People consider suicide for a wide variety of reasons. For some, it’s a case of external circumstances while for others, mental illness plays a huge role. We often hear of teens who attempt suicide after being bullied or adults that lost jobs or homes that contemplated ending their lives. However, many of those individuals also suffered from an untreated mental disorder that caused them to experience suicidal thoughts.

Understanding why suicidal thoughts occur is a key aspect to preventing suicide in both yourself and others. Here are a few mental illnesses that commonly cause suicidal thoughts and what you can do to prevent tragedy.

Depression is Best Known

Obviously, when people think of suicide, they tend to link it to depression. It is most commonly known for its symptom of suicidal thoughts as well as its frequent occurrence in Western society. Depression is can be a very treatable mental illness yet often goes without aid due to stigma and lack of knowledge. Untreated depression is where the suicidal thoughts can come into play.

To prevent or cope with suicidal thoughts, a person with depression needs to seek professional help. This can mean therapy, medication, or both depending on the type of depression. However, knowing the symptoms of depression is the first step.

PTSD is Also a Common Cause

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs when a person experiences trauma such as war or assault. The person may experience flashbacks, depression, paranoia, or a number of other symptoms. When left untreated, these symptoms can all too easily lead a person to contemplate suicide as they feel that they will never be happy again. The flashbacks and paranoia make daily life difficult while depression adds to the problem.

Preventing suicide in people with PTSD is also a matter of treatment. If someone has undergone a trauma, being tested for PTSD is always a good idea. From there, you will be able to seek out treatment and avoid worsened symptoms as well as suicidal thoughts.

Addiction is Considered a Mental Illness

Addiction on top of another mental illness is one of the greatest risk factors for suicide. Those who may not have a mental illness but do struggle with addiction will also experience a higher risk for suicide. Unfortunately, people who have a mental disorder of any kind are also more likely to develop an addiction. Illness, addiction, and suicidal thoughts all form a vicious circle that feed off of each other.

Addiction rehabilitation is the best way to begin tacking suicidal thoughts in those with addiction. If they also have a mental illness, their treatment should address their symptoms as well as the addiction. Bipolar, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and PTSD are some of the most common disorders with an increased likelihood of developing an addiction.

Overall, the best thing you can do to handle suicidal thoughts is to seek treatment for the underlying issue. Whether that issue is an addiction, a mental disorder, or both, the only way to truly fight tragedy is with the help of a professional. However, understanding the risk factors and underlying causes is a great first step.



Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life. Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures, tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.

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