Definition of Suicidality

Suicidality refers to the presence of suicidal thoughts, behaviors, or intentions, and encompasses a wide range of self-destructive tendencies that may lead to suicide attempts or completion of the act.

Subcategories of Suicidality

Suicidal ideation:

The presence of recurrent thoughts, fantasies, or ideas centered around self-harm or ending one’s life, regardless of whether there is an intention to act upon them.

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI):

Engaging in deliberate, self-inflicted harm to one’s body without intending to die. This behavior provides temporary relief from emotional distress and is typically not a direct suicide attempt.

Suicide attempt:

An intentional, self-inflicted act that carries the potential risk of causing death. This can include self-poisoning, cutting, overdosing, or any other harmful behavior with the deliberate intention of ending one’s life.

Completed suicide:

The act of successfully ending one’s own life. It refers to a completed suicide where death occurs as a direct result of self-inflicted injuries or overdose.

Risk Factors for Suicidality

While each individual’s experience with suicidality is unique, there are several common risk factors that can increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or behaviors:

– Mental health disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder)
– Previous suicide attempts
– Substance abuse or addiction
– Family history of suicide
– Chronic physical illness or pain
– Social isolation or lack of social support
– Traumatic experiences (e.g., childhood abuse, loss of a loved one)
– Access to lethal means
– Financial difficulties
– Feelings of hopelessness or despair

Seeking Help for Suicidality

Suicidality should always be taken seriously, and individuals experiencing such thoughts or engaging in self-harming behaviors should seek professional help immediately. Mental health professionals, helplines, and support groups are available to provide assistance and support.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing thoughts of suicide, contact a local emergency service or a helpline specific to your country.