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PTSD and Suicide Thoughts

Table of Contents


Overview

With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your symptoms can be overwhelming. You may be thinking about harming yourself, or even thinking about suicide.

Sometimes people with PTSD also have depression, panic attacks, severe anxiety, or a substance use problem. This may put you at a higher risk for suicide.

You may think that ending your life is the only solution. If you feel this way, you're not alone. Many people with PTSD have thoughts about suicide. PTSD symptoms, such as having stressful memories of your trauma, may put you at a higher risk.1

Other things that can increase your risk for suicide include:1

If you have thoughts about suicide, there are ways you can get help. Talking to someone can help you see that there are other solutions. Tell a doctor, clergy member, friend, or family member how you feel, and talk to your doctor about counseling or medicines that can help you. Getting treatment right away can help prevent suicide.

Warning signs include:

If you think your spouse or a loved one is at risk for suicide:

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

For more information, see the topic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2012). Suicide and PTSD. A National Center for PTSD fact sheet. Available online: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/ptsd-suicide.asp.

Credits for PTSD and Suicide Thoughts

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Jessica Hamblen PhD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


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