Suicidal Ideation



What is suicide ideation? In simplest terms it means the mulling, considering, thinking about taking one's life including all of the details in a plan to do just that. There is no such thing as a non-serious case of suicidal ideation; all are very serious and need to be viewed as such. Most of us think of the person who is or has been experiencing a long term spell of depression as being most likely to commit suicide, but the facts say otherwise. Though they are certainly capable of it, and often successful at carrying through their plans,  the person in a mixed state is even more likely to become a successful suicide as they not only have the plan for suicide well-thought out in their mind, they also have the energy and impulsivity to bring the plan to fruition.

The bipolar who is in a deep and very dark depressive state often can barely find the energy to get out of bed and dressed, so they are immobilised by the illness itself in terms of carrying through on a plan to suicide. This is not to say that they as well shouldn't be taken seriously, because they definitely are deserving of all possible care. However, in a mixed state the agitation can be so great, as the manic chemicals stir self-loathing and pain into a molotov cocktail of ceaseless energy, that carrying through the suicidal thought comes rapidly on the heels of the thought itself. Yes, it can be just that quick and just that impulsive which is why you mustn't leave the person to their own means. Please stay with them through the mood no matter what.

Important risk factors for suicide:

  1. male sex
  2. age (for men risk rises after 45, for women it peaks at 55, then declines)
  3. prior history of suicide attempts
  4. family history of suicide
  5. comorbid psychiatric illness
  6. substance abuse
  7. presence of medical illness


Suicidal ideation resources...