Suicidal ideation can occur when a person feels they are no longer able to cope with an overwhelming situation. This could stem from financial problems, psychological problem, the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, a family history, or a devastating or debilitating illness.

Fig. 1.1: suicidal thoughts image (

The most common situations or life events that might cause suicidal thoughts are grief, sexual abuse, financial problems, remorse, rejection, a relationship breakup, and unemployment.

The following risk factors may have an impact on the probability of someone experiencing suicidal ideation:

  1. Family history
  1. A family history of mental health issues
  2. A family history of substance abuse
  3. A family history of violence
  4. A family history of suicide
  5. A feeling of hopelessness
  6. A feeling of seclusion or loneliness


  1. Life events
  2. Being gay with no family or home support
  3. Being in trouble with the law
  4. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  5. For children, having disciplinary, social or school problems
  6. Having a problem with substance abuse
  7. Having a psychiatric disorder or mental illness
  8. Having attempted suicide before
  9. Being prone to reckless or impulsive behavior
  10. Possessing a gun
  11. Sleep deprivation
  12. Knowing, identifying, or being associated with someone who has committed suicide

Conditions that are linked to a higher risk of suicidal ideation include:

  1. Psychological effects
  2. Adjustment disorder
  3. Anorexia nervosa
  4. Bipolar disorder
  5. Body dysmorphic disorder
  6. Borderline personality disorder
  7. Dissociative identity disorder
  8. Gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder
  9. Major depressive disorder
  10. Panic disorder
  11. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  12. Schizophrenia
  13. Social anxiety disorder
  14. Generalized anxiety disorder
  15. Substance abuse
  16. Exposure to suicidal behavior in others

In conclusion, the causes of suicidal thoughts can include depression, anxiety, eating disorders such as anorexia, and substance abuse. Genetic factors may increase the risk of suicidal ideation. Individuals with suicidal thoughts tend to have a family history of suicide or suicidal thoughts as well as people with a family history of mental illness.

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