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Suicidal Ideologies - Warning Signs, Prevention, and Helplines

Life has been harder than ever these past few years. Generations of people who never experienced war, plague, or globally traumatic events (in combination with those who have and are adding another to their roster) are now being subject to traumatic experiences that they'd only read about in history books. An unfortunate, but very real, response to feeling so lost and afraid in your life can be to end it all-together.

Suicide itself is the act of taking your own life. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15-24. In 2020 alone, 46,000 Americans died by suicide.

With the normal stressors and anxieties compounding with the global state, it is important to understand suicide, some common 'reasonings' behind it, and warning signs for those you love - or even for yourself.

Suicide ideation is the beginning step to the actual act of committing suicide - it's the planning phase. How, where, when? Suicide ideology is not when you're driving down the street and consider launching off a parked tow truck - or the random thoughts to drive off the side of the mountain when you are on a nice drive with your family. Those are intrusive thoughts! Now, if you were to plan to drive up to the mountains alone and intentionally drive off a cliff - that would be suicide ideation.

There can be plenty of signs that ideation is occurring, but often times it's harder to spot in another person unless they share their plans with you. It is something to pay attention to, closely, within yourself as well. Try to keep an eye out for:

  • Previous suicide attempts

  • Depression

  • Personality Changes

  • Daring/Risky behaviors