"I feel it! I see it in my head! Would i manage it? Is it something i can hack? It is so vivid but how do i stop? How do i tell my spouse, family, children, neighbours, workmates, churchmates, that i am thinking of taking my life? Who will understand me? Who will accept me like this? Who will love me the way iam?" Has this happened to you recently or in the past? Are you aware of a person who may be experiencing this kind of situation? This is Suicidal Ideation.
Suicidal Ideation is defined as thoughts abouts killing oneself or preoccupation with it. The mind is powerful and we all must recognize how it relates with our behaviour. The things we think about and much more, we dwell on, become our behaviour eventually. Many persons who think about killig themselves never get to actualize it. So why must we address suicidal ideation?
1. Every thought that pre-occupies our minds must be scrutinized under the values and principles we uphold. This means that if killing any human being is something we have decided never to do, then killing oneself must also follow the same principle and so should never happen.
2. Suicidal ideation is linked to psychological disorders such as Major Depressive Episode. This means that resoliving such thinking is a step closer to preventing possible psychologicl dysfunction, in the present or future.
3. Suicidal ideation that becomes actualized causes great emotional and psychological harm to family members and other close people to the deceased. This can be quite traumatic and therefore shhould be prevented at all costs. It can have a lifetime impact on parents, siblings, children and spouses especially, because of the deep connection with the deceased.
4. Every human being has a right to receive adequate, relevant and timely mental helath support in their difficult and challenging moments in life. This right should be uphheld without discrimination and bias. Thus, suicidal ideation should be addressed like nay other mental health issue in a professional and safe setting.
Ruth Mwangi is a Consultant Psychologist at www.lifepillars.co.ke
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