Does having suicidal thoughts mean you are depressed?

Learn more about the many different factors that can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts

Written by Rebekah Connolly


If you are having suicidal thoughts it might mean that you are experiencing depression, but depression is not the only cause of suicidal thoughts. There are many different factors that can increase the chances of a person having suicidal thoughts. It is rare that one event or thing would cause someone to consider suicide.

If you would like to speak to someone about how you are feeling you can find information on support services at the bottom of this article as well as in our services section.

Why am I feeling suicidal?

Mental health issues

If you have suicidal thoughts you may be experiencing depression, but you may also be suffering from another form of mental health issue. An anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative disorder or PTSD are just some other mental health diagnoses that could cause a person to have suicidal thoughts. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts it is important that you go speak to your GP. They may then organise an assessment of your mental health to determine if you are suffering from a mental health issue.

Experience of abuse

Experiencing abuse and the emotional impact that can have on a person, can make someone more vulnerable to suicide. People who have experienced abuse can often feel shame, isolated or worthless because of what has happened to them and these feelings can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you think you are feeling suicidal because of abuse that you have or are experiencing there are supports available to help. You do not need to feel alone. Seeing a counsellor can help you work through your feelings and there are supports available to you that can help stop the abuse.

Experience of loss

Experiencing a loss is another factor that can cause someone to feel suicidal or have suicidal thoughts. The loss can be that of someone close to them who has died, the break down of a relationship, or the loss of a job or opportunity that leaves a person feeling worthless.

If you have experienced a loss and have been having suicidal thoughts because of that, it is important to remember that regardless of the loss you are experiencing things can improve. When experiencing loss, grief or disappointment it can often seem as though the feelings are permanent, but with help they will get better in time.

Learn more about the supports available to you if you are dealing with bereavement.

Drug and alcohol misuse

Often, when people are hungover or on a come down from taking drugs they can experience suicidal thoughts. For some, alcohol increases the chances of feeling depressed. It is also common to feel depressed or anxious after taking drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine or ketamine. If you are feeling suicidal after taking drugs or alcohol it is important to remember that these feelings should usually resolve themselves, but you should still seek help for what you are feeling at that time.

If you think you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol there are supports that are available to help. Visit our Health section to learn more about the impact that drugs and alcohol can have on your mental health

What other factors can lead to suicidal thoughts

There are many different factors that can increase someone’s risk of suicide such as their gender identity, family situation and economic problems. However, it is rare that one event would make a person take their own life, the decision is normally influenced by a number of different factors. Learn more about the factors that can increase the risk of someone dying by suicide.

Speaking to a suicide support service

There are support services available around Ireland for people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.’s text message support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We provide in-the-moment anonymous support and problem solving when you need it most. We aim to connect every texter to a trained volunteer in less than five minutes to provide crisis help. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.

  • Text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin. Standard SMS rates may apply.


Samaritans offer a confidential listening service where you can speak openly about issues you may be facing


Childline offers text message and instant messaging support. These services allow you to talk with a counsellor about anything and receive support or help with whatever is worrying you at the moment. Whatever is said on the instant messaging service is confidential – so it will stay between you and Childline

  • Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am-4pm, and their phone line 1800 66 66 66 is 24 hours
  • Text ‘Talk’ to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message

Pieta House

Pieta House offers specialised treatment to clients who self harm, suffer from suicidal thoughts or have made multiple suicide attempts

  • Pieta House currently offers 24/7 support through SMS text messages, text ‘Help’ to 51444 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply)
  • You can also email them 24/7 by sending a message to [email protected] but there may be a delay in receiving a reply

Traveller Counselling Service

The Traveller Counselling Service specifically work with people from the Travelling community. The service works from a culturally inclusive framework which respects Traveller culture, identity, values and norms and works from a perspective of culture centred counselling and psychotherapy. They offer counselling both in person and online.

There are many other support services around the country for both people dealing with suicidal thoughts and those supporting them. If you visit our Find Help section you search by services and location to find suicide support groups in your local area.

Our work is supported by