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Is It Normal to Feel Suicidal?

Is It Normal to Feel Suicidal?

The question “is it normal to feel suicidal?” warrants thoughtful examination with empathy. Suicidal thoughts should never be dismissed, as they signal profound psychological distress impacting individuals across all demographics at some point.

When anguish seems unending, it is natural to wonder if loved ones would be better off without witnessing such turmoil. However, frequently entertaining ideas of death require urgent care to address the root causes fueling such darkness.

Recovery is possible with compassionate care. Increased isolation, mood changes, or researching lethal means should prompt loving outreach rather than judgement. Human connection can bring light where darkness once reigned.

A confidential helpline for suicide, therapists, and support groups specialising in intervention play a crucial role. Emergency psychiatric facilities offer safety for more critical cases until stabilisation. By raising awareness and building robust community support networks, hope persists.

Understanding Suicidal Feelings

It’s understandable to have suicidal thoughts or feelings at times. Many people contemplate suicide, especially during periods of intense emotional distress, without ever acting on those thoughts. So having occasional thoughts about ending one’s life does fall within the range of normal human experience.

However, frequent or intense suicidal ideation, making plans, feeling unable to control those impulses, or not having enough hope or reasons for living are all very serious warning signs requiring urgent professional support. Suicidal feelings should never be dismissed or downplayed. Compassionate intervention can save lives. Helplines for suicide provide assistance, and therapists help address underlying sources of emotional anguish.
Suicidal thoughts, often misunderstood and stigmatised, are more prevalent than many might assume. Nearly 800,000 individuals succumb to suicide annually, equating to one person every 40 seconds [1].
This alarming statistic reflects the universality of such thoughts, cutting across diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Risk Factors and Triggers

Interwoven factors influence suicide risk, including trauma, especially prolonged abuse beginning at tender ages. Genetics and brain chemistry can increase vulnerability. Chronic diseases cause relentless anguish. Losing jobs erodes self-worth and financial stability. Even an accumulation of “minor” stresses can prove crushing. We all have limits.

Feelings of loneliness and disconnection from family or community can combine with perfectionistic thinking and past experiences to cultivate harmful beliefs. These notions, that one is fated to let down loved ones or be a burden, frequently take hold quietly over time. However, such beliefs need not remain unexamined or unchallenged. Connecting authentically with others and questioning old assumptions can help transform self-limiting perspectives.

Rather than condemning perceived weakness, we must ask: How can we proactively nurture inclusive communities offering belonging regardless of differences or limitations? Public education to reduce stigma about suicide risk factors is vital. So too are basic mental health first aid skills to compassionately respond in crisis until professionals assume care. Bolstering everyday social support systems provides ballast during turbulent times, so storms seem less overwhelming.

By tempering isolation and excessive self-reliance, nurturing spaces allow authentic articulation of struggles to access evidence-based solutions. What if freely expressing feelings elicited care instead of judgement? We all have challenges; none walk alone.

The Impact of Isolation

Humans innately seek safety, purpose, and belonging through social bonds. Lacking meaningful connections deprives us of these fundamental needs. Over time, isolation creates fertile ground for despair to take root and grow thorns.

Shame and stigma often prevent disclosing distress, allowing struggles to fester silently. We fail to realise just how many wrestle alone with the same debilitating darkness.

But what if communities normalised struggles through awareness campaigns underscoring our shared humanness? Social withdrawal or negative self-perceptions would spark compassion rather than judgement. We would ask, “How can I help?” rather than “What’s wrong with you?”

A safe, non-judgmental space encourages the authentic expression of emotional turmoil. And voices echoing back, “You are not alone” restore hope and courage to carry on. Isolation perpetuates isolation. Connection breeds connection. Compassion, kindness, and compassion.

With support, people regularly overcome suicidal risk to grow. First, we must lift the veils of stigma and silence, deterring those suffering alone from voicing their pain openly to receive the care that can save their lives.

Responding to Life’s Challenges

When cascading stresses like financial ruin, grief, or health crises exceed coping capacities, even the sturdiest psyche can spiral towards darkness. Tunnel vision sets in; anguish devours hope. Without empathy and support, people lose perspective on overcoming obstacles that once seemed surmountable.

Offering non-judgmental ears, shoulders to lean on, and practical assistance renews vital emotional reserves and cognitive clarity to problem solve again with reinforced resilience. During relentless storms, everyone needs a lifeline to solutions. Genetic factors influence exposure to stressful life events, and these genetic factors are correlated with those that predispose individuals to major depression [2].

Our shared humanness means each of us will inevitably face periods of profound darkness. Displaying courage and wisdom to voice struggles and actively seek compassionate support sets the stage for moving forward again. While the path contains further stumbles, with consistent, tailored care nurturing self-worth and hope, flourishing once more seems conceivable.

Physical Health Can Make You Feel Suicidal

Chronic pain, progressive diseases, or major injuries can diminish once active lives, straining relationships and emotional wellbeing. As independence erodes, shame and isolation set in alongside feeling pitied or burdensome. But no life lacks inherent dignity or purpose, regardless of physical capacity.

Yet without holistic care coordinating physical, mental, and social services, suffering can cascade into hopelessness. It’s completely understandable to ponder whether loved ones might be “better off” without witnessing this protracted anguish.

But what if communities affirmed that asking for support is wise? Then, judiciously integrating pain management, therapy, disability accommodations, carer respite, and peer support groups could restore an acceptable quality of life—maybe even growth in what “thriving” means now.

Healing happens gradually, fueled by compassion and human connection. But too often, stigma about “giving up” deters openly discussing suicidal thoughts brewing internally. Instead of judging perceived weakness, offering to walk beside those enduring relentless hardship can help illuminate life’s remaining beauty and purpose.

With out-and-out, accessible care and inclusion, those facing physical limitations regularly rediscover meaning, even joy, through reinventing community contributions that suit their current abilities.

Diagnosed Mental Health Struggles

Clinical diagnoses like major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder often contribute to suicidal ideation. These diseases involve chemical imbalances disrupting brain functions, combined with trauma and unhelpful thought patterns that distort perceptions, emotions, and problem-solving abilities.

During episodic illness destabilisations, people frequently experience intensified suicidal thoughts with restricted perceptions of options to escape extreme distress, and it’s important that each mental health diagnosis is treated in the correct manner with no stone unturned. An in-depth analysis [3] highlights a crucial aspect of bipolar disorders in this context. The study reveals that while there is an increased prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with bipolar II disorder, this prevalence is often compared and contrasted with those in bipolar I disorder, underscoring the need for nuanced understanding and treatment approaches for these distinct conditions.

Still, frequent and intense thoughts about death or dying, feeling unable to control these impulses, or lacking sufficient reasons for living require urgent evaluation and care. Compassionate psychiatrists tailor treatment plans to individual needs through community services, therapy approaches, and medication adjustments to help people regain functioning and purpose over time.

So, suicidal feelings may fall within the normal human experience but require compassionate intervention. If you’re having suicidal feelings, please talk to us.

Don’t Go Through This Alone…

Recovering from suicidal ideation follows an ups and downs trajectory requiring external support, patience, and daily courage. Inevitable setbacks can obscure forward progress when consumed by emotional storms.

Millions of people leading happy, purposeful lives today once suffered relentlessly without adequate support systems in place. But through accessing comprehensive community resources and healing human connections, they emerged stronger for having endured.

Many now help pave pathways for others by openly sharing survival stories to educate society that suicidal crises can impact even pillars appearing sturdy from the outside. Public figures advocating for mental health equity with the same passion as physical conditions help lift veils of shame, leaving sufferers feeling irreparably isolated and defective.

Collective compassion provides the banner—and role models provide living proof—that overcoming suicidal thoughts through professional help and daily self-care practices is possible, one breath and one step at a time.

It’s normal to feel low, but there is always help. At SOS, we offer judgement free helpline staffed by compassionate voluntary workers to allow you to take your first step into a brighter future.

To contact us directly, speak to one of our suicide voluntary workers on 0808 115 1505.


[1] – World Health Organization. (2019, September 9). Suicide: one person dies every 40 seconds
[2] – Kendler, K. S., Karkowski, L. M., & Prescott, C. A. (1999). Causal relationship between stressful life events and the onset of major depression
[3] – Danielle M. Novick, Holly A. Swartz, and Ellen Frank. Suicide attempts in bipolar I and bipolar II disorder: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence