Just how suicidal are you? OK, admittedly, it’s probably not the best idea to fixate on this question, especially if you are depression or suicidal, but in point of fact “being suicidal” doesn’t mean just one thing. Being suicidal exists on a scale. But how does one quantify how suicidal you are?
Thanks to very depressing research we do know many awful suicide statistics.
- Men are up to 17 times more like more likely to commit suicide than women
- Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the US in 2007
- Suicide was the third leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in 2007
- People with anorexia nervosa have a 40 times greater chance of committing suicide than the general population (anorexia nervosa is the most deadly mental illness)
- Age, race, substance abuse, mental health and history are all other suicide risk factors
(There are lots of other suicide statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.)
Suicide Self-Assessment – How Suicidal Are You?
Those are the depressing things mental health care professionals should know about suicide in order to properly assess your risk of suicide.
But, what if you’re like me and would like to be able to self-assess suicide risk? How would you assess your suicide risk?
Here’s my completely unscientific suggestion for a suicidal self-assessment. This suicide scale is based on my own experiences and on generalities; please note everyone is different.
- 0 – No thoughts of suicide. The word suicide doesn’t even enter your head unless provoked. This is how your average person feels about suicide.
- 1 – Occasional thoughts of suicide. Suicidal thoughts are not frequent and suicidal thoughts don’t cause distress. Thoughts of suicide are mostly academic.
- 2 – Thoughts of suicide start to become more frequent and begin to feel more personal.
- 3 – Suicidal thoughts are frequent and are sometimes accompanied by the feeling you might actually commit suicide. Sometimes you feel you want to die.
- 4 – Thoughts of suicide are frequent and you consistently feel like you want to die.
- 5 – Thoughts of suicide occur every day. Almost everything reminds you of suicide and death.
- 6 – Thoughts of suicide, death and dying occur every day and cause you great distress.
- 7 – You’re obsessed with thoughts of suicide, dying and you start making a plan on how to commit suicide. You have a strong desire to die / end suffering.
- 8 – You begin putting your suicide plan into place; you are convinced you will commit suicide. You feel you have nothing to live for / others would be better without you.
- 9 – You write a suicide note and say goodbye to the people in your life. You might feel a sense of relief knowing that you will soon be dead. You might give away your possessions.
- 10 – You’re in the midst of implementing your plan for suicide. You’re determined to commit suicide.
Suicide Self-Assessment – What does it mean?
The reason I’m posting a suicide scale is to make a point – not all suicidality is the same, but all feelings of suicide should be taken seriously because it’s a shorter distance between suicide level two and suicide level nine than you would think.
I wrote this suicide self-assessment so that you, each person, can look for warning signs of worsening symptoms. I firmly believe that people who commit suicide do not want to die. I believe that they want help and they want to get better.
But you can get help more easily and more effectively if you talk to someone at suicide level two then at suicide level seven. Ideally no one should have to walk around daily considering ending their lives, but even if you do because of a mental illness like depression or bipolar, try to get that number down as low as possible. Get help.
Scientific Predictors of Suicide
According to a study out of Florida:
Not One More Suicide. Not One More Death.
I have been suicidal so many times, so many days, so many weeks, so many months that I can barely comprehend people without those feelings.
But if I may be so bold, the world would be less without me. The world would be less without my little contribution. I am just one person, sitting in my apartment, crazy, bipolar and lonely, but yes, even I positively impact people.
And I can promise you contribute too.
You might be just a person, alone behind your computer screen. That’s OK. That makes you just like me. You mean something too.
Watch Your Suicide Symptoms – Get Help for Suicidal Thoughts Early
When you self-assess and you’re at suicide level two, you might believe me when I tell you that you matter and you need help. But when you’re at suicide level seven you’re not going to listen to me anymore. You might not listen to anyone. So you need to stop the cycle of suicidal thoughts as early as possible.
Suicidal thinking is just like depression – the worse it gets, the worse it gets.
Tell the Right Person About Your Suicidal Thoughts
Your average friend might not be able to handle the fact that you’re thinking of killing yourself. Believe it or not, that’s pretty normal. Your average person doesn’t want to kill themselves and doesn’t want to think that you would either. So you need you talk about suicide with the right people – health care professionals.
You need to tell your doctor about suicidal thoughts so he can change your meds. You need to tell your therapist about your suicidal thoughts so she can help you through them. Your health care team needs to know.