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Depression: Understanding Thoughts of Suicide

Insightful article on depression and understanding suicidal thoughts and feelings. If you are depressed with thoughts of suicide, here are some possible solutions.</

Insightful article on depression and understanding suicidal thoughts and feelings. If you are depressed with thoughts of suicide, here are some possible solutions.

For many years, I had suffered from depression and suicidal urges. I tried to determine why it was happening to me and what I could do to end my pain. The books I found were mostly statistical listings of who took their own life, their income brackets, and vocations. Personal accounts were specific to their situation and recounted little insight into why this was happening to me, or what I could do to end the intense pain.

I am, what some would say, mildly manic depressive and have a family history that would support such a conclusion. But, this is not my story. This is an attempt to help those who are depressed with suicidal thoughts, better understand what they are going through and help them find possible solutions.

Suicidal Thoughts Can Be a Result of the Symptoms of Depression

Most people who are suicidal are also depressed. The two prime reasons that a person becomes depressed, are a loss of control, over their life situation and of their emotions, and secondly a loss of a positive sense of their future (loss of hope). Any therapy which is to be effective in reversing our depressed state, and the resultant suicidal urges, will have to help us regain control, and help us regain hope.

Insightful article on depression and understanding suicidal thoughts and feelings. If you are depressed with thoughts of suicide, here are some possible solutions.Being depressed causes us to narrow our view of the world around us to such an extent that reality becomes distorted. The negative in our lives is constantly reinforced and the positive around us is discounted as being irrelevant, or even non existent. Options to help solve our problems are rejected as having no merit, until it seems as if there is no possible solution.

An unrelenting and oppressive sadness comes over us which causes a very real pain, as if the pain of the sudden loss of a parent stays with us for weeks, months, and even years. It is as if we are trapped in a dark cave or possibly a tunnel that runs only from our constant pain to somewhere near hell, with no exit to heaven and no exit to joy. We begin to think that there is no relief and that this pain will never end. Tomorrow will be the same, or worse. Death may be the only solution!

Suicide is not a solution, it is an end before a solution can be found. It cannot be considered an option, for an option denotes we have a choice and death robs us of both, option and choice. Death is an irreversible act that does not end the pain, for it remains in those who are left behind. Even people who are totally alone, and take their own lives, transfer their pain to those of us in society who do care, and we do - care!

Many people have suicidal thoughts at some time during their lives. For most the thought is fleeting, happening after a major life loss, or at some point in life where they perceive the future as becoming hopeless. For others, life is not quite so kind, they may have a strong genetic propensity to become depressed, a chemical imbalance, or a series of unfortunate life experiences may eventually end in depression. Still others have much to do with causing their own pain by using an unrealistic cognitive thought process and having expectations in life that are not possible to achieve. Whatever the cause, we are all at risk of having strong suicidal urges when it seems as though the future has become hopeless.

There is no class or type of person that is exempt from having suicidal thoughts. Doctors, therapists, and teenagers from all walks of life, are all high on the percentage lists of completed suicide, although it seems that those people with strong religious convictions are least likely to attempt.

Depression and Suicidal Triggers

Given a person is depressed and having suicidal thoughts, there are certain releasers or 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 (as may happen between any two strangers when they first meet). The expectation that therapy will fail, especially if this 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.

The thought of the pain returning is unbearable and the urge to die may become intense. The triggers which cause this renewed depressive and suicidal episode are usually the same things which contributed to the depression in the first place. After therapy a continued exposure to an abusive partner, an oppressive boss, the inability to overcome substance abuse, inadequate concept of self, financial problems, etc. can trigger renewed suicidal urges.

Last Updated: 17 October 2017
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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