Suicidal Thoughts

Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts take different forms. Some politely knock on the door. You let them in, entertain them a bit, and then they leave. But suicidal thoughts can also be most unwelcome. In such cases, you do not want to think of suicide. The thoughts still come. They invade. They refuse to leave. So What Can […]

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Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?

Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?

“I had no idea what I had done to you, although I should have known it in retrospect. So I guess now is a good time to say I am sorry, although it is about 19 years too late.” Those words came from a dear friend of mine who went through a prolonged suicidal crisis […]

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Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Say someone wants to die by suicide so badly that they go to the Golden Gate Bridge to jump off. But then they are stopped from jumping. What happens to them afterward? You might think that, once freed from the authority figures who prevented their suicide on the bridge,  they still went on to by suicide. […]

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Is a Suicide Attempt a Cry for Help?

Is a Suicide Attempt a Cry for Help?

“She is not really suicidal. She just wants attention.” “He did not really attempt suicide. It was just a cry for help.” “If she had really wanted to die, she’d be dead.” These are often the reactions of friends and family to a suicidal person. Sometimes, it is true that a person who made what […]

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Shame, Stigma, and Suicidality

Shame, Stigma, and Suicidality

Many people feel ashamed of their suicidal thoughts. This shame can be about any number of things, often contradictory: thinking of suicide, being unable to stop thinking of suicide, not acting on suicidal thoughts, acting on suicidal thoughts, and so on. Shame especially can follow a suicide attempt. One small study found that most of the […]

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The People You Would Leave Behind

The People You Would Leave Behind

“I’m a burden. They’ll be better off without me.” “They’ll get over it.” “Nobody will care that I’m gone.” Do you tell yourself any of these things? Many people who think of suicide do. In fact, a leading expert in suicide research, Thomas Joiner Jr., PhD, writes that seeing yourself as a burden to others is a […]

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What are Your Reasons for Living?

What are Your Reasons for Living?

If you have suicidal thoughts, then you probably have clearly spelled out in your head your reasons for dying. These reasons may taunt you, incessantly reminding you of what is wrong with your life, perhaps even the world. Do you pay more attention to your reasons for dying than your reasons for living? People’s reasons […]

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The Hope Box

The Hope Box

Suicidal thoughts and hope exist on opposite ends of the spectrum, and one withers in the face of the other. A good means for challenging suicidal thoughts, then, is to cultivate hope. That is the aim of the “hope box.” The premise is simple: Get a box (or a bag, or a large envelope, or […]

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Uncovering Suicidal Thoughts

Uncovering Suicidal Thoughts

To help a person deal with suicidal thoughts, you first need to know they have them. The challenge here is that many people who seriously consider suicide do not tell their therapist, at least not fully.  What To Do? Shawn Shea, M.D., a psychiatrist and expert on suicide risk assessment, has described excellent techniques for […]

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The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

One night, a friend unexpectedly came to my house very late.  Only after we had chatted for 15 minutes did she roll up her sleeve and show me why.  Her wrist was bleeding.  I rushed her to the hospital and struggled not to faint as doctors stitched up what she had cut with a razor. […]

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