Treatment for suicidal thoughts starts with reaching out for help. Whether it be reaching out to a friend, family member, your primary care physician, or our patient care staff here at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, acknowledging you’re having thoughts of self-harm is a brave first step and there is no shame in admitting the problem exceeds your coping abilities.
Millions of people admit they’ve thought about killing themselves. The latest numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2018, 10.7 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.3 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide. The rate of suicide is increasing every year, and though it’s still too early to tell the full impact COVID-19 has had on mental health, a July morbidity and mortality report from the CDC shows U.S. adults are experiencing suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety in higher numbers than ever before.
However, suicide is preventable — and it starts with you.
Know the Warning Signs
Being aware of suicidal triggers and depression symptoms is the first line of prevention. Following through with a proper response when those warning signs appear is the second line of prevention. This applies to the person experiencing suicidal thoughts as well as any friends, loved ones, family members, or even healthcare professionals who may interact with a suicidal patient.
For healthcare providers, it’s crucial to recognize the warning signs of depression or other mood disorders that are often the underlying cause of suicidal ideation. If you’re the friend, family member, or loved one of someone you suspect may be suicidal, it’s important to know what to look for and how to respond.
But for those of you experiencing debilitating thoughts of self-harm, the treatment process often starts with you. When you recognize your triggers and the return (or escalation) of your depression symptoms, it’s time to get help. If you catch your depression early enough, you can contact our patient care staff. Ketamine Therapy may help you eliminate the risk of suicide by addressing underlying issues before they get worse. Patients who undergo Ketamine Therapy for suicidal ideation report their thoughts of self-harm dissipate first — and almost completely.
Make Your Suicide Prevention Kit
Many people with suicidal ideation do not seek treatment due to a “low perceived need.” If you’re struggling with self-managing your depression and suicidal ideation and you want to give up, you may find yourself in a suicidal crisis. To help you during these critical times, we created a guide to making your own Suicide Prevention Kit.
A Suicide Prevention Kit is a collection of items that help you remember your reasons to keep living — even when you feel like giving up. Grab a box or bag and start compiling the following life-saving items:
- Suicide Prevention Plan
- Photos of friends and family
- Art supplies to release some creative self-expression
- Your favorite scent or essential oils, like lavender for relaxation
- Your favorite book(s)
- Inspirational poems
- Spiritual text to help you feel connected to a higher power
- Affirmation cards
- Your favorite candy
- A piece of paper to get your thoughts out
- Tokens of nature to remind you of the beauty in the world
- A nice lotion for some gentle massage
- A weighted blanket
- Letters from others (or from yourself on a better day)
- A stuffed animal for emotional support
- A music playlist and a reminder to listen to it
- List of reasons worth living, including:
- Things you are grateful for
- Things that you have to look forward to in the future
- Things you like about yourself
- Acts of kindness that left an impact on you (and ways to pay it forward)
- A family heirloom or token from a loved one
- A yoga mat for a calming flow or endorphin-boosting workout
- A bucket list or a list of places you’d like to go, including local favorites or places you’ve always wanted to visit (near and far). Pick one to visit if it’s safe to travel.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or you know a suicidal person, there is help available. You do not have to manage your depression alone. We are here for you and anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts. Utilize our Suicide Prevention Kit and corresponding Suicide Prevention Plan in times of crisis until you’re able to schedule a call with our patient care staff to discuss Ketamine Therapy for suicide prevention.