If Schizoaffective Disorder Tells You That You Want to Die

November 3, 2016 Elizabeth Caudy

Sometimes, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder tells us we want to die. It’s a scary feeling, and we often don’t know what to do when such overwhelming feelings intrude (Why People Kill Themselves, Commit Suicide). Should we call a loved one? Should we call 9-1-1? Should we call a suicide hotline? I have often felt this way, but I’m still alive, writing this. I am going to share what I do when I think I want to die by suicide. It is my humble hope that my experience will help you when your schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder tells you that you might want to die.

Schizoaffective Disorder and Intense Suicidal Ideation

Even though I’ve felt suicidal before, it’s never been as bad as it has been this past week. I am going through a medication change for schizoaffective disorder. Formerly, when I’ve had suicidal ideation, there was a gap between the desire to hurt myself and actually doing it. There was a gap of time for becoming rational. There must have been some kind of gap this past week because I felt suicidal but I stopped myself from doing anything about it. Still, something was different.

I think the difference is that this past week I actually wanted to die. In the past, I’ve wanted change— a change of schedule, a change of medication. But this past week, I’ve really felt I wanted to die. I’ve really felt like I couldn’t make it through the next few hours—or minutes.

How I Fight Schizoaffective Disorder When It Tells Me to Die

Sometimes schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder tells us to die by suicide. Here's how I keep schizoaffective disorder's suicidal feelings at bay.

So, what did I do to stop myself? Luckily, part of my brain was still rational. I looked at my shrine of photographs by my bed – photos of my husband, my parents, my brother as a little kid – and thought about the overwhelming pain they would go through if I died. I thought of the trauma I suffer from the suicides of friends.

And most of all, looking back on my history when schizoaffective disorder told me to die, I still had hope for myself. I’ve felt suicidal before, and I’m still here. I’ve started scheduling more appointments with my therapist. I am reaching out to people. It’s obvious that I want to live, I just have these fleeting moments of darkness.

Tips for When Schizoaffective Disorder Tells You to Die

I think the most important thing to remember when you’re feeling suicidal is to pause, take a deep breath, and live through the moment. Remember that you are a good person, that the world is better with you in it. I can’t stress enough that you are a good person because I knew several people who died by suicide, and they were all really ethical, thoughtful, sensitive people. Think of things or people you’d leave behind, and never see, hear, or touch again. Think of the night sky swelling with a full moon, the crunch of fall leaves under your boots. Call your friends. Pet your cat. Treasure your life. Even if you can only treasure it enough to call 9-1-1.

One of my friends said to me that the world is a better place with me in it. I don’t see her every day, or even every month, but our friendship is very important to me. Even if we aren’t each other’s whole worlds, I know that she cares about me.

It’s something to live for.

If you're feeling suicidal, please click here for suicide hotlines and other resources

Photo by Elizabeth Caudy. Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and her personal blog.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2016, November 3). If Schizoaffective Disorder Tells You That You Want to Die, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

May, 11 2018 at 12:10 am

I have been dealing with those thoughts a lot lately i try to tell myself I would be missed but I also feel like everyone would be happy if I wasn’t anyways reading this made not feel as alone so thanks

Carol Johnson
November, 9 2016 at 7:00 am

I have this feeling come over me quite often and I am glad to know it is more common than I thought. I pray a lot to get through these times and that helps. I also have sedatives that help when it lasts for very long, and they help too. Thanks for your information

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
November, 10 2016 at 3:09 am

You're welcome! Thanks for your feedback!

November, 6 2016 at 3:50 am

Thank you so much for writing this. All you said is so true. I believe you have/will save many lives just by putting this out there! I lost my son 4 yrs ago, and I wish he could have read something like this.... maybe he would have been able to stay. Peace to you on your life journey. We all do matter!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Caudy
November, 6 2016 at 4:11 am

Thank you. I'm sorry about your son. I got teary-eyed reading your note!

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