All of us feel down from time to time. Perhaps we have received some bad news or experienced a recent disappointment. Neither of which is bound to make us feel great.

When dealing with long-term substance misuse and addiction issues, we are at greater risk of suicidal ideations. If diagnosed with depression, alcohol abuse, for example, can make things feel worse. Alcohol depresses our central nervous system, and when drank to excess, it causes increased levels of stress and anxiety in the form of hangovers and even complete lapses in time.

While no thought of suicide is a good thought and should always be taken seriously, suicidal ideations mean the fleeting thoughts of yesterday take up all thoughts today.


A Preoccupation

When we become preoccupied with thoughts about suicide, we conjure up ways to follow through with the idea. We may entertain what life might be like if we were no longer around.

Few would argue about the difficulties many have faced this year. With separations from family and friends, possible job loss, and the COVID-19 virus, challenges have presented that no one could have predicted.

Fresh challenges present during the holiday season with its celebrations and gatherings that, for some, may not take place this year.

This year has been challenging, so we must recognize the warning signs to look for if you or an addicted loved one deals with suicidal ideations. Recognizing the symptoms as early indicators of a possible suicide attempt, we may be able to access the professional help needed before it is too late.


Giving it All Away

While somebody might admit to wanting to die, they may deny ever making plans to do so, but their actions speak louder than words. Instead of admitting to a specific plan, their unspoken plan may involve giving away treasured possessions.

The sudden preoccupation with getting their affairs in order may extend to writing a will or altering the one they already have. They might enquire about probate laws and other legal matters that previously had been of little concern.

If any observations you make cause you to doubt, seek the necessary help, and leave the rest to professional assessments. Understanding or determining whether or not somebody wishes to take their own life is not an exact science. However, experience in the clinical field helps us understand the risks associated with at-risk behaviors, including substance misuse and addictions. The risk may be greater in cases of comorbidity or co-occurring disorders of mental health and addiction.

Thoughts or threats of suicidal behaviors should never be minimized or disregarded as exaggeration or attention-seeking. Professional help is the only way to qualify for an assessment.


Symptoms of Suicidal Ideations

Common signs of suicidal ideations may include:

  • Telling people that you wish you were not alive or that they would be better off without you.
  • Wanting to stay away from people at all times, including increased isolation.
  • Suicide preparation becomes a major preoccupation. You may notice your loved one has bought a weapon, or you may discover them researching methods of suicide. All these are strong indicators that suicide ideations a strong.
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, behaviors can become especially risky; the access to alcohol and drugs, both legal and otherwise, presents opportunities for deliberate overdose. Where drugs and depression are concerned lies a greater chance of overdose.
  • Increased anxiety spills over into becoming upset over minor incidents. Blanket statements such as no -one likes me, and I would be better off dead may populate the conversation.


Are Suicidal Ideations Treatable?

As with most mental health disorders, suicidal ideations are treatable. However, your doctor will need to consult with you to assess the extent of the condition you are dealing with. You should expect to answer several questions related to your history of depression, substance use, or alcohol use history.  Stress factors and any other health issues you may be dealing with currently will also be gathered as part of your evaluation.

Typically your doctor may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Under professional guidance, this medication can help manage the symptoms leading to suicidal ideations. However, it is essential to realize that antidepressants can increase the likelihood of suicide risk. This can be especially true while dosage is being adjusted to suit you.

It is vital to pay attention to suicidal ideations, particularly in the wake of coming off the substances that have been part of your life for a long time. In some cases, you may have used them to cope with difficult emotions. Following detox and entering long-term rehabilitation, you are learning to cope without relying on those substances.

Along with any treatment plan that includes medication, you should expect to talk to a counselor or psychologist to help establish underlying reasons for your depression and ideations.


Ways to Cope

During rehabilitation, and especially during the Holidays, speak to others who are going through similar to you. Attending a physical support group may not be possible, but you may have access to call somebody, even if it’s just for five minutes. Just talking to somebody can create an entirely different outlook on our day.

Take the time to get outside, even if you don’t feel like it. Just going for a walk in the park or around the neighborhood can help reduce depression both from the change of scenery and the positive endorphins released when we exercise.

You don’t need to continue dealing with feelings of suicide. Treatment can be helpful. If you are experiencing suicidal ideations, ask for help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK.


When dealing with long-term substance misuse and addiction issues, we are at greater risk of suicidal ideations. If diagnosed with depression, substance use can make things feel worse. Recognizing the warning signs to look for if you or an addicted loved one is dealing with suicidal ideations is imperative. Identifying the symptoms as early indicators of a possible suicide attempt makes it possible to access professional help before it is too late. Hired Power‘s discretion and confidentiality assure anonymity through all stages of returning to wellness. Whether moving to your detox program safely and with discretion, to recovery and sober living partners that can help you through the holidays, Hired Power is there for you or your loved one, standing as that bridge between you and traditional recovery plans. You don’t have to struggle alone; our personal recovery assistants are here to help you walk through this process, believing in you, and empowering you to change, step by step. Call Hired Power today at (800) 910-9299. We look forward to hearing from you.