It can be scary to express suicidal thoughts to anyone, especially a therapist. You may be scared that your therapist will institutionalize you for having intense thoughts like that. By opening up to your therapist about your suicidal thoughts, it can be a good stepping stone to be more open about your depression and doing something about it.

How Do I Best Approach My Therapist About My Suicidal Thoughts?

Be honest about your thoughts such as whether you have planned how you want to end your life or that these are just thoughts without a plan. Discuss any concerns that you have about speaking of suicide. This will give you and your therapist an opportunity to work on this struggling issue together. Your therapist will ask you about how specific your thoughts are and how frequent. You will also be asked how intense they are, what caused these thoughts to occur and if you have ever acted on them. A good therapist will want to know the whole story and will respond with compassion and curiosity. Your therapist will not be scared or shocked as they will have many patients with similar feelings to yours.

What Happens After I Speak to My Therapist?

After you speak to your therapist, you will be assessed by the intensity of these thoughts before talking about treatment options. They will speak with you about the best treatment options that work well for you. If you have no plan or intent to kill yourself despite the thoughts, increasing treatment sessions to two or three times a week will help those thoughts slip away. You may also need to increase your dosage of antidepressant medication. If these thoughts become more intense over time, let your therapist know and do not worry about hospitalization as it is not required or helpful. You will also get a safety plan on dealing with suicidal thoughts like the severity and addressing the factors leading to suicidal thoughts. 

How Do I Continue the Conversation?

It is important not to be ashamed of talking about suicide. The more people talk about suicide, the more can be done for prevention techniques. You would not have to struggle in silence again. By letting other people know that you are in intense pain and that you need help against your suicidal thoughts, you are breaking the stigma of suicide and doing something about your feelings. 

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-Step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.