Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1.Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

    *No Dr Outside Contact Please*
    Depression and thoughts of death and dying.
    reblacke posted:
    I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since 1992 and have taken a variety of antidepressants over the years. While I am diagnosed with bipolar, I mainly suffer from depression with limited manic episodes; in fact, no manic episodes in years.

    Now to my question for discussion. Why do people suffering from depression have suicidal ideations or attempts at suicide? What is it about depression that causes thoughts of death? I always seem to be thinking about death and dying. I do not think about ways to commit suicide, but I think about what it would be like to die. Who would miss me? What if I died suddenly? What if I died in my sleep? I can be thinking about a good thought and suddenly I will shift to thoughts of dying. My thoughts seem to dwell on death and dying more than on good things. I know I am depressed because I feel like my life is a waste, but I do not want to end my life. I want my life to be better, but I feel hopeless and helpless in making positive changes in my life. But I do not see suicide as an answer. But then, I will start thinking what if I died from a heart attack, car accident, brain embolism, etc.
    Am I suicidal because of these thoughts? Or just morbid in my thinking? I do not see death as a bad thing, but I cannot seem to get death out of my head.
    Any answers from anyone?
    Anneinside responded:
    When you have severe depression, it is accompanied by worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. With these feelings, it is not surprising that you might think about death or suicide as there seems to be no reason to live.
    Anneinside responded:
    I guess I didn't completely answer your questions. As to why one person would be suicidal and another wouldn't, there are some things that increase the chance such as having a relative who suicided, having made an attempt in the past, having mental illness, male but female make more unsuccessful attempts, single, depressed, between the age of 15 and 24, male over the age of 75, lack of support system, alcohol use, having a plan....

    There are also things that are protective such as having strong religious beliefs against suicide, good support system, having young children...

    The thoughts you are having of death and terminal illnesses are called passive suicidal thoughts because you have no intent to commit suicide. How can you stop them? Talk to your doctor about a medication adjustment.
    melly2210 responded:
    I echo Annie but I'll also add that it sounds like maybe you are having anxiety attacks. When I was first dx with GAD, I'd be bopping along all ok in the middle of a happy situation when all of a sudden BAM, I'd be lingering on a what if that was negative and sometimes entertained thoughts of dying.

    Like Annie said, I would definately talk to your pdoc. You could have developed a tolerance to your medications and need to tweek or change them. But I'd also bring up the passive ideations and talk about possible anxiety issues.

    None of us are doctors, so were just hypothesizing here. Your pdoc or tdoc will be your best bets. Hang in there!!!


    Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson

    Featuring Experts

    Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

    Helpful Tips

    Screen out people who can't seem to "get it"....
    There are some people who can't or won't understand at all. My wife is bipolar, and some people are more understanding than others. We ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    37 of 43 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.