Why do we have thoughts of suicide and self-harm?

  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm can be very scary to the person having them and to others around them. What can be hard for some people to understand is that having thoughts of suicide does not always mean that the person actually wants to die. However, you should always take thoughts of suicide or self-harm seriously, whether they are happening to you or to someone else. 

  • Thoughts of suicide are actually very common. When people feel overwhelmed and hopeless, these kinds of thoughts can come up but much of the time they will go away as the situation improves. 

  • When people have thoughts of suicide on a regular basis, it is called chronic suicidal ideation. For some people, having these thoughts is actually a way to cope with life--it can feel comforting, like a backup plan if things don't improve. A lot of people never act on their thoughts of suicide.

  • Self-harm is when someone intentionally causes physical pain or injury to themselves (for example, by cutting, burning, or hitting). Engaging in self-harm is sometimes used as a coping strategy when someone is feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions.
  • People who have experienced abuse, neglect, or other types of trauma might have thoughts of suicide or engage in self-harm due to the extreme negative thoughts and emotions they face. People who experience a lot of shame or who have depression can also be at increased risk of suicide.

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it is very important to reach out for help. 


More information about thoughts of suicide and self-harm:





If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please reach out to book a free consultation. 

If you are considering acting on thoughts of suicide, please call or text 988 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. You can find additional resources here