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Understanding Teen Suicidal Ideation

about suicide ideation

Table of Contents

Summary

Suicidal ideation means that you are thinking about taking your own life or are having thoughts of wanting to die. You may think that the best way to end the situation is to die. This is not true! Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary feelings, situations, or experiences. Reach out if you need help!
National Suicide Prevention Hotline

If you are currently having any thoughts of hurting yourself and feel you cannot keep yourself safe, contact the suicide prevention hotline now, or tell a trusted adult, teacher, or counselor immediately to get the support you need!

It Can Get Better! You Matter!

Sometimes living your day-to-day life can seem really hard. Sometimes, when life gets difficult, you may start to believe that it will never get better. In those moments with so much going on, it is easy to lose hope about the future. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but sometimes those feelings can become so heavy that you begin to think about ending your life as a way to make the thoughts stop or to escape. 

 Suicide may seem like your only option to escape your pain, but there are other ways to relieve your pain or emotional distress. Although life may seem dark right now, it can get better! You matter.

What is Suicidal Ideation?

what is suicide ideation

Suicidal ideation means that you are thinking about taking your own life or are having thoughts of wanting to die. Sometimes, thoughts about wanting to die can arise if you are trying to escape an unpleasant situation or feeling, or if you are feeling hopeless, stuck, or overwhelmed. You may think that the best way to end the situation is to die. 

This is not true! Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary feelings, situations, or experiences. It’s hard to think things can better when they are at their worst, but it is possible. Reach out to a chat specialist, friend, or mental health professional now to get support if you are having thoughts of suicide.

Common warning signs someone is thinking about suicide:

  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Talking about death or killing yourself
  • Showing rage or wanting to seek revenge
  • Preparing or planning to kill yourself
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Long-lasting sadness or moodiness
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Giving away personal belongings
  • Sudden calmness after a long period of sadness
  • Isolating or wanting to be alone all the time
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Sleeping too little or too much

Suicide is serious. If someone is experiencing suicidal ideations or hopelessness take it seriously. If you think someone is thinking about killing themselves, ask them. Let someone know that you care. Don’t keep it a secret, tell a trusted adult right away. If you are feeling lost, hopeless, and are having overwhelming thoughts about death or killing yourself tell a trusted adult or contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-272-8255).      

Wellbeing Strategies

talk to a counselor or therapist

Talk to a Counselor or Therapist:  It can be difficult to address your emotions and thoughts, experiences, and life challenges. Reaching out to a counselor or therapist can help you feel better and less alone. Find a therapist near you here or try online therapy!

Talk to a trusted adult: Parents, mentors, school employees, and religious leaders can provide you with additional support and guidance to work through your life challenges.

Take care of yourself: Exercise, sleep, and eating healthy can have a big impact on your overall mood and how you feel about yourself. You can also do something you enjoy, such as yoga, art, sports, writing, listening to music, playing an instrument, etc.  Finding time to do things that you enjoy can help you feel better.

Meditate, prayer, mindfulness: Connecting to your breathing and your abilities to calm yourself can help positively increase your mood. Spending time in nature can help improve your mood.

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