Ideation: the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas.
Suicidal thoughts is the old name for suicidal ideation. I think when people think they are having ideation, vs thoughts, I believe they simply feel closer to acting upon those thoughts in ideation. In a college addiction recovery class, we studied suicidal ideation. The advice was, if a person has formed a detailed plan, it's time for direct intervention. If the ideas are vague or fleeting and there is no set plan, then extra therapy is in order. I think that vague and fleeting suicidal thoughts is what people call the early ideas of suicide, and those thoughts are the beginning stages of what they call ideation, which means to think about it. There is no difference, but I think folks like to separate them by severity of potential action.
Now, after a long mixed state, I was having suicidal ideation as well. It came in the form of intrusive thoughts, which could be another measure to decide if one wants to call it ideation. Ideation has a progression, like any thought, it is just an idea, then the details form to become a plan of action or inaction. There was nothing I could do about intrusive thoughts and visualizations of suicide, so I tried not to form a plan to reach those thoughts or visions. I snapped out of it and have avoided mixed states, since then, so I have had no more thoughts or ideas of suicide.
Am i making sense? I often wonder that, because I am not sure how clear I am expressing my ideation.
Weaver buddy you make perfect sense. My brother and I actually had a talk about this last night.
Most suicide thinkers do not want to die, they just want the feelings to change or go away. With ideation comes a type of romantic thinking about suicide. Much like a poet would turn the thought of tragedy into something that appears beautiful, a person with suicidal ideation may think that their ending their life will once and for all be able to explain the complex feelings they are having. It is an escape from reality. I have fantasized countless times about ending my life but the fantasy would have been far different from the reality.
A man was once found hanging in a room. He had claw marks on his neck where he tried to loosen the rope after he hung himself. He died trying to save his own life.
When in a mixed state where mania and depression are present at the same time the mania part give the depression part the courage to do what it always wants to do which is end your life. I noticed something similar to this in addiction. Some mornings when I woke up I felt too horrible to even try to call and con someone into giving me a pill although a pill was exactly what I needed to feel better. Most of the time the only mornings I could summon the energy to try to get a pill was the days when I felt good anyway.
When I am depressed I am like that with my suicidal thoughts. "I would kill myself if I could summon the energy to go get a knife and go through with it." When I am in a mixed state I have all the energy in the world to go through with writing the note, running the bath water, getting the knife, then laying there while it ends.
Am I making sense lol?
You make perfect sense. That was a great explanation. Thank you!!
You are so right on many accounts. Thanks for sharing. You and Weaver have been very helpful. I have felt the same way you both described.
The therapist I started with forced me to start journaling my moods (I was still delusional, paranoid on and off suicidal when I first started.) This is how it worked for me... on a 0-10 scale, where 0,1,2,3 = depressive, 4,5,6,7= baseline/calm/happy 8,9,10= excited/irritated/manic.
3 = sad/pathetic/needy feeling
2 = hopeless/worthless (glued to bed) By this stage, I can feel the suicidal thoughts start and it'd drop rapidly by this point.
1 = I start having suicidal thoughts, I can't stop crying, this is kind of where I start experiencing multiple panic attacks and my cognition slows, feels blank at times. I'm actively trying to do anything to fight it off. I'd force myself to call a friend, which is futile, because talking didn't do much to prevent myself from getting even lower. I guess the smart thing to do is get help at 3. Only the increase in medication helped me.
0 = I hit zero a couple times, that's when it's totally messed up. I wasn't even myself anymore. Feels like you're possessed by that point, it's scary, because I actually wanted to kill myself, I wasn't fighting anymore. I started thinking up ways to do it, tried to alienate myself from other people, to feel alone... I got lucky, by that point I had people watching me.
Mood is so strange... at a 5, I'll talk all I want about suicide, think all of ways to die... it doesn't phase me one bit, it's only when you start to plummet to a 3...2...1... avoid 0 at all costs!