Are You Having Thoughts of Suicide?

I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth.

Abraham Lincoln

If you are like most people who are suicidal, you really don’t want to die. You just want to find a way to end your pain. There is nothing wrong with you for having these thoughts. Thinking about suicide is a natural response to unbearable pain. When you feel that you can no longer cope with your pain, it is understandable to see suicide as the only option that will put an end to this suffering. 

Having suicidal thoughts is called suicidal ideation. For example, you might think, “I just wish I could stop existing right now,” or “I wish that I would go to sleep and not wake up.” Or you might hope that your car would veer off the side of the road and crash.

You may also have specific thoughts of killing yourself. For example, when I was suicidal, I imagined myself taking an overdose of antidepressants or shooting myself. While I entertained these thoughts, I did not plan to carry them through.

Suicidal ideation is more common than you may think. In 2018, approximately eleven million people in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide.

Suicidal thoughts don’t have to be permanent. One way you can cope with these thoughts is to reduce your pain so that you no longer need to think about suicide as an option. Another way is to manage these thoughts as they come up so you can stay safe while you are finding ways to reduce your pain.

The pages below will help you find ways to respond to your thoughts so you can stay safe.