Talking about suicide, even if it’s in the abstract or in the distant past, can feel so scary. We don’t know what to say about it–either when it’s our experience or a loved one’s–and we may have the (false) assumption that talking about it with others may lead to them acting on it.
Perhaps you wouldn’t label what you’re experiencing as suicidal, but are you thinking about wanting to escape, feeling hopeless, or fantasizing about dying in your sleep? In this newsletter, we use the term suicidal ideation to describe those scenarios. It sounds clinical, but it just means thinking about suicide, and it’s something that needs to be treated very seriously.
Perinatal suicide and suicidal ideation can be part of the story of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We need to talk about this so that when parents do experience feelings of suicide around the birth of a child, they know what these thoughts are, that this has happened to other parents as well, and that help is available.