Having Suicidal and Homicidal Thoughts

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve spent the last thirty years living with severe depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts. The first twenty years I lived thinking that the thoughts I was having was normal for a guy. I didn’t know that it wasn’t until my first suicide attempt ten years ago. That’s when I was diagnosed with depression. I never told any of my doctors about my homicidal thoughts at the time. I’ve had a few more suicide attempts since my first one and my homicidal thoughts have grown stronger. I’ve thought I could control what was going thru my head but the last couple of months it’s been a real struggle. In my mind age, sex and race are not a barrier about the thoughts I have about harming another person. I don’t have health insurance and cannot afford it. Where can I turn to for help? I’m afraid I will actually harm someone. Growing up I was very physically violent to the animals I had.

A. If your desire to harm yourself or someone else becomes overwhelming then go to the hospital immediately, even if you don’t have health insurance. The hospital will most likely admit you to their facility because they have an obligation to do so if you are an imminent danger to yourself or others. The hospital can protect you and others.

Even if a hospital stay is not warranted at this time, it is imperative that you seek help immediately. At this point in time, your thoughts are only thoughts. You have not harmed anyone. Now is the time to find help before a crisis occurs. As you mentioned, it is becoming increasingly difficult to control your behavior. Do not wait until you’re on the verge of losing control to seek help. I understand that you do not have health insurance but free or low-cost mental health treatment is available in most communities. Often these services are provided by a local community mental health center (CMHC). Usually, the phone number for a local CMHC can be found in the white pages of the phone book. You may also want to do an Internet search to see whether the local CMHC has a website.

When an individual attends an appointment at a CMHC, they may ask you to bring information regarding your financial situation. Using that information, they may be able to assist you in accessing financial help from the county or municipality in which you live. You may be eligible for resources that you are unaware of.

I would also recommend calling the local psychiatric hospital or health department and asking for assistance regarding other free or low-cost resources. Should you decide to call the hospital, ask to speak with the social services or social work services department. Explain your situation (i.e. that you are in need of assistance and have no health insurance). The social work hospital staff is usually aware of community resources because when patients leave the hospital, it is often their job to organize comprehensive discharge plans.

This is a serious situation that should not be ignored. By not seeking help, your safety and the safety of others may be at risk. If you harm someone, not only do you potentially destroy the lives of innocent people, you may also destroy your own. It could mean spending the rest of your life in prison.

I would strongly encourage you to seek help as soon as possible. As I mentioned above, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to control yourself, call 911 or a local crisis team. I hope that you are able to get the help that you need. I wish you well. Please take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Having Suicidal and Homicidal Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/07/having-suicidal-and-homicidal-thoughts/