Suicidal ideation is a common medical term for thoughts about suicide. Thoughts may be fleeting in nature, or they may persist and eventually resolve into a plan.
Many people who experience suicidal thoughts do not die by suicide, although they may exhibit suicidal behavior or make suicide attempts. Equally, someone may have suicidal thoughts for a short period of time, and attempt to take their own life in that time. All suicidal ideation should be taken seriously, so do not hesitate if you think someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide. You can contact a crisis line like the Samaritans 24/7 to ask for help.
People who find themselves experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors may find that they do so as a result of conditions such as depression, hopelessness, severe anxiety, insomnia, or panic attacks. Not all people who are diagnosed with these or other medical or mental health conditions will experience suicidal ideation, but some may.
How to recognise suicide warning signs
What you can do to help
If you’re worried that a friend or loved one is suffering or thinking of suicide – here are some of the key warning signs to watch out for:
What to listen for:
- Talking or writing about hurting themselves, dying or saying that they want to die
- Talking about ways to die or having a suicide plan
- Saying that they are ‘trapped’ or have no options in their life
- Saying they have no purpose in their lives, that they feel hopeless
What to look for:
- Engaging in self-harm or reckless, risk taking behaviour
- Giving items away or saying goodbye to people
- Becoming more inward looking and withdrawing from family and friends
- Changes in their sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep
- Extreme emotions or dramatic changes in mood
- Increasing their use of drugs or alcohol
If you recognise one or more of these warning signs in a friend or family member’s behaviour, do not wait for someone else to do something. Speak to them, and speak to someone else – your GP, and/or a crisis line like the Samaritans.
We can also help. We have several very experienced counsellors who have worked with both Pieta House and with the Samaritans and can support adults struggling with thoughts of suicide, engaged in self-harming, anyone supporting a friend or family member who is feeling suicidal, and anyone who has lost a friend or family member to suicide.
John Sheridan MIAHIP, MSc Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy
Areas of Speciality: Self-harm, Suicide, Stress/Anxiety management, Depression, Relationship issues, Grief/ Loss, Trauma, Self-esteem.
Available Online? No In person? Yes.
I am a fully qualified Psychotherapist and I am pre-accredited with the IAHIP – Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy. I work utilising a “stress model” from a humanistic & relational framework. This promotes self-awareness for clients and empowers them to identify the causes of harmful stressors, while developing self-care and self-safety practices so as to bring a sense of balance and harmony to their day to day functioning. Working in general practice providing one to one therapy sessions for individuals (aged 16 and over) from all backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation.
Some of the issues that I empower clients to cope with and manage include:
Self-harm/injury, Stress/Anxiety, Bereavement & Loss, Relationship issues, Lack of Motivation, Abuse, Panic Attacks, Bullying, Stress, Trauma. Having worked for many years with Samaritans and Living Life Counselling, I also have experience of clients who experience suicidal ideation, and who self-harm/injure.
Fee: €45 per 50 minute session. Please feel free to contact John directly on Tel: 086 8162473.