Posted by: jedwardswright | September 14, 2010

Thoughts of Suicide

There is no way of knowing how many people who are deep in depression contemplate suicide. Still it is clear from the many anecdotal reports that I have been privileged to see, that there is a massive portion of the population struggling with suicidal ideation.

While being plagued by seemingly random thoughts about ending one’s life does not always lead to an attempt, this situation is always serious, and a sign that professional help is needed. At a minimum, consulting with a therapist is essential. Telling a family doctor is also a positive move. Ideally, though, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should be seeing a psychiatrist.

Making an appointment to see a psychiatrist may raise fears in any one who has not seen one before. I remember thinking, “This is it. I must be crazy. I have totally lost it,” after steeling myself to make that call. On the contrary, that may have been the sanest decision I have ever made.

 The word crazy is to mental health what the word retarded is to developmentally delayed. It is an archaic and pejorative term which has no place in modern society. People with mental health conditions have a biochemical disorder – a physical impairment which manifests itself in a number of areas, including emotions and thoughts.

 A psychiatrist is merely a doctor with a specialty. If you were having heart problems, you would insist on seeing a cardiologist. If you had aching joints, it is likely that you would see a rheumatologist. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or any other mental health concern, like thoughts of suicide, then a psychiatrist is the logical doctor to consult. The best care is care by an expert in the particular area of medicine in which you have symptoms.

If thoughts of killing yourself are overwhelming you and /or you have a plan to end your life, then do not wait for an appointment to reach out for help. Call a crisis center listed in the front of your phone book, or 911, or get someone to drive you to an emergency department immediately.

I am a survivor of suicide. When I saw the grief that my attempt caused my family, I vowed never to put them through that again. I can only imagine how terrible it would have been for them had I been successful. I am now living a good life, thanks to my husband, who saved me, and the medical community, who treated me and gave me the tools to fight back.

Remember, depression is distorting your thinking, and your sense of reality is not what it should be right now. Make the call for an appointment, a ride, a listening ear, or an ambulance. It may be the call that gives you your life back.


  1. My best friend saved my life. I didn’t want to find help. I threw out vague hints of my struggle, but she saw right through them. She knew I needed help, and got me in touch with a counselor. I resisted her willingness to help- but looking back, I thank God that she is part of my life. I never thought I would have so much healing this side of Heaven. God is good!

  2. I would not be alive were it not for the grace of God and my wonderful husband.
    If anyone is wondering whether or not to reach out for help — do it! You don’t have to be miserable! Life can be better, but it has to start with you getting help.

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