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Suicidal Thoughts (cont.)

Medical Treatment

The treatment for suicidal thoughts might range from gentle reassurance to hospital admission.

  • In some cases, the person is sent home with instructions to return if the thoughts become persistent, symptoms of depression become evident, or the person otherwise has difficulty coping with their feelings or with situations in a healthy manner.
  • In this case, follow-up with a mental-health professional is usually arranged within 48 hours.
  • An antianxiety medication, like buspirone (Buspar), clonazepam (Klonopin), or lorazepam (Ativan), an antidepressant, like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), or venlafaxine (Effexor), or a medication to address anger or mental agitation, like risperidone (Risperdal) or aripiprazole (Abilify), may be started right away in an attempt to relieve the symptoms of the sufferer of suicidal thoughts.
  • If the person's suicidal thoughts or other tendencies are believed to be of a dangerous nature, follow-up is likely to be immediate with admission to the hospital.

If someone is admitted to the hospital because of suicidal thoughts, he or she undergoes extensive evaluation by a psychiatrist and is often started on medication and scheduled for follow-up counseling with a therapist.

From the doctor's perspective, suicidal thoughts are always to be taken seriously and evaluated thoroughly. Predicting suicide is difficult.

  • People who actually commit suicide are usually terribly depressed.
  • They often have alcohol or drug abuse problems.
  • Many are diagnosed with schizophrenia - a serious mental illness.
  • Many commit suicide in response to difficulties in their lives.
  • By the same token, most depressed people, people with drug or alcohol problems, and those with schizophrenia never attempt suicide.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014

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