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Silly question, but do these count as suicidal thoughts?

(22 Posts)
TerrorTwilight Thu 02-Mar-17 14:09:53

I feel like this is going to look worse than it feels when written down.

I'm having some MH difficulties and have had to take more time off work today, after only recently returning after a month absence.

After my very supportive and nice boss put me in a taxi home yesterday, following quite a lot of crying in her office (I'm a bloke, and for whatever reason I'm not much of a cryer, so this was significant), I got home. I'd assure my boss there was no scope for me to hurt myself, that I don't have those kinds of thoughts, which is true. I don't want to die. I don't want to hurt myself. I sometimes wish I could painlessly evaporate or cease to exist, but I don't want to do it to myself.

At least, I don't think I do. Cos when I got home, I went to the kitchen. I held a small paring knife against my wrist for a few seconds just to sort of imagine what it would take to do that to myself. I didn't press down or use it. Just pressed the edge very gently against my skin. I don't know why.

Then I snapped out of it, shuddered (I hate sharp blades and always wig out at slicing injuries), put the knife back and went over to the window and said "no" very vehemently to myself a few times.

Then today I took myself off for a walk. Went to the next town over to go to the cinema, trying to keep myself busy. A fast train came through the station and made me jump.

Then on my way home (I got an Uber so I'd be back in plenty of time to pick up DD2 from school), I caught myself imagining lying down on the track and waiting for that fast train, how painless it would be, but then dismissed it because of all the distress it would cause.

I know, I know, that sounds really bad. But the thing is, I was just IMAGINING it. I didn't feel like I WANTED to do it. In fact I recoiled from both scenarios. It felt v. abstract, just like an odd sort of daydream - like winning the lottery or something. No sense of it being grounded in reality or genuine expectation.

I don't think I'm suicidal, but I'm in two minds whether to mention this to the doctor or my therapist because I don't want people to flip out and think I'm about to off myself, when it really doesn't feel like that.

I'm completely grounded in needing to be there for my DDs. I am rational enough to know that they need me and that I would ruin their lives if I were to do anything to myself, and their lives are infinitely more important to me than my own.

I don't actually feel "depressed" right now. The citalopram is taking the edge off my despair. I'm more anxious and trapped than anything else.

But am I suicidal? I'm almost scared to put a label on it because I feel like that legitimises the thought processes...

GummyGoddess Thu 02-Mar-17 14:22:43

Tell the Dr and see what they say. I had the same thoughts about not wanting to exist without the desire to kill myself, they are still intrusive and dangerous thoughts and need to be dealt with.

fallenempires Thu 02-Mar-17 15:09:24

I've experienced similar,like you I managed to keep a handle on it as I have dcs to consider.I would mention it when you have your next appointment.How long have you been taking Citalopram for?

clairethewitch70 Thu 02-Mar-17 15:13:08

Intrusive thoughts. Does your MH make you impulsive? If so this is concerning.

TerrorTwilight Thu 02-Mar-17 15:41:08

fallen This time around I've been taking the pills for 5 weeks.

claire my MH doesn't really make me impulsive. It used to, but I've calmed down a lot with age. I'm not scared I'm going to do anything to myself, but I'm a little concerned the thoughts even crossed my mind at all. I guess I'm worried about slippery slopes...

Iris65 Thu 02-Mar-17 15:48:23

When I am depressed I have those thoughts. In the absence of other symptoms when I start noticing things that I could hurt or kill myself with then I know that I need to look after myself.
The fact that you don't want to kill yourself but just want to not exist is familiar to me too.
I used to think that it wasn't 'a big deal' but it actually indicates a serious and dangerous level of depression and you are right to be worried.
Make sure you get some help flowers

fallenempires Thu 02-Mar-17 15:54:45

Ok so they are taking the edge off? What has stood out for me is that you mention anxiety.I realise that it's still early days with the AD's but there may be the possibility that they aren't ticking all the boxes so to speak.I have recently switched from 40mg of Citalopram to 50mg of Sertraline(have just finished the first box today actually!) and I am truly amazed at how much they have helped me as I was in a dreadful,dark state over the Xmas/NY period and was consumed with those intrusive thoughts.

TerrorTwilight Thu 02-Mar-17 16:16:07

If anything the anxiety is worse than the depression and feels like it's driving the depression, if that makes sense?

I'm paralysed with it. I can't concentrate at work, can't concentrate anywhere. I'm a deputy headteacher and have always been good at my job, but since about November I haven't been able to manage it. I can teach fine - I just go into my classroom persona - but any of the brain work of leadership or analysis I simply can't do. Can't mark books. Can't follow up on actions from meetings. Can't face up to certain conversations that DW and I desperately need to have. I'm just paralysed. Useless.

I recognise that I'm sick right now and this isn't me, but god it's so fucking tiring. And so humiliating.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 02-Mar-17 22:32:54

Hi Terror,

So sorry to hear that things are so tough. It does sound like you are still quite poorly at the moment and maybe you need to allow yourself a bit more time off sick to recover. If I remember you were only off a few weeks.

I can completely relate to the feeling of not wanting to live any more, but not actively wanting to kill myself. I was in that dark place 15 years ago when I was at uni. It was as I started to feel better with ADs and actually some motivation that I became suicidal. Its definately worth mentioning how you are feeling to your Dr. Its really scary when these thoughts come into your head isn't it.

I can completely relate to what you describe about not being able to do the 'brain work' I'm still in that stage though I am recovering. I'm recovering from PTSD and as part of that I had anxiety, poor concentration and memory. I also had urges to self harm (not suicide) that were so strong and constant, that I found myself unable to think about anything else even at work, even though I could auto pilot the basics of the job. On the day I went off sick I couldn't remember how to use a computer system I've used for years. Later that day I got stuck in my kitchen because I couldn't work out how to get out. Getting better from that point has been a long process. I had started ADs a couple of months before and was already seeing a councellor and CPN. I had 12 weeks off work and spent that time looking after myself and allowing myself to heal. I went to the gym most days, rested, went for walks and days out by myself following my interests. I then started a phased return to work starting off with just 11/2 hours twice a week and have built it up slowly over the last 8 weeks. I'm now working 1/2 days all week and gradually taking on more duties, but still not back fully in my normal role. What I'm trying to say is give yourself permission to have time off to get better, it was only when I took the pressure off myself that I started to feel better.

MH still has a lot of stigma arround it, the important thing to remember is that it is an illness. Would you feel humiliated if you were off with a broken leg? It is getting better gradually and I know that DH has found that when he has talked about his MH problems, so many male collegues and aquaintances have said 'me too'. Infact when he was having a low patch recently he ended up having a long chat about it in the pub with one of the lads who had suffered depression too. Depression can affect anyone. Something that might be worth checking out is Andy's Man Club on facebook.

And keep talking on here, these dark times will pass with time.

TerrorTwilight Fri 03-Mar-17 08:15:39

Thanks nolonger.

It's really fucking scary, yeah. And I can't stop myself worrying about the judgement of my colleagues and what happens in the future. I just want to turn my stupid fucking brain OFF. Why won't it just FUCK OFF?

I had my therapy session last night and that was really helpful because one of the things I struggle with is that my "rational" mind keeps trying to tell me I'm faking it, making it all up. I have such a deep-seated belief that I'm a bad, lazy, awful person that I basically don't believe myself when I'm in pain.

But my therapist did some mindfulness/presence work with me yesterday which helped me connect a bit better with the fact that yes, I am suffering. Yes, I am desperate.

And for the first time in my life, I'm allowing people to know what my head is doing to me. I'm being seen. And for someone who's always been "strong and capable and intelligent and high achieving", that's super scary. It's a new feeling, a new way of being. So of course I'm finding it hard.

I need to accept that I'm ill right now and that I'm not going to be able to be the go-getting whizz kid I've always been seen as.

I suppose I just hope my employer's patience holds out.

Scribblegirl Fri 03-Mar-17 08:20:10

Google the term 'intrusive thoughts', it's a thing. I get them and they're usually an early warning sign when my mh is going south.

TerrorTwilight Fri 03-Mar-17 11:49:51

Thanks scribble.

Well that was an instructive morning. Watched a film. Had some breakfast. Went for a shower. Burst into tears in the shower. Racking sobs, howling, saying "no" and "help" and "please" a lot, if I remember correctly.

I'm starting to maybe believe that this is reasonably serious now. wink

TerrorTwilight Fri 03-Mar-17 11:51:14

The trouble is, I've got a really nasty sense of humour sometimes and can often find myself ridiculous, so I keep getting little moments of finding the whole thing appallingly funny. Which again feels wrong! Just another thing to beat myself up about, I guess.

Blossomdeary Fri 03-Mar-17 12:00:13

I think you need to go back to GP as these thoughts can be a side effect of Citalopram in some people. It needs looking in to.

I suffered a serious depression and the feeling that it would be great to just melt away and not to have to face feeling so ill every day was a major feature. Like you I had similar thoughts, sometimes when driving - if I were to drive into that lamp post..............etc. But I knew that I would never do these things - I know only too well what the aftermath is to loved ones.

I do think you should see GP.

Blossomdeary Fri 03-Mar-17 12:04:45

I identify with the sobbing etc. - I used to sit and sob on the loo and keep repeating "please please don't make me go on."

I need to say to you that it was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me - and I have had some grim medical problems in my time! - BUT that I did get better. At your point in the illness it was totally impossible to imagine that I would ever be well again, but I am. So please take heart.

A friend sat and held my hands and just kept repeating "You will get better" - and she was right, however improbable it sounded at the time.

TerrorTwilight Fri 03-Mar-17 12:06:27

Thanks blossom. I have a GP appointment later today.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Fri 03-Mar-17 18:50:34

Terror I would also consider myself to be a strong, capable, intellegent high achiever. Infact I think it takes incredible strength to say "no I'm not ok" particularly in our society where it does not seem to be culturally acceptable not to be ok. Asking for help makes us vulnerable and I think it takes incredible strength to open ourselves up in this way.

I have found mindfulness incredibly useful. I think part of it has been learning to accept the dark feelings rather than fight them. They seem to come in waves and learning to ride those waves can help, whilst reminding yourself that this dark feeling will pass. The shower is one of my favourite places to cry, I think because I feel the water is washing away the hurt with the tears.

Lovemusic33 Fri 03-Mar-17 18:53:14

Op you sound so similar to me sad, anxiety is crippling for me, I wake up feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. I have the same thoughts, I wouldn't take my life but I do often wish I could just vanish, I have even told family members not to be sad if I die. I have self harmed in the past and taken pills but I love my dc's too much to take my life.

TerrorTwilight Sat 04-Mar-17 07:35:25

learning to accept the dark feelings rather than fight them

Yes. This is a huge thing for me. I've been "strong" for so long, obsessed with appearing to be fine, better than fine. Being the best. I love my therapist's approach because she integrates a psychotherapeutic approach with mindfulness and elements of CBT which really works for me: I'm a very analytical person and I need to DIG and understand. I can't just have a to-do list, which is how I always felt about pure CBT.

Anyway, I've realised how crippled I am by wanting my parents' approval and how much I grew up not being totally secure in their love. I know they almost certainly DO love me unconditionally but I grew up feeling like my achievements and status were the most important things. They were always trying to mould me, and I never felt seen or accepted. So I've grown up desperate for that approval, wearing that mask of "check me out, I'm in control, I'm so intelligent and capable".

And long story short I just didn't let the sadness and despair and terror in. It just boiled away inside me. I let my thinking mind drive me for 25 years because my feelings were dangerous, and so now I don't always recognise my feelings at all.

But therapy is helping me feel them and own them and acknowledge them. And I'm being seen for the first time. It's really scary but it's also really necessary. Like pouring hot water on a nettle sting, or disinfecting a wound.

Sorry. Ramble.

Couchtofivek Sat 04-Mar-17 09:18:59

I had exactly the same thoughts shortly after starting an SSRI. I recall wondering how I could crash my car just to break both legs so I could be taken to hospital and knocked out. I found it impossible to stop my brain whirring, it was very distressing.

It's a known side effect. Can you speak to the prescribing doctor? I know in the US doctors tend to give a benzodiazepine along with an SSRI at the start for that reason.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sun 05-Mar-17 11:59:06

Really glad you have such a good therapist helping you through this. Parental issues can be tough to work through. I found a book called 'They F@#$ you up' writern by a child psychologist helpful too. Its a work book with exercises for each chapter.

The tiles taken from the Philip Larkin poem:

They f@#$ you up your Mum and Dad,
They may not mean to, but they do,
They pass on all the faults they have,
And add some extra just for you.

or something like that I can't remember the other verses, GCSE english is a long time ago now.

TerrorTwilight Sun 05-Mar-17 14:07:06

Wrote my undergraduate dissertation on Larkin. 😉

I'll definitely check out the book - thanks smile

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