Suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone for a number of reasons. However, people with mental illnesses, including addiction, are at a greater risk for suicidal thoughts and actions. Just one or the other can trigger suicidal thoughts, but for many people, the two conditions come hand in hand. Problems sleeping can play a significant role in all of it.
Addiction and mental illness tend to be co-occurring problems with each potentially triggering the other.
Being unable to sleep can be a sign of substance abuse and/or mental health issues (especially depression), though sleeping too much can be too.
It is not uncommon for those with an addiction to experience the symptoms of depression as well as other mental illnesses. Depression is one of the most common causes of suicidal thoughts, meaning that addiction is dangerous in more than just the most obvious ways.
The best way to prevent addiction-fueled depression is to get treatment as soon as possible.
Sleep disorders often occur alongside depression as well as other mental illnesses such as PTSD. Poor sleeping habits can exacerbate other mental illnesses.
Symptoms can include irregular sleep patterns, an inability to sleep, or sleeping for too long. Treatments often involve sleep medications and supplements along with the recommendation of a nightly routine. While the latter is a good idea, medications can lead to addiction, even if unintentionally abused.
It’s a good idea to establish a sleep routine. It could look something like this: eat dinner, go for a walk, watch a little television, catch up on some reading, and go to bed. Just remember, it’s only a routine if you do it each night. Engage in activities at the end of the day that are relaxing so you can help ease yourself into a restful state. Do not turn to drugs or alcohol for comfort because this can lead to addiction, and even create more sleeping problems, even if they seem to help on the surface.
While depression is often the cause of suicidal thoughts, other mental disorders can very easily become the root of these thoughts. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and more can either trigger symptoms of depression or cause suicidal thoughts.
The most important part of facing this threat is seeking help. Too many people go without treatment and watch their symptoms get worse as time passes. This is when suicidal thoughts have the opportunity to strike.
Self-medication describes when a person abuses a substance in order to control the symptoms of an illness. It’s very common among people with mental illnesses who are not receiving proper treatment. Not only will the untreated mental illness contribute to suicidal thoughts, but the developing addiction that occurs as a result of self-medication will also have a detrimental impact.
Substance abuse can seem to help ease the symptoms of mental illness, but in reality, long-term abuse will make things worse. This scenario can pose a deadly risk and should not be taken lightly.
If you recognize that a loved one is struggling with addiction, mental illness, or a combination of the two, do not take your observations lightly. The longer your loved one struggles, the more at-risk for suicide they become. Treatment is not a luxury; it is an absolute necessity.
Getting help for your loved one can be difficult if they are resistant but do not give up. Your love and support can make all the difference in whether or not they get the treatment they need.
Knowing that you or someone you care about is at risk for suicide can be a frightening revelation. However, it is important to remember that knowing the risk factors is half the battle. If you are able to recognize the signs, you have an opportunity to get the help you need. Once proper treatment is secured and recovery is under way, a happy and healthy life is on the horizon.