Suicidal Without Depression

I don’t read much about people being suicidal without also being depressed. Could you discuss this?
Certainly, @Friday. Many people who experience suicidal thoughts also have depression, but that isn't always the case. While depression is certainly a significant risk factor for suicidal ideation, there are several other factors that can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

For instance, someone who has experienced a traumatic event or has developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also experience suicidal thoughts, even if they don't have a formal diagnosis of depression. Additionally, individuals with borderline personality disorder, substance abuse disorders, and other mental health conditions may experience suicidal thoughts.

It is also possible for someone to experience suicidal ideation as a result of situational factors, such as experiencing financial difficulties, interpersonal conflict, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, and physical health problems.

It's important to remember that suicidal thoughts and behaviors can be a symptom of a variety of underlying issues, and that seeking help from a mental health professional is always recommended. If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, it's important to seek help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for immediate assistance or seek help from a mental health professional or your local emergency department.
 
20 years ago I spent 5 years being suicidal, and acting on those impulses, daily… putting myself in riskier & riskier situations. Some examples include:

- walking across a minefield
- taking off my breathing apparatus (as it wouldn’t fit through the hatch) to swim for survivors in a sinking vessel.
- ignoring firearms in my face, or jamming them up against myself, provoking the person holding it.
- Taking jobs/contracts that paid as well as they did, because you were not expected to survive long enough to collect your payment.
- Arranging meetings between rival gang/cartel leaders.
- Trawling for rapists. (Vigilante phase, I was less attempting to get myself killed, and more irritated with local law enforcement avoiding my neighborhood, even mail carriers avoided my neighborhood, and the abysmal stats for rape convictions, ((2%, even in areas where the law was very active & relied upon.)). But, as I came close to dying a couple few times & kept on doing it? Should probably include it.)
- Going bush, on a regular basis / a few times a year, with no supplies/recourse/backup, to “relax”. (I would never go backcountry without supplies, medicines, sat phones, people with me -or at least people aware of where I was- to support, or at least know where to find my body, etc., if I wanted to live.)

My thrill-seeking / adrenaline junkie aspects of my PTSD/Personality look veeeeery (very) different than the above.

But whether thrill seeking, or actively attempting to get myself killed? I was tremendously in love with life. Vibrant. Enthusiastic. Formed connections with people easily. Not a single symptom of depression was present. That’s difficult to reconcile with the idea that one “has” to be depressed to be suicidal.

If I understand correctly, you’re saying my complex trauma history / PTSD can account for that?
 
20 years ago I spent 5 years being suicidal, and acting on those impulses, daily… putting myself in riskier & riskier situations. Some examples include:

- walking across a minefield
- taking off my breathing apparatus (as it wouldn’t fit through the hatch) to swim for survivors in a sinking vessel).
- ignoring firearms in my face, or jamming them up against myself, provoking the person holding it.
- Taking jobs/contracts that paid as well as they did, because you were not expected to survive long enough to collect your payment.
- Arranging meetings between rival gang/cartel leaders.
- Trawling for rapists. (Vigilante phase, I was less attempting to get myself killed, and more irritated with local law enforcement avoiding my neighborhood, even mail carriers avoided my neighborhood, and the abysmal stats for rape convictions, ((2%, even in areas where the law was very active & relied upon.)). But, as I came close to dying a couple few times & kept on doing it? Should probably include it.)
- Going bush, on a regular basis / a few times a year, with no supplies/recourse/backup, to “relax”. (I would never go backcountry without supplies, medicines, sat phones, people with me -or at least people aware of where I was- to support, or at least know where to find my body, etc., if I wanted to live.)

My thrill-seeking / adrenaline junkie aspects of my PTSD/Personality look veeeeery (very) different than the above.

But whether thrill seeking, or actively attempting to get myself killed? I was tremendously in love with life. Vibrant. Enthusiastic. Formed connections with people easily. Not a single symptom of depression was present. That’s difficult to reconcile with the idea that one “has” to be depressed to be suicidal.

If I understand correctly, you’re saying my complex trauma history / PTSD can account for that?
It sounds like you have a unique experience with suicidal ideation, @Friday. While depression is commonly associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, it's important to note that not everyone who experiences suicidal ideation has depression. It's possible that your thrill-seeking behaviors were a way to cope with the trauma you had experienced, which could have included suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Connecting with high-risk situations may have been a way to feel alive and distract from your daily struggles.

In complex PTSD, individuals may experience dysregulation in their emotions and/or behaviors, and this can manifest in different ways, including thrill-seeking behaviors, aggression, or impulsive actions, among others. While not all individuals with PTSD engage in such risky behaviors, it's possible that the trauma you experienced has contributed to these behaviors.

Additionally, individuals with PTSD may experience feelings of detachment or numbing, which can create a sense of disconnection from their emotions, including sadness or depression. This could be why you did not exhibit the typical symptoms of depression, despite experiencing suicidal ideation.

If you have not done so already, I recommend seeking professional help from a trauma therapist or mental health professional to explore your experiences with suicidal ideation and the underlying factors that contributed to it. A therapist can help you process the trauma you experienced and develop healthy coping mechanisms that do not put you in harm's way.
 
For instance, someone who has experienced a traumatic event or has developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also experience suicidal thoughts, even if they don't have a formal diagnosis of depression.
I have PTSD from complex trauma. Can you discuss this further?
 
I have PTSD from complex trauma. Can you discuss this further?
Certainly, @Friday. Complex PTSD is similar to traditional PTSD in that it also has to do with a traumatic event or events. However, complex PTSD is specifically characterized by experiencing prolonged and repeated trauma, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect over an extended period.

Complex PTSD involves a wider range of symptoms than traditional PTSD and may have started in childhood, making it particularly difficult for individuals to deal with on their own. Symptoms of complex PTSD may include:

- Difficulty regulating emotions: You may find it difficult to regulate your emotions or respond appropriately to emotional situations.

- Distorted self-image: People with complex PTSD often have a distorted self-image, which may make it difficult to have accurate self-esteem.

- Difficulty trusting others: Due to the prolonged trauma or abuse experienced, you may have difficulty trusting others, even those close to you.

- Difficulty with interpersonal relationships: You may find that it's difficult to build and maintain close relationships, particularly intimate ones.

- Difficulty with self-care: Those experiencing C-PTSD may have difficulties caring for themselves such as going to the doctor, eating, and hygiene.

- Negative self-talk: You may engage in negative self-talk and may have difficulty believing that you are worthy of positive experiences.

Successful treatment for complex PTSD often includes a combination of therapy and medication management, depending on the individual's specific needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and various other trauma-focused therapies can be particularly effective in helping trauma survivors.

It's important to note that everyone's experience with complex PTSD is unique, and finding the right treatment plan may involve some trial and error. I encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional experienced in treating complex PTSD to discuss your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
 
For instance, someone who has experienced a traumatic event or has developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also experience suicidal thoughts, even if they don't have a formal diagnosis of depression.
I have PTSD. Can you discuss how that can create suicidal ideation / suicidal behavior, without depression, further?
 
I have PTSD. Can you discuss how that can create suicidal ideation / suicidal behavior, without depression, further?
Certainly, @Friday. It's important to acknowledge that suicidal ideation or behavior can occur for many reasons, and not all individuals who experience PTSD will experience suicidal thoughts or behavior. However, PTSD can be a significant risk factor for suicide.

In individuals with PTSD, suicidal ideation may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Persistent Intrusive Thoughts: Repeated and persistent intrusive thoughts, memories or imagery of a traumatic event that one is unable to control may cause repeated assaults to the self-concept resulting in a suicidal behavior or ideation.

2. Hyperarousal: One of the symptoms of PTSD is hyperarousal where there may be an increased adrenaline and fear response to a threat. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed or anxious and then defensive.

3. Shame and guilt: Feelings of shame and excessive guilt may cause one to feel like they are undeserving of life, leading to feelings of hopelessness and suicide.

4. Lack of social support: Individuals with PTSD may feel extremely isolated and alone, and may not feel like they have social support they can rely on. This can lead to feelings of despair and hopelessness, especially if they feel like things will never get better.

5. Co-occurring conditions: PTSD can often co-occur with other mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, all of which can contribute to suicidal ideation or behavior.

It is important to recognize that everyone is different and may respond to PTSD differently. If you are experiencing suicidal ideation or behavior, it is recommended that you seek help from a mental health professional who can offer appropriate therapies and resources to help you manage these feelings.

In addition to professional help, it's helpful to have a strong support system in place. Having a support system of family or friends who are aware of your mental health can provide comfort and assistance during difficult times. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK) also provides free and confidential support for individuals at risk of suicide.
 
5. Co-occurring conditions: PTSD can often co-occur with other mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, all of which can contribute to suicidal ideation or behavior.
I am comorbid PTSD with ADHD-combined type. How would you expect this to contribute?
 
I am comorbid PTSD with ADHD-combined type. How would you expect this to contribute?
@Friday, it's not uncommon for individuals with PTSD to have comorbid conditions, such as ADHD. The combination of PTSD and ADHD can be particularly challenging to manage and can often exacerbate each other's symptoms.

PTSD can affect a person's cognitive processing, emotional regulation, and behavioral responses, leading to difficulty with attention, memory, and behavioral control. On the other hand, ADHD can result in difficulty with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can interact with each other to create a vicious cycle, making it challenging to manage both conditions simultaneously.

PTSD and ADHD together can increase the risk of experiencing distressing symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, which can contribute to suicidal ideation or behavior. It's important to have a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both conditions and provides an integrated approach to managing your symptoms.

Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective for managing both PTSD and ADHD symptoms. In addition, medication management may be necessary for individuals with ADHD. Your mental health professional can help you work towards a treatment plan that will alleviate these symptoms and prevent suicidal ideation.

It's crucial to seek professional help if you are experiencing suicidal ideation or behavior. Find a mental health professional trained in treating PTSD and ADHD, and make sure to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with them.
 
Find a mental health professional trained in treating PTSD and ADHD, and make sure to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with them.
Very strongly agreed, as overlapping symptoms can look/express very differently than one might expect.

Whilst I can sometimes easily tell if a symptom is ADHD or PTSD sourced? I often have to try both sets of coping mechanisms/ tools to see what “works”. Similarly, sometimes neither set of coping mechanisms /tools will “work” unless I’m doing both. Because the symptom is coming from 2 places at once.

Your thoughts?
 
Very strongly agreed, as overlapping symptoms can look/express very differently than one might expect.

Whilst I can sometimes easily tell if a symptom is ADHD or PTSD sourced? I often have to try both sets of coping mechanisms/ tools to see what “works”. Similarly, sometimes neither set of coping mechanisms /tools will “work” unless I’m doing both. Because the symptom is coming from 2 places at once.

Your thoughts?
@Friday, it's true that some symptoms of PTSD and ADHD can overlap and have similar expressions, making it difficult to differentiate which symptoms are coming from which disorder. It can also be the case that coping mechanisms that work for one condition may not work for the other condition, which can be frustrating and confusing.

In your experience, it may be helpful to try a combination of coping mechanisms that target symptoms common to both PTSD and ADHD. Mindfulness-based practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help to reduce anxiety, stress, and hyperarousal symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be a useful resource for addressing negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

It's important to work with a mental health professional to determine which coping mechanisms and tools are best suited for your unique circumstances. Your mental health professional can also help you determine which techniques work best for each condition individually and which techniques can be used for both conditions.

It's important to remember that the healing process takes time and that it's okay to have setbacks along the way. Be kind to yourself, and try to take a non-judgmental approach to your healing. It's also important to stay connected with a support network of family, friends, or support groups who can offer encouragement and comfort during difficult times.
 
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