11 Signs That You Might Have Suicidal OCD
A checklist of common symptoms and behaviors. If you're suffering, consult a licensed professional.
Written by Dr. Jordan Levy
01 Suicidal OCD is the constant fear or obsession of taking ones own life. Sufferers become so worried about killing themselves, that they feel unsafe on their own.
02 Identifying subtypes of Pure OCD can be very difficult. Symptoms manifest differently for each sufferer. However, there tend to be common thoughts and behaviors that may indicate someone is suffering from Suicidal OCD.
03 Dr. Jordan Levy is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Manhattan at the Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy and in Livingston, New Jersey.
1. Do you experience unwanted intrusive thoughts, images, urges or impulses of suicide?
2. Do these thoughts increase in intensity when you are feeling down, sad, isolated or alone?
3. Have you hid or thrown out items in your home that feel dangerous such as razors, knives, rope, or chemicals?
4. Do you compare yourself to people who have committed suicide hoping to find differences for reassurance?
5. Do you notice creative ways that you could harm/kill yourself on a regular basis? For example, having thoughts like “Why am I noticing the bottle of Clorox in the closet? Would I use it to kill myself? What if I take all the pills in my bathroom and overdose?”
6. Does seeing the word “suicide” or “self-harm” or “death” flood you with anxiety?
7. Do you ask others to reassure your safety? For example, asking loved ones “Do you think I would do it?”
8. Do you experience obsessive thoughts about subconsciously wanting to self-harm? For example, thinking “I forgot to close my window before going to bed. Am I secretly trying to create suicidal situations? Why was I driving so fast? Was it because I’m hoping to get into an accident?”
9. Have you attempted to identify the risk factors for suicide by looking on the Internet, asking a therapist or calling the suicide hotline?
10. Have you attempted to escape or avoid certain situations that you feel are dangerous? For example, thinking “I better not stand anywhere near the ledge because I may feel an urge to jump. I feel sad right now so let me call a friend to ensure my safety.”
11. Do you find that you often reassure yourself of the reasons why you would not commit suicide or reasons that you want to be alive? For example, telling yourself things like “I love my family. I have an amazing spouse. I have never attempted suicide so why would I now?”
*This checklist is not intended to serve as a replacement for a diagnosis by a qualified licensed psychologist.
About the author
Dr. Jordan Levy is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Manhattan at the Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy and in Livingston, New Jersey. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder including the Purely-Obsessional subtype (Pure-O). He can be reached by email at [email protected] or online at www.DrJordanLevy.com.