What is Suicidality?
The term suicidality refers to the a person having suicidal thoughts which may or may not lead to a suicide attempt. Suicidality can range from passing thoughts of suicide to obsessive thoughts of suicide, to an attempt at suicide to the completion of suicide. Thoughts of suicide are significantly more common than attempts or completed suicides. A broad range of diagnoses are correlated with suicidality, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, personality issues (“Borderline Personality Disorder”) and psychological trauma and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What is the difference between ideation and attempts?
It is important to note that suicidal ideation, or SI, does not always result in an attempt. Suicidal ideation can be divided into two categories: passive and active. Passive SI consists of fleeting thoughts or urges to commit suicide; people with active SI have a plan in place that they intend to act upon. Risk factors for active SI include having a family member who has attempted suicide, being widowed or divorced, living alone, stressful life events, access to drugs, medications or firearms, prior experiences of familial violence, and psychiatric diagnoses such as major depression, substance abuse (alcoholism in particular), schizophrenia, panic disorder, personality issues (BPD), or trauma. Symptoms of active SI include feelings of hopelessness, an inability to feel happiness (anhedonia), anxiety, difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, and agitation.