Important: If you or a loved one is currently contemplating suicide or feels like they may hurt themselves, you should get immediate assistance by dialing 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also call 911 to be connected with first responders in your area who can help you.
Suicidal ideation can be a symptom of many mental illnesses. For example, suicidal ideation often happens in people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also occur in people battling alcoholism or substance abuse disorder. But what is suicidal ideation, and how can it be treated? Can you go to rehab for suicidal depression or ideation?
Below, learn the answers to your most pressing questions about suicidal ideation. Plus, you’ll learn what you can do about this serious mental health issue and how to find a suicidal treatment facility that can help you overcome this debilitating thought process.
What Is Suicidal Ideation?
Suicidal ideation is an umbrella term to describe thoughts, contemplations or preoccupations with death and suicide. You or your loved one may suffer from suicidal ideation if you’ve ever:
- Considered or practiced self-harm (such as purposefully cutting or burning yourself)
- Thought about or attempted suicide
- Had thoughts that the world would be better off without you
- Believed your loved ones would have better lives if you were no longer here
- Had ongoing preoccupations with death that interfered with your ability to complete everyday tasks (even if those thoughts didn’t necessarily include suicidal or self-harm thoughts)
Is Suicidal Ideation a Common Problem?
The World Health Organization estimates that around 700,000 people die by suicide each year, with even more attempting to take their lives but surviving. Suicidal ideation is a serious problem that increases the risk of suicide attempts, even when a person believes they won’t “actually go through with it.” The severity and risk of suicidal ideation vary based on the associated thoughts, actions and symptoms. However, it’s crucial you get help as soon as possible because the problem generally only continues to get worse without treatment.
How Beneficial Is Rehab for Suicidal Depression or Ideation?
Intensive rehab programs at a suicide treatment facility have the power to do more than fight current thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Rehab can also treat the underlying cause of suicide ideation, working to stop this destructive thought cycle at its source. To be most effective, you need a comprehensive treatment plan to address addiction or underlying mental health concerns if you suffer from suicidal ideation.
Those with suicidal ideation often have mental health conditions or substance abuse disorders fueling their thoughts of committing suicide. Unfortunately, without treating the underlying cause, you’ll likely think about hurting yourself again. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed because alternative options (like a 72-hour suicide watch in your hospital’s psychiatric ward) only serve to keep you safe now, providing no real help for moving forward.
What to Expect at a Suicide Treatment Facility
It can feel scary or overwhelming when you think about actually going to one of the facilities you found when searching online for “suicidal treatment centers near me.” But the first step is often the hardest. Rehab for suicidal depression is one of the best investments you can make in your future. Knowing what to expect from your treatment can help remove some of the uncertainty you might feel.
Intake is the process during which the suicide treatment facility officially registers you as one of its patients. The process may look different based on many considerations (including whether you’re in an active crisis at the time) but will generally include:
- Speaking with an intake specialist about your suicidal ideation, other symptoms, physical health conditions, medications and other relevant topics
- Figuring out the right program for your unique needs
- Determining your length of stay (if doing residential rehab)
- Signing papers that allow the suicide treatment facility to treat you
If you’re battling addiction, detox will generally follow your intake process. Detox is where all the alcohol or illicit substances leave your body while you remain under the supervision of trained medical staff.
Residential rehab involves you staying at a suicide treatment facility for a predetermined number of days. During this time, you’ll live at the facility and receive around-the-clock care for your suicidal ideation and underlying issues. Sometimes called an inpatient treatment program, residential rehab is the best choice for someone with suicidal ideation because it allows them to focus solely on their mental health without any external stressors.
You may receive several therapy types during residential rehab and in the weeks, months or years following this intensive treatment program’s completion. For example, you may use:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Breathwork therapy
Group therapy and support groups can especially benefit those with suicidal ideation and other mental health conditions. These groups help you see you’re not alone, something most people with thoughts of suicide feel. Group therapy also provides a support network you can use without fear of judgment when you encounter challenging times moving forward.
Support for Your Body and Mind
The best rehab programs will include additional support for your body and mind. For example, a program may help support your body during your wellness journey by providing fitness and nutrition options. Studies have shown that a healthy body and mind are connected, so taking care of your physical health is a crucial part of any recovery.
For your mind, most rehab programs will include healthy coping techniques and ways to help you relax during the most challenging part of recovery. For example, a residential program may include access to yoga, expressive arts, massage and acupuncture.
Don’t Wait … Get Help for Suicidal Ideation Today
Suicidal ideation is a severe problem that requires treating the underlying mental health condition or substance abuse disorder. If you’re battling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Contact us now to speak with one of our compassionate counselors about how we can help you begin your wellness journey.