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Dealing with Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts

Dealing with Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts about suicide can make us feel isolated and afraid. But there is always reason for hope, even in our darkest moments. With compassionate support, many find freedom from suicidal thinking.

Why Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts Develop and Persist

Suicidal ideation often arises from underlying mental health issues like depression, anxiety, trauma, or obsessive thinking. The mind repeats these thoughts frequently, even when we wish for peace.

  • 52% of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) had suicidal ideation. [1]

Their origins vary; sometimes external factors like grief or loneliness can contribute, while biochemical differences in the brain or genetic predispositions also play roles for some.

These thoughts amplify distress but are not anyone’s fault. None of us consciously chooses to have them invade our minds. Their painful and persistent nature can make us feel helpless, as if no solutions exist. 

But with help from both loved ones and mental health professionals, their intensity can subside over time. Healing is a gradual journey, but one filled with hope.

Practising Self-Compassion During Difficult Moments Of Intrusive Suicidal Thoughts

When suicidal thoughts feel overwhelming, responding with self-compassion is crucial yet immensely challenging. Be gentle with yourself – you did not invite these struggles, nor do you deserve such anguish. 

Make space to process difficult emotions, knowing that you have strength within.

This too shall pass; though the present feels dark, brighter days await. Stay focused on this moment only – do what you need right now to feel safe, soothed, and supported. The future cannot be predicted during storms, but new light always emerges in time. 

You have survived each of your hardest days so far. Have faith that you will continue to find reservoirs of resilience.

Building Your Long-Term Support System

While managing suicidal intrusive thoughts in real-time matters, establishing ongoing support provides stability during distressing periods. Consider which tools and resources help you feel understood and give a sense of community:

  • Connect with mental health professionals: Speaking regularly with mental health experts can help address underlying factors influencing your intrusive suicidal thoughts.Together, you’ll gain long-term tools to manage challenges as they arise. Reach out now.
  • Pursue self-care: Ensuring adequate sleep, nutrition, movement, and meaningful connection can stabilise mood over months and years. Consider which small acts of self-care help you feel cared for, – then practise one daily.
  • Find your people: Confiding in trusted friends, family members, or support groups builds community, so you never have to suffer alone. Their empathy can be invaluable during darker times.
  • Explore thought pattern changes: With practice, many find relief in not engaging with or judging unhelpful thoughts when they enter uninvited. This reduces power over time.

Remember that each small act of compassion towards yourself or others can provide comfort. Have patience with setbacks and milestones along your unique path.

Managing Triggers Related to OCD

For those whose suicidal thoughts manifest from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), cruel mental attacks regarding self-harm may mix with fear and shame regarding your own intrusions. OCD latches onto a person’s core fears and values, exploiting them with horrific imagery in order to instill anxiety or self-loathing.

  • Data showed that 70% of females had suicidal ideations when compared to 40% of males [2]

Please remember – the content of obsessions holds no actual meaning about your character. These thoughts represent your disorder speaking, not your true self. As severe as they feel, there lies a clear line between OCD and reality. 

If you live with OCD and require immediate support regarding suicidal/self-harm related obsessions, know that help is available. Call our emergency helpline at 0808 115 1505 or reach out now. You don’t have to manage this alone.

Why Judgment Helps No One

Societal stigma around mental illness can breed shame and judgement from others. If you have felt embarrassed or critiqued for suicidal thinking, know that you deserve only compassion. 

Your struggles do not make you weak, damaged or unworthy of help. All humans experience emotional pain – you simply feel it more intensely than some. But support and solutions exist.

Judgment also has no place within your internal dialogue. Be gentle with yourself when your mind attacks with criticism. You did not manifest these issues alone. 

Identifying Triggers That Worsen Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts

Learning your unique triggers allows greater ability to manage them proactively. Closely monitor when suicidal ideation intensifies – is it due to certain times of day, places, interactions with specific people, engaging in particular activities? Try to isolate the precise variables that seem to worsen intrusive thoughts. 

Then, collaborate with your mental health team to reduce exposure to personalised triggers as much as possible. Protecting your peace of mind throughout this healing journey is critical and must be the top priority.

Managing OCD Triggers Related to Suicidal Thinking

If obsessive compulsive disorder causes your repetitive and distressing suicidal thoughts, tailored treatment plans with cognitive behavioral therapy can teach healthy responses. 

Exposure and response prevention therapy in particular can help defuse the power of triggers through gradually facing fears and resisting compulsions. 

Though incredibly uncomfortable at first, preventing reactive compulsions when obsessions arise helps retrain neural pathways over time. 

Stay focused on the fact that with consistent compassionate support, these triggers can shift from catastrophic to manageable.

Support Groups Understand Suicidal Intrusive Thoughts

Local in-person and online support groups can connect us with others tormented by similarly violent inner attacks regarding self-harm. Together, isolation is defeated by shared humanity, empathy and hope. 

Many find deep comfort in being able to vocalise extremely graphic suicidal thoughts openly amongst those who understand such dark experiences firsthand. Open up to a suicide and depression hotline.

Other Resources:

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): Provides listening services, information, and support for anyone who needs to talk, including a web chat. Contact: 0800 58 58 58 or visit thecalmzone.net.
  • Carers UK: Offers advice and support for anyone who provides care. Contact: 0808 808 7777 (UK), 029 2081 1370 (Carers Wales), or visit carersuk.org.
  • Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.): Provides information and support for people experiencing a mental health problem in Wales. Contact: 0800 132 737 (helpline) or text 81066 (text HELP plus your message). Visit callhelpline.org.uk.
  • Maytree Suicide Respite Centre: Offers free respite stays for people in suicidal crisis. Contact: 020 7263 7070 or visit maytree.org.uk.
  • MindOut: Mental health service run by and for LGBTQ+ people. Visit mindout.org.uk.
  • The Mix: Provides support and advice for under 25s, including a helpline, crisis messenger service, and webchat. Contact: 0808 808 4994, text 85258 (crisis messenger service, text THEMIX), or visit themix.org.uk.

Crafting a Safety Plan for Hard Moments

Collaborating with licensed counselors and psychiatrists on a written suicide safety plan can provide stability when you find yourself feeling severely triggered or unable to cope with distressing, intrusive suicidal thoughts. 

Outline warning signs that you may be entering crisis mode, list helpful distractions and activities to disrupt rumination, identify trusted contacts to reach out to, make your physical environment safer by removing anything that could enable self-harm, and remind yourself of reasons to hold on even when it feels impossible.

Having these protocols gives direction amidst uncertainty, helping you weather the storms of oscillating suicidal intrusive thoughts. Review and edit the plan often as needed.

Reasons to Keep Fighting Through the Dark

When engulfed in despair, it can feel impossible to envision your future self – healed, at peace, filled with light. The idea of happiness existing again may seem unfathomable. But we urge you: have courage and keep sight of hope.

With consistent compassionate support, thousands find freedom from suicidal thinking every single day. Their stories matter – every instance of finding light again inspires others. Know that this painful chapter will close, though we cannot yet see how many beautiful chapters still await you. Your life carries profound purpose, even when it’s hard to believe right now.

If you need immediate support, get help today and start the conversation. You deserve to feel safe, understood, and cared for – we’re here to listen with open hearts, ready to support you each step of the way towards hope and healing.

100% of struggling people who don’t attempt suicide will go on to live a life that still holds potential for change, growth, the possibility of finding help and healing for their challenges, and inspiration for other people who are struggling with intrusive suicidal thoughts. 

Please speak up, and let’s make that difference together.


[1] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5479089/

[2] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5479089/