The Gray Area of Suicide: Suicidal Ideation
Are you in the gray area of suicide? Not everything is black and white, and that includes suicide. Sometimes, I feel suicidal but I also know that I won't actually give into those feelings. You may feel this way too, and you probably think that you are alone in this. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, so today, I want to raise awareness for those of us who are in the gray area of suicide.
What Is the Gray Area of Suicide?
Personally, I think the gray area can mean different things for different people. I cannot speak for other people's experiences, but I can speak of my own. For me, there are times when I feel at peace with dying. I don't want to take action, but yet, I wouldn't be upset if something were to happen. These feelings do not just come up when I feel down; sometimes I am actually in a great mood.
How I Handle the Gray Area of Suicide
I have always dealt with anxiety and depression, and have done extensive work to heal myself. Along with healing my anxiety and depression, my feelings of suicide have become less and less frequent. When I feel it come up, I do my best not to give power to it. I talk to someone I love and tell them how I am feeling just to get it out in the open. I constantly remind myself that the feeling is temporary, and it will pass. It isn't always this simple, but for the most part, it works for me.
Maybe you are like me and have felt suicidal, but do not take action to harm yourself. If this is you, you are not alone and you are still worthy of help. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, whether it is in the gray area or not, use the resources below.
If you feel you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you need help with distressing thoughts (including suicidal thoughts), call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
For more information on suicide, please see our suicide resources here.
Eaklor, B. (2018, September 23). The Gray Area of Suicide: Suicidal Ideation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2018/9/the-gray-area-of-suicide-suicidal-ideation
Author: Brandy Eaklor
I didn’t know there was a word for this. I thought I was just overreacting to negative situations by thinking about dying/how I would die. Feeling sad and wondering if people would really miss me if I died, wondering if life is worth living anymore. What happens for me is that I’ll have these troubling thoughts even if I’m doing ok or am even really happy about something. It’s like a constant error message; there are times where it’s easier to not listen to it than others. When I’m able to take a step back and realize that I don’t really feel this way/I don’t have to listen to everything I think of, what my brain thinks I “deserve” and whatnot, I feel a lot more in control and can get into a better state of mind. But it’s hard to do that, I’m just glad I’m not alone in this.
Hi. My name is Mayah. When I’m around people and interacting with them, I don’t notice my problems. Everything seems okay. But when I’m alone, I wonder if I will suddenly die. Ultimately, I don’t want to die. I don’t mind my life. I just don’t know what causes me to think the way I do. I can’t see myself ending my life in “traditional” ways, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that the thought of hurting myself was really bad. I am not acting on suicide. But I know that thinking about it is wrong, anyway.
This must be a really difficult issue for you. Thank you for having the courage to talk about it.
I think it is normal to think about suicide every once in awhile. I’m really glad that you’re not acting on any thoughts, though.
You say that you “don’t mind” your life. I’m wondering...do you ever think life is “great”? When I think about suicide, I try to remember and/or write about things that I’ve enjoyed about my life and what I could enjoy in the future.
Have you talked to a loved one about your thoughts? The Suicide Hotline or Crisis Text Line could help as well.
Thank you for this topic. I too, have constant thoughts of suicide and how I would do it. I’ve never come close to acting on them thank goodness, but with having a very limited amount of friends and basically no family to tell these things to, I feel so much more alone. I AM ALONE. The last time I reached out to a friend just saying I needed her to just come to see me and do nothing but listen or hold my hand, I was so upset that she tried to pass me off on anyone else. The same friend who said “she’d be there for me through anything”, now was slamming the door in my face.
I’ve no one who visits. Therefore I’ve let the depression tell me “who cares what this place looks like”, when it’s only ever me and my dog I love more than life.
My reaching out has become limited to sites like this which is awesome but I crave human connection and a HUG from someone I care about. Those are becoming fewer and fewer in numbers. I’m afraid for myself most days of what’s going to become of me? I don’t have this under control, but if someone sees me out and I look normal they think I’ve got it all together. I feel as if friends think I’m crying wolf when I’ve reached out. That’s the last thing I’ve ever wanted to do is ask for such a simple thing as a shoulder and an ear.
Thank you all for being here. I wish we didn’t need to be, but it’s a huge help to know someone is.
I appreciate you sharing your experiences with suicidal thoughts so openly. It can be hard to reach out, so I commend you for leaving a comment here. You are so not alone, and there are so many people out there who are looking for a friend just like you. I encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you need someone to talk to, even if suicidal the thoughts just linger. Thanks again for your brave comment, Nancy!
Almost exactly the same as my experiences with suicide, it is always there, I too have no fear of death, I can keep it it the background using the realisation that it will pass. I have chronic depression that I have learned how to live a meaningful life with, but in dips of mood, (for however long they last) the thoughts raise their heads, just to remind me that they will never leave and are ready to take control if I let them, nowadays I choose not to let them, but they are always there!
There are more people who live this way than you think, so you definitely are not alone. I am so happy that you have found a way to live your life in a meaningful way, despite the struggles. Thank you so much for your vulnerability, and sharing this openly!
Also, if you need help with distressing thoughts (including suicidal thoughts), call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Thank you for sharing this incredibly honest and important read. This is such an important topic and not one that gets openly discussed or addressed. Talking openly and remembering that the feeling is temporary is critical to helping and changing.
Thank you so much, Lizanne! I agree it is so important to not only discuss openly but raise awareness about tough subjects such as suicide.