When a person has ongoing thoughts of ending their life, it is called suicidal ideation. These thoughts can be mild or intense and last for a short time or go on so long that they affect a person’s well-being. However, it can be comforting to know that suicidal ideation treatment can help people heal and thrive.
Excellent care is available at Bronson Behavioral Health Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, where we offer suicidal ideation treatment for adults age 18 and older. Receiving immediate assistance is crucial if you are having suicidal thoughts.
If you are currently experiencing suicidal ideation, please call 911 or contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by texting or dialing 988.
What Is Suicidal Ideation?
Paying attention to signs of suicidal ideation in a loved one’s behavior can help prevent death by suicide, which is a devastating response to feelings of sadness and despair. A person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts does not always want to end their life. However, such thoughts do show that a person is experiencing intense emotional pain. People who are in a suicidal state of mind think differently than usual, and it can be hard for them to make logical decisions or imagine that there are different solutions to the intense feelings they have.
It is necessary to take any signs of suicidal ideation seriously. When someone expresses thoughts of suicide, they may be asking for help. Having a compassionate conversation with them might encourage them to reconsider their intentions and seek professional treatment.
Signs & Symptoms of Suicidal Ideation
People who have suicidal thoughts are often secretive about their emotional pain. Warning signs that someone is experiencing suicidal ideation can be subtle. Paying close attention to symptoms of suicidal thoughts can be a necessary part of getting someone early intervention and support before things become more serious. The signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation can vary from person to person in type and severity.
Verbal signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation can include:
- Constant focus on death in conversations
- Mentioning methods or plans for suicide
- Making statements like “The world would be a better place without me”
- Directly expressing the wish to die
Emotional and psychological symptoms that may indicate that someone has been considering death by suicide include:
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Inappropriate and overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
- Loss of interest in most activities
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty focusing
Common physical symptoms of suicidal thoughts include:
- Extreme changes in appetite, weight, or appearance
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Unexplained physical pain or discomfort
Behavioral signs that may indicate that someone has been thinking about death by suicide include:
- Increased substance abuse
- Withdrawal from social groups and relationships
- Making preparations for death
It is important to approach your loved one compassionately if you notice any signs or symptoms of suicidal ideation. Suggesting that they seek professional help as soon as possible may be difficult but necessary.
When you or your loved one is ready to receive help, a staff member at Bronson Behavioral Health can offer guidance on whether an inpatient treatment center would be the ideal place for care.
If you believe that someone you know is in immediate danger, do not wait to contact emergency medical services.
Suicidal Ideation Statistics
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 700,000 people die by suicide each year. However, this figure does not factor in the number of people who are struggling with suicidal ideation or those who have attempted death by suicide. WHO recommends the following interventions for suicide prevention:
- Prevent people from accessing the means for suicide.
- Encourage adolescents to develop skills that help them manage their emotions.
- Observe, identify, and help people who exhibit signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reported nearly 1.2 million suicide attempts among American adults in 2020.
Statistics on suicide offer only a partial picture of how suicidal thoughts and behaviors impact Americans. For every death by suicide, many others are struggling with suicidal ideation to the point that their lives are negatively impacted.
Effects of Suicidal Ideation
Suicidal ideation, or ongoing thoughts of wanting to end your life, can negatively affect multiple aspects of your well-being. Potential effects of persistent suicidal ideation include:
- Emotional distress: People who have suicidal ideation often have feelings of hopelessness, despair, sadness, and emptiness, which can lead to isolation and make it challenging to enjoy once-pleasurable activities.
- Cognitive impairments: Suicidal thoughts can consume a person’s thinking, making it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, and focus on tasks. Negative self-perception and self-blame may lead to a distorted view of oneself and the world.
- Physical changes: Suicidal ideation can manifest physically, resulting in disrupted sleep patterns, weight gain or loss, lack of energy, and new aches and pains.
- Social isolation: It can be challenging to maintain healthy relationships when dealing with ongoing suicidal thoughts. Feelings of guilt for burdening others may arise, leading to withdrawal from social interactions and loneliness.
- Functional challenges: Suicidal ideation can interfere with various aspects of daily life, including work or school performance, personal relationships, and self-care activities. Concentration difficulties and lack of motivation can negatively affect productivity and achievement.
Mental health professionals at Bronson Behavioral Health can provide the appropriate treatment for your needs and help you avoid the negative effects of suicidal ideation.
Helping a Loved One
If you are worried that a loved one is experiencing suicidal ideation, it’s crucial to take them seriously and help them get professional care. Here are some steps you can take to support them:
- Be attentive and observe any signs or symptoms of suicidal ideation.
- Initiate a conversation about what they’re feeling.
- Actively and compassionately listen without trying to talk over them.
- Encourage professional help at an appropriate suicidal ideation treatment place.
- Remove immediate dangers that could be used to self-harm.
- Stay connected even if your loved one tries to push you away.
- Encourage self-care such as exercise and healthy eating.
- Educate yourself about the risk factors for suicidal ideation and the types of available treatments.
Treatment for Suicidal Ideation
Treatment for suicidal ideation can help people find relief, learn coping skills, and experience a greater sense of well-being. Mental health professionals will determine the best combination of therapies and services based on a patient’s needs. These are common services and therapies included in suicidal ideation treatment plans:
- Medication management: A mental health professional may prescribe medication for some patients who are experiencing suicidal ideation, particularly if they have a co-occurring mental health disorder. If medication is part of your treatment at Bronson, you’ll meet daily with a psychiatrist.
- Inpatient treatment: In cases where there is an immediate threat to a patient’s safety or intensive focus could offer the most help, inpatient hospitalization can be an ideal choice. Facilities like Bronson Behavioral Health can monitor, support, and stabilize patients to provide a foundation for ongoing improvement.
- Group therapy: Support groups allow patients to work with peers and staff to share experiences and improve social skills.
- Family therapy: Some patients can benefit from family therapy, which promotes better communication skills and relationship dynamics.
- Individual therapy: Patients can work with licensed counselors to better understand how to manage their symptoms, develop coping skills, and find more satisfaction in life.
Getting Care at Our Inpatient Suicidal Ideation Treatment Center
Receiving care at an inpatient suicidal ideation treatment center can be an essential step toward healing. Bronson Behavioral Health Hospital provides clinically excellent inpatient care for adults who want to focus on improving their mental health. Features of Bronson’s suicidal ideation treatment center include:
- Consistent attention: We offer regular monitoring and support so that patients can have as much assistance as they need to promote their healing process.
- Individual, family, and group therapies: Treatment plans include daily group therapy and individual and family therapy as needed.
- Medication management: Our psychiatrists and other staff ensure that each patient receives the appropriate medication and dosage for their needs.
- Multidisciplinary treatment team: Our staff is made up of professionals from various disciplines, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and counselors.
- Structured routine: A structured routine can offer stability and predictability, reducing anxiety and giving patients a sense of control. This routine may include therapy sessions, meals, recreational activities, and time for rest.
- Comfort and safety: Our new facility is designed to promote healing and offer a sense of security.
- Aftercare planning: Before patients are discharged from our hospital, our staff develops comprehensive aftercare plans that ensure that they continue to build on the progress they made while in our care. These plans can include outpatient therapy, support groups, and other community resources.
When you decide to get inpatient suicidal ideation treatment at Bronson, you are making a courageous commitment to getting better. Receiving these therapies and services can help you form a solid foundation for ongoing health and healing. If you have any questions about our facility and how we can help you, please contact our staff today.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Bronson Behavioral Health Hospital.