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Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies

Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies

Suicidal tendencies are defined as thoughts or behaviors that are related to or tend to cause the taking of one's own life. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies often develop in response to highly stressful life situations. Those who have these feelings often believe that death is the only way to escape from the pain they are experiencing. Suicide is a tragic cause of death that can be prevented when suicidal tendencies are recognized and treated.

Warning Signs

Any thought, action, or behavior that can lead to an individual committing suicide is classified as a suicidal tendency. These warning signs can often be seen in one's self or another individual long before suicidal actions are taken. Recognizing these symptoms and seeking treatment immediately greatly increases the chances of saving yourself or someone else.


Common symptoms that are classified as suicidal tendencies include talking about death or suicide, withdrawing from social contact, mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of death or dying, increased use of drugs or alcohol, or personality changes. Some suicidal individuals may also start giving away belongings, getting affairs in order, saying goodbye to friends and family members like they will not be seen again, or obtaining the means to commit suicide. The warning signs can vary from person to person, and some people keep their thoughts and intentions hidden.


Whether seeking help for yourself or someone else, there are numerous resources designed to prevent suicide. Individuals who are in immediate danger should call 911 or go to the emergency room. Patients can also call suicide prevention hotlines to speak with counselors about their feelings.

Seek Professional Help

Patients should also seek help for suicidal tendencies even when they are not severe. Suicidal thoughts typically do not go away on their own. Doctors can often detect an underlying mental health condition that is causing patients to experience suicidal thoughts in response to stressful life events. Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can be treated, and the risk of suicide can be greatly reduced.


When treating patients with suicidal tendencies, doctors may utilize a number of techniques depending upon the severity of the situation. Patients who are seen as an immediate threat to themselves may be admitted to a hospital for intensive inpatient care and observation. Those who are not at an immediate risk of committing suicide are typically given anti-depressant medications. In addition, doctors may also recommend psychiatric care or counseling.

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