Suicidal Thoughts – To Share or Not To Share

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I’ve been having suicidal thoughts the past couple days. I’ve been horribly depressed, feeling alienated and isolated, and wondering what in the hell I’m doing with my life. So pretty much, same old, same old – at least for a deeply depressed state.

Although I often have suicidal thoughts in this state, they are not accompanied with an actual plan and the will to act on them – at least not yet. I think my life would have to be in full free-fall for me to actually consider acting on these feelings. To this day, although I have fantasized and thought about my own death many, many times, I have never actually attempted suicide.

One doctor said these were passive suicidal thoughts, and I agree. In this mood, I think of all kinds of ways I could die – both accidental and otherwise, but I don’t take it further.

So now that I’ve explained where I’m at…the question. Should suicidal thoughts of this nature be shared? I do share them with my therapist, at least if I remember to at the next session, but I struggle with rather to share them with my husband for instance.

He knows I’m depressed. He knows I have struggled off and on with suicidal thoughts, but should I make him aware of when I’m actually having them or would that just needlessly worry and stress him out since I don’t intend to act on them?

I normally don’t hide much of anything I’m feeling emotionally from my husband (he can usually tell anyway), but is it better to not give specific details sometimes? Is the relief I might get from talking about them worth the concern it would cause him? What do you think?

59 thoughts on “Suicidal Thoughts – To Share or Not To Share

      1. Therapists work that way because the lesson sticks when you discover the answer for yourself. The flip side is the old clcihe that everyone has an opinion and they all stink, hehe. Sadje is right though, be more direct. Ask questions about the areas you’re conflicted on also.

        All we can do as internet friends is let you know we care and offer opinions without the benefit of the insight of your therapist. *hug*

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      2. Yeah, I get why my therapist does that, but it can be frustrating. I know it isn’t good, but sometimes I just want someone to tell me what to do. I guess that is the learned helplessness and dependency I learned from growing up in an abusive situation.

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  1. I think you should share what you feel comfortable with. As a person who had suicidal ideation for many years, I know the difference in myself between acting these thoughts out or just having them alone. Only you can know where you’re at, along with your tgerapist of course. Just know it’s a symptom. You aren’t alone….I am a person who can listen and welcome you to reach out if you need to my friend. I too write about my journey of self healing. Have a blessed day and week ahead my friend😊

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  2. I’ve only just learned to express these thoughts with words, and only to my bestie and my doctor. I don’t dwell on them or get specific in nature. I alert my doctor because I went through a really long spell (6+ weeks) in January last year and I don’t want to go through it to that depth or length again. Because I’ve expressed it to him, it will be easier for him if I decide I need some medication (I take one for S.A.D. already). I tell my bestie because when these moods happen, I naturally withdrawal and I just want her to understand that I’m dealing with passive thoughts because she’s a mama hen.

    Telling your husband is your decision. I support it and it might help assure him that your obvious depression is passive… he might worry less knowing that than wondering…

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  3. I think the priority here should be what brings you relief. Personally I don’t tend to feel much if any relief from talking about suicidal thoughts, so I just don’t. If you do want to talk to him about it, it might be helpful to do some for of contracting for safety. It might be better discussed when you’re not in the middle of a low, but it’s essentially a promise not to do anything between now and the next time you check in with the person. That also needs to go along with an agreement that you will admit it if you can’t contract for safety.

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    1. I think for me, sometimes sharing that kind of stuff makes it less loud in my head. I guess that is the kind of relief I’m talking about. What do you find does help when you have those thoughts? Do you try to distract yourself? Do self care? Argue with the thoughts?

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      1. Mostly distraction. But also just allowing them to be, and recognizing that I’ve been suicidal before and it’s come and gone. When I have attempted in the past it’s only been after extended periods of SI, so I know that I’m able to make it through weeks of those thoughts without them taking over.

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  4. For me, when I had months of strong suicidal intentions with the will of not wanting to do it be a I did not want to put my friends through what my mum put me through I eventually contacted my doctors and spoke with her, while I was sorting out therapy.
    Although some friends eventually knew I was suicidal and the way I was thinking of doing it discussing my suicidal thoughts on a regular basis wasn’t something I wanted to burden them with, hence having counselling again. I just told my friends I was fine, or not fine. If not fine reassuring them I wouldn’t do anything.
    With my counselling I felt I could talk about there easier.

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      1. I found it while I was very suicidal, that it was difficult to admit I felt suicidal. When I did share with a few friends how bad I was at one stage, I was only able to do that, when I past my worst. Then just respond with the, I’m fine, ok, or not ok but safe, later, when they asked how I was. But I never said when literally I felt suicidal, because I just couldn’t say it, or want to tell them. I would just share with my counsellor in fortnightly sessions I have with her.
        At my worst, I wasn’t alone, knowing I had a care plan in place, should I need to contact anyone at a desperate time.

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  5. In my experience with ideation in my own life I think it depends… There are some people who you should have who you can talk to about it. Being able to say ‘I’m doing pretty badly at the moment’ and not get any judgement, or an over reaction is (for me at least) very powerful and helpful.

    Sometimes a therapist is the right person, sometimes my partner, or a sibling to provide that. But it’s tough to find someone who has the intuition and understanding to react the right way. Some people get scared and either over react (and you find yourself treated so nervously and deferentially it makes things worse) or they shut you out, tell you to snap out of it or something equally unhelpful.

    But should you share the feelings with someone? I think you should always be able to. Our society is so repressed and isolating for us. It demands all this insane stoicism and has long targeted people for things out of control. These things happened out of malice and ignorance, and in my view the only way to combat ignorance is through shared dialogue. We need to ‘talk’ more always, especially when things are bad.

    Remember that you are a human being, and are connected to everyone else that ever lived. That means you are loved because you are here. You are welcome to share and speak, and you are helping us all when you do.

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  6. Maybe even discussing your thoughts with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline would help, they are best to advise you on matters of that nature. 1-800-273-8255
    Remember, the world is better with you in it!!!

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  7. I am so sorry you experience this. I experience them too. I even attempted to take my own life a few times, although nothing bad happened. I empathize so much. Although you say you do not feel like you would act on these thoughts, I still think you should tell the people closest to you, if you are comfortable. Everyone around me knows about how I think about taking my own life every day; friends, family, everyone. That way they know what I am going through in case anything happens to me. I do not want to tell you what to do though. I am sending you all my love xx

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing. I am very sorry that you deal with this kind of intrusive thoughts as well and that you have actually acted on it as well. I’m not sure if it is true in your case, but for me, I think it can somewhat go along with my OCD too, I begin to obsess on the thoughts and my brain gets on a track that I just can’t get it off of.

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  8. I think there’s wisdom in sharing suicidal thoughts with someone who’s sitting outside our stream of consciousness. One thing that I’ve come to learn living with a mental illness is that my thoughts, and even my thoughts about my thoughts, are apt to be influenced by the parts of my brain that have trouble interpreting information in a normal way. That said, it’s very personal information, and while I believe the more we talk about these things openly the more we’re doing to reduce stigma, who you decide is safe to talk to is entirely your choice to make.

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  9. Oh Maranda, I’m so sorry for how you’re feeling. With depression, that shitty dark horrible place and the cycle of thoughts and suicidal theorising can be incredibly painful and difficult to climb out of. I’m not sure, re: sharing. I ‘should’ say yes, absolutely, break the stigma and get support and all of that. BUT I have not had good experiences when sharing things on my darkest days, and I no longer share it at all. I think if there are people that can ‘get it’, that won’t judge or make you feel worse or say something stupid like ‘don’t be stupid’, then it may be good, just to vent it. Sometimes that can make the ground feel a little more solid under your feet when you’ve been able to share what you’re thinking. I don’t know if it’s of interest in the slightest but I’m always here, you can drop me an email any time. No pressure because of course you don’t have to. But I’m here. Please know we’re thinking of you as you ride out this storm, Maranda  ♥
    Caz xx

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    1. Thanks so much for the support. Sometimes I even wonder about the wisdom of sharing this stuff publicly on my blog, but I really want this to be authentically me, even the parts I’m not extremely proud of or that I normally wouldn’t broadcast. I know there are some people that are not safe to share with, luckily my husband isn’t one of those.

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  10. I have attempted suicide many times- truly wanting to die. My last attempt was 5 years ago but I saw the excruciating pain my husband went through and I And for 5 years I have not. I have really wanted to, many times, but I love my husband and I know that he needs me and no, he would NOT be better off without me. That is a common misconception but it is a lie. I promised him I will never do it again.
    Ironically, I do want to live now, most of the time, but one week ago I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. I had cancer in 2006. I went through the hell of chemo and radiation. A week ago I told my husband I don’t want chemo, I would rather die naturally. He cried and cried and I felt terrible. My husband is a strong man who never cries. My husband is a good man and loves him very much. I do not want to hurt him and cause him heartbreak, sorrow and grief so I promised him I will get the mastectomy and have the nightmare called chemo so that we can grow old together.
    I tell pretty much everyone- my family, my friends, my church, my husband and those who read my blog exactly how I am feeling. It helps them understand me better when I explain it to them. And they are loving and caring and pray for me and support me. Sometimes, they say all the wrong things because they do not know what to say. But I have a very good therapist who truly understands and does not say all the wrong things. She knows exactly what to say to help me with those suicidal feelings. I hope this is a help to you. Terri D

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    1. Thank you for sharing Terri. I feel deeply for what you and your husband are going through now. I didn’t know about your suicidal past, but I empathize with what both you and your husband went through there. My sister died by suicide about 8 years ago and after going through that, I decided that I would never put my husband through that kind of pain if I could help it. I’ve always told him that as long as I’m “in my right mind” I would never do that to him. I think I would have to totally lose touch with reality to forget that promise and luckily I’ve never had that happen. I do worry about what I would do if I lost him though. I have also told him that if I got terminally ill, that is the other time I might consider suicide, because I believe in the right to euthanasia. Unfortunately that isn’t legal here, but there are always ways. I don’t know whether to congratulate you on your choice to fight the cancer or not, because I get that it is painful to you and not your choice but we will do a lot and endure a lot for those we love. Sending you love.

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  11. I share it with my husband. I am not in therapy or anything. It started to happen after my cancer when I went blind and was in a wheelchair too, and in constant pain. Then my mom died. Ut gas been really bad at times since she died. I have black days but some betrer days. I iften want to die myself. But I DO share it with my husband. It is each to their own though. Whatever is most comfirtable. Hugs to you. ❤️

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  12. I thihnk you should at least speak to someone about it.

    In the last four years I have had six friends commit suicidel. I tried to commit suicide myself when I was only 17.

    I failed.

    And we don’t know this until we get older, just how much life has to offer. Mind you—life is short enough, why hurry death on there are so many unfortunate people who die before their time what they would give to have one more day.

    I tell you, regardless how my life is going, I wake up everyday and thank God for one more.

    Life can suck. Life hurts. And I know this because I am blind and I’m all I have. And sometimes I wonder why I try so hard and then I hear like some beautiful poem or music. Or I meet someone who is absolutely extraordinary.

    You see,we’re all extraordinary, we just don’t always feel like we are, but we are. You are too.

    I had a kidney stone once, never had one in my life I was expecting the worst. I was at the urologist and I was sitting on the curb wating for the Transit Van, and this big, black guy comes walking up, I mean he was big like the guy in that Sandra Bullock footbell movie, and yet he looked like he was in pain, a lot of pain.

    And I asked him how he was doing and he say “not so good, I have kidney cancer.”

    And it was like this moment, and I gave him hug, this complete stranger I gave this guy a hug, and you know, I think it helped.

    And this lady she comes up behind me and takes my hand, she had seen the entire thing and she says to me “I can see now that God has a plan for you.”

    I don’t know what I believe. At least in some kind of universal consciousness, but that was like someone speaking to me from the other side I was absolutely speechless.

    But I think the thing is—we’re all meant to be someone’s angel.

    So don’t be sad. That guy over there is sad. Or that girl. And we all share a common sadness. We are never really alone.

    And if you think you are—the go read my poems, or my short stories, because I write them for people just like you.

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    1. This is beautiful Charles ♥ Very profound and thoughtful insights. I wish I had that kind of faith. Once upon a time I did, and sometimes I still get a glimpse of it, but I feel like time and experience had hardened me to some degree and made me more cynical and nihilistic which is not a good combination with depression. Sometimes I miss my old self. Perhaps some day I will rediscover my faith in some sort of divine fate. I definitely agree about humanity sharing a common sadness though, which is beautiful and tragic in itself.

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      1. I suppose it’s like shedding skin. You just have to keep moving forward, that’s the only way the scenery will change.

        And I’m the most cynical and nihilistic person you will ever meet. I have no faith. My brother will tell me so. But—you can’t have faith without doubt. (I forget who said that) one thing is for sure, there is a balance to everything in this universe. All things do pass. Sometimes you just have a string of bad days. That said, being blind, I have always been the only person I can count on. I have to have faith in myself, at least.

        Shameless plug:

        This is my short fiction blog.

        https://knittingclouds.wordpress.com/

        I do not write as much as I used to. Though I was a late bloomer when it came to college, I majored in literature & creative composion. Shome short stories here, flash fiction even some essays I wrote for class.

        This is my Literature blog:

        https://thevaleofsoulmaking.wordpress.com/

        this is the one I post on daily. It’s a bit of a soul searching blog, hence the title The Vale of Soul-making, which is a John Keats ideal. He believed the reason that he, and we, suffer, was an act of soul-building.

        Makes sense to me.

        And so I have been hoarding quotes & poetry for years now, because there was a time I need answers because I had a potentially fatal blood disorder. I did this the entire five years I was in college.

        When I found what I feel is the truth, it may not have been what I wanted to believe, but I got past it and still get past it by reading poetry daily and rediscovering the Human Condition through literature.

        The blog is a good barometer of my moods, though I mix it up a lot with dark humor, after all, above all, we have to find ways to laugh at things or we will go mad.

        However, you will be fine. I have faith in that.

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  13. On reading your bio:

    But you see, it’s people like us who change the world and make it a better place for people like us.

    It gives our lives purpose. That’s what keeps us going.

    And it is no small legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re those human interest stories at tne end of a very bad news day. We inspire people. And no, it never gets seems to easier, but you have to be glad for every day nonetheless. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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