Suicidal ideationis a medical term for thoughts about or an unusual preoccupation with suicide. The range of suicidal ideation varies greatly from fleeting thoughts, to extensive thoughts, to detailed planning, role playing(e.g., standing on a chair with a noose), and unsuccessful attempts, which may be deliberately constructed to fail or be discovered, or may be fully intended to result in death, but the individual survives (e.g., for example in the case of a hanging in which the cord breaks).
Most people who undergo suicidal ideation do not go on to make suicide attempts, but it is considered a risk factor. Suicidal ideation is generally associated with depression; however, it seems to have associations with many other psychiatric disorders, life events, and family events, all of which may increase the risk of suicidal ideation. Recurrent suicidal behaviour and suicidal ideation is a hallmark of borderline personality disorder. One study found that 73% of patients with borderline personality disorder have attempted suicide, with the average patient having 3.4 attempts. Currently, there are a number of different treatment options for those experiencing suicidal ideation.
Signs and symptoms
Suicidal ideation has a straightforward definition — suicidal thoughts — but there are some other related signs and symptoms. Some symptoms or co-morbid conditions may include unintentional weight loss, feeling helpless, feeling alone, excessive fatigue, low self-esteem, presence of consistent mania, excessively talkative, intent on previously dormant goals, feel like one's mind is racing. The onset of symptoms like these with an inability to get rid of or cope with their effects, a possible form of psychological inflexibility, is one possible trait associated with suicidal ideation. They may also cause psychological distress, which is another symptom associated with suicidal ideation. Symptoms like these related with psychological inflexibility, recurring patterns, or psychological distress may in some cases lead to the onset of suicidal ideation. Other possible symptoms and warning signs include: