What to Do When PTSD and Suicidal Ideation Coincide

What to Do When PTSD and Suicidal Ideation Coincide

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have a profound impact on your well-being. When this complex mental health condition coincides with suicidal ideation, your struggle can become even more critical. 

Here at Palo Alto Mind Body, we want you to know that help and support are available. Dr. M Rameen Ghorieshi and our professional mental health team provide guidance on this important topic. 

PTSD and suicidal ideation explained

You can develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as accidents, violence, or natural disasters. It often manifests through factors that include:

Suicidal ideation, however, is different. The thought of ending your life can stem from several factors, such as feeling hopeless, going through deep emotional pain, and wanting to run away from the pressures of life.

If you relate to experiencing any signs of PTSD and suicidal ideation, here are some ways to manage your struggles: 

Seek professional help

If you or a loved one struggle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts, reach out to Dr. Ghorieshi and our expert mental health team as soon as possible for the compassion and support you need.

We’re trained professionals who can give guidance and provide personalized support. We offer psychotherapy, the latest advancements in anti-anxiety medication, and IV ketamine infusions, as well as suicide prevention interventions.

Build a support network

Isolation can exacerbate both PTSD and suicidal thoughts. Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups who can provide understanding and empathy. 

Sharing your feelings and experiences can help alleviate the emotional burden and remind you that you aren’t alone in what you’re going through.

Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself by engaging in certain activities like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can significantly improve your mood and provide you with the physical and emotional strength you need to cope with your challenges.

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can also help you manage distressing thoughts and emotions.

Safety planning

Creating a safety plan can be a proactive measure to manage moments of intense distress. A safety plan typically includes:

Identifying triggers

Recognize the situations or thoughts that intensify your distress.

Coping strategies

List healthy ways to cope, such as calling a friend, engaging in a hobby, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Emergency contacts

Compile a list of people to whom you can reach out in case you have an immediate need.

Professional resources

Include the contact information for mental health professionals or crisis hotlines, such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or the National Mental Health Hotline at 866-903-3787 for PTSD symptoms.

Distraction techniques

Take note of activities that can help redirect your focus during challenging times and use them as needed.

Avoid substance use

Substance misuse can worsen both PTSD and suicidal ideation. Alcohol and drugs may provide temporary relief, but they can ultimately heighten your distress and impair your judgment. 

If you're struggling with substance misuse, seek help from our Palo Alto Mind Body team. We can address this issue alongside your mental health challenges and give you the support you need.

Set realistic goals

Setting and achieving small, realistic goals can boost your sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Once you meet those goals, celebrate your achievements. Each step forward can help you feel better every day.

Reach out today

When PTSD and suicidal ideation coincide, you can experience an incredibly challenging journey, but you need to know that healing and recovery are possible. 

By reaching out to Dr. Ghorieshi and our mental health experts, we can help you gradually regain control over your life and find a path toward healing, hope, and well-being. We care about you and are ready to help you navigate this difficult terrain.

Contact our compassionate, friendly staff at any of our offices in the surrounding Bay area in South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, or San Francisco, California. We’re here for you.

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