Suicide is a symptom of other psychiatric disorders. These disorders which suicide is associated with are readily treatable with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. By following the links below you can learn about the common treatments for someone with depression, the most common disorder diagnosed with suicidal thoughts. A combination of psychotherapy and medication is usually the most timely and effective treatment approach.
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
What To Do If Someone You Know Is Suicidal
You may be able to help someone who is considering suicide:
- Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide. Be direct.
("Are you thinking about killing yourself?")
- Be nonjudgmental.
- Be willing to listen and allow expressions of feelings.
- Be available. Show interest and support. Become involved.
- Seek support. Don't be sworn to secrecy.
- Don't dare the person to do it.
- Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Try to see if the person has a real plan for how they will kill themselves, or if they just have thoughts. A plan is more dangerous than just thoughts.
- If they do have a plan for harming themselves, take action and try to remove tools or items (e.g., guns, medications, knives, razor blades, etc.) that could be used for suicide.
- Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Tell someone who can help (a mental health specialist) about what is happening and ask them to help you manage the situation.
- Take the actively and acutely suicicidal person (I'm going to kill myself tonight) to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Call the police and report the location of actively suicidal persons who will not go to the hospital. The police can intercept a suicidal person and, if in their judgement a person is in danger of harming themselves, can be taken to the hospital for care.