Most often, suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling like you can't cope when you're faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation. These situations could include financial problems, the death of a loved one, a relationship breakup or a debilitating illness.

What you should know:

Symptoms Include:

  • Talking about suicide, including making such statements as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I was dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"
  • Getting the means to commit suicide, such as getting a gun or stockpiling pills
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  • Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again
  • Developing personality changes, such as becoming very outgoing after being shy

What you should do about it:

  • Treatment of suicidal thoughts and behavior depends on your specific situation, including your level of suicide risk and what underlying problems may be causing your suicidal thoughts or behavior.
  • Emergency situations:
    • If you've made a suicide attempt, you need to go immediately to the emergency room. It's safest to call for an ambulance rather than go with someone else.
  • Non Emergency situations:
    • If you have suicidal thoughts but aren't in a crisis situation, you may need outpatient treatment. This treatment may include:
      • Psychotherapy, Medications, Family support and education