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Frequent suicidal thoughts...?

  • Is it normal to get suicidal thoughts from time to time? Is it possible to have these thoughts, but not be suicidal?

  • Hello, thank you for your question. I think it is a question that people would wonder about, especially when they face setbacks in life and feel that the road ahead is hopeless.
    I can’t answer your question professionally or medically, but I can only offer you what I think based on my lived experience.
    Throughout my 10 years living with a mental health condition, the thought of suicide did not cross my mind. Even though life was hard with an illness, I felt that I wanted to overcome the challenges with my sheer willpower. In contrast, my friends who are neurotypical or without any diagnosed mental health challenges would tell me stuffs like they find life ‘meaningless’, they often googled how to end their lives painlessly when they no longer feel like they want to study and some even commented that they hope they would die young because they fear aging and becoming useless. Some of them told me that they hope that medical science would allow people to take an injection if they feel like they have had enough, or if they do not want to die in old age (they want to die pretty).
    However, since 2016, the trauma of my relapse that year was so huge that I contemplated suicide. I wondered how people would react if I was gone and thought about which part of the building to jump down. However, I never self-harmed and I called Samaritans Of Singapore (SOS – suicide helpline) immediately. For the past 3 years, suicidal thoughts would creep up when I was facing a setback and when I felt hopeless. I had suicidal thoughts, but I was not suicidal. I never self-harmed. Similarly, my friends who lamented about not wanting to age or having the choice to die were never suicidal. They never harmed themselves even though they had suicidal thoughts.
    I just felt that it might be quite usual (trying not to generalise here) for people to think about their existence and about the topic of death, especially when they are facing challenges or a turning point in life. I feel that you don’t have to worry about so much about suicidal thoughts, unless you are self-harming or if the thoughts are so excessive that they affect your functioning in life. Perhaps a thought about life and death can spur you onto your next life path if you realise that deep down, you want to survive and live on. Hope this helps and all the best! 🙂

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