What is Suicide Ideation?

Suicide ideation is the medical term for suicidal thoughts. A person experiencing suicide ideation may simply be thinking about suicide, with no plans of actually committing suicide. On the other hand, some individuals may be planning suicide, and some may even go as far as attempting to kill themselves.

Suicide ideation typically involves someone often thinking about taking her own life. A person may wonder what would happen when she died, or what her family would think. Some individuals suffering from suicide ideation may even go as far as planning their own suicides.

A suicide plan can be either vague or very specific. For example, some people dealing with suicide ideation may simply think about the different methods of suicide, and where they would commit the act. On the more serious end of the spectrum, some individuals may get more in depth when planning suicide. These individuals have often decided how, where, and when they will take their own lives. Some people may even write a suicide note, or plan it so that a certain person will find their body.

Individuals who are thoroughly planning or threatening suicide are often put on suicide watch. This type of suicide ideation is dangerous. It could lead to the person attempting to take her own life.


Some people with suicidal tendencies who try to commit suicide may not truly wish or believe that they are going to die. A person trying to overdose on generally harmless over-the-counter-medication, such as aspirin, is one example of this. Another example may include a person who just barely cuts her wrists in an attempt to commit suicide. Many experts refer to this type of attempt at suicide as parasuicide or a suicidal gesture, and many also believe that it is a cry for help.

Those who cross the line from suicide ideation to a suicide attempt are usually put under the care of a mental health institution for observation and evaluation. Suicide watch is common for individuals who are thinking about or threatening to commit suicide. Any person who tries to commit suicide is also usually put under suicide watch.

During a suicide watch, patients are often put into what is considered to be a safe room. This rarely includes anything more than a bed or cot, and possibly a blanket. Also, objects with which a person could harm herself are also taken away. Some of these items include shoelaces, belts, sharp objects, medications, electronic gadgets, or even clothing in some cases.



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