The Depressed Thoughts Behind Suicidal Ideation

September 22, 2019 Brandy Eaklor

Trigger warning: This post contains frank discussion of suicide and suicidal thoughts pertaining to depressed thoughts.

Suicide from depressed thoughts tragically takes a lot of lives each and every day, and the saddest part is that it can be prevented. From an outsiders perspective, it can be very hard to understand what the thoughts are of someone who takes his or her own life. In this article, you'll get some insight into some of the depressed thoughts behind suicidal ideation. 

Common Depressed Thoughts Behind Suicidal Ideation

Feeling Unable to Cope

One of the main thoughts that may go through someone's mind is that there is no way out of what feels like an overwhelming or stressful life. This is especially common for those who are also struggling with depression. Depression tends to have a focus on what has gone wrong in the past. Those with depression may have a hard time seeing the future for what it could be and can get caught up believing the past will repeat itself. 

Believing They Are a Burden to Others

Some people may generally feel like they are a burden to others. Depression can cause people's minds to convince them that people would be better off without them. Although this isn't the case, it can be difficult for someone feeling this way to reach out for help, with the fear that they will be a burden once again ("Depression Symptoms: What Are the Symptoms of Depression?"). 

Common Misconceptions About Depression and Suicidal Ideation

Someone Who Talks About It Won't Actually Follow Through with It

Just because someone has said it before, doesn't mean that that person doesn't mean what he or she feels. If someone is making suicidal threats, it is always important to take it seriously. Many times, this is a call for help.

If Someone Experiences Suicidal Ideation, He or She Cannot Be Helped

Just because someone is considering taken drastic action, does not mean that person cannot be helped. Although suicidal impulses can be extremely intense, it is usually short-lived. Even if someone has experienced suicidal ideation for an extended period of time, treatment can be extremely beneficial. With help, that person can start managing his or her depression and begin recognizing triggers. 

Discussing Suicide Can Put It in Someone's Head

As mentioned before, many people experiencing suicidal ideation may feel like they are a burden. In this case, having someone check in may alleviate some stress and give that person a chance to express what he or she is going through. Depression can cause those experiencing it to withhold from others, so having an open discussion can relieve some of that loneliness. 

What to Do If Someone You Know Experiences Depressed Thoughts or Suicidal Ideation

Usually, people don't want you to solve their problems, they just want their voices to be heard. Listen without judgment and let them express how they are feeling. Refrain from invalidating their pain with phrases like, "Everything is okay, just relax". Instead, ask how you can help or even offer to go with them to get help.

If you feel that you might hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.


  1. UCSC, "Depression and Suicide," November 2018

APA Reference
Eaklor, B. (2019, September 22). The Depressed Thoughts Behind Suicidal Ideation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Brandy Eaklor

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Lizanne Corbit
September, 23 2019 at 8:04 pm

This is such an important conversation for people to be able to have and I think you did such a clear job of discussing some critical points. Addressing the misconception that talking about can give someone the idea, or if someone talks about it they won't go through with it. Recognizing our own stigmas and false beliefs around suicide can open up vital lines of communication. Thank you for sharing.

October, 1 2019 at 12:52 pm

Thank you so much for your comment Lizanne, I'm happy the message was clearly conveyed. I think it is so important to recognize false beliefs that we may not even realize we carry until they are brought up.

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