiny moments in-between when I just simply dont care.
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Make Your Environment Safe
Making your space safe could involve removing items from your home that you may feel tempted to use to hurt yourself, such as pills or guns. If that isn’t feasible, remove yourself from the situation by going somewhere else for a while or asking a friend or family member to help you.
If you could use help from a friend or family member, be direct and explain what you would like them to do. Don’t assume they’ll know what you want or need, because they may not.
For example, you might say, “Hi, Bob. I’m calling because I’m feeling suicidal and I’m afraid that I might hurt myself. Would it be possible to stay with you for a while since there are guns in this house?”
How Common Is Suicide In Depression
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2 percent of people ever treated for depression in an outpatient setting take their own life. Among those ever hospitalized for treatment of depression, the rate of death by suicide is twice as high .
Among those hospitalized for depression because of suicidal ideation or suicide attempt, 6 percent eventually take their own life. About 60 percent of people who kill themselves have a mood disorder that s potentially treatable younger persons who kill themselves often have a substance abuse disorder as well. Life events involving lossa job, a relationship, ones healthplay a role, too.
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An Attempt Or Suicidal Behavior
- Doesnt know why theyre doing it, but feels unable to stop it.
- May not remember the attempt when its over
- Feels as if they were/are in a trance.
- May think they will be rescued.
- Acting out pain because of an inability to verbalize feelings.
- Increased impulsiveness and impaired judgment, perceptions and cognitive skills.
Healthy, non-impulsive children who talk about death or seem preoccupied after losing a friend or loved one, but have a clear understanding that death is final, and who are not depressed, are probably at a very low risk for suicidal behavior.
Typically, when asked about their own death, children most often state it will happen due to old age or getting sick when theyre old. Many suicidal children believe that when others die, death is final, but that if they die, their death is reversible. Vulnerable children and adolescents who may be under stress may have a change in perceptions of and feelings about death.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Suicide
Often, there are signs that someone may be thinking about or planning a suicide attempt. Here are some of them:
- talking about suicide or death in general
- talking about “going away”
- referring to things they “won’t be needing,” and giving away possessions
- talking about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty
- pulling away from friends or family and losing the desire to go out
- having no desire to take part in favorite things or activities
- trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
- changes in eating or sleeping habits
- self-destructive behaviors
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How Can I Help A Friend
It is always a good thing to start a conversation with someone you think may be considering suicide. It allows you to get help for the person, and just talking about it may help the person feel less alone and more cared about and understood.
Talking things through also may give the person a chance to consider other solutions to problems. Most of the time, people who are considering suicide are willing to talk if someone asks them out of concern and care. Because people who are depressed are not as able to see answers as well as others, it can help to have someone work with them in coming up with at least one other way out of a bad situation.
Even if a friend or classmate swears you to secrecy, you must get help as soon as possible â your friend’s life could depend on it. Someone who is seriously thinking about suicide may have sunk so deeply into an emotional hole that they can’t see that they need help. Tell an adult you trust as soon as possible.
If necessary, you can call a suicide crisis line . These calls are confidential and run by people who are happy to talk to you to help you figure out what to do.
Sometimes, teens who make a suicide attempt â or who die from suicide â seem to give no clue beforehand. This can leave loved ones feeling not only grief stricken but guilty and wondering if they missed something. It is important for their family members and friends to know that sometimes there is no warning and they should not blame themselves.
You Want Relief From Pain Not From Life
The best thing I have ever read on suicide is called Suicide: Read This First on Metanoia.org, hosted by Psych Central. The page has had over 23 million visitors, if that gives you any indication of how many people consider suicide. Suicide is not chosen, writes. It happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. Its a simple formula that makes so much sense and puts things into proper perspective. She explains:
When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right it is not a defect of character it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources. You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of two things: find a way to reduce your pain, or find a way to increase your coping resources. Both are possible.
Ainsworth offers five important things to think about, like recommending that you delay your decision by 24 hours or a week, and insisting that people do get through this. She includes some great resources, including various articles, books, support groups, and websites that will help you feel less alone. Her third point involves a tweak to our thoughts that is life-saving:
People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek if you are dead.
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