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Friday, May 08, 2009 maddy, Community Member, asks

Q: Thoughts of stabbing myself in the heart with a knife

even though i know i won't do it.  Does anyone else get these weird images/thoughts when they are severly depressed?

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Answers (4)
John McManamy, Health Guide
5/12/09 9:07pm

Hi, Maddy. I think it's safe to say that just about all of us have had similar thoughts when severely (and even mildly) depressed. There is a considerable difference, however, between a random thought that you can easily dismiss and a compelling one that you can't.


Perhaps we can compare thoughts of self-harm to thoughts of harming others. I'm sure all of us have wanted to kill our bosses' too, but we don't do it. And they don't lock us up for thinking about it. But imagine taking those thoughts further: you can't get them out of your mind, you get worked up thinking about it, you visualize various scenarios for doing the deed, you make plans, you start justifying why the deed would be a service to humanity ... Now you're veering uncomfortably close to where thought becomes action.


It's a good idea to talk to someone who knows you, that you trust, to get a read on your thoughts. You may think the thoughts are harmless. Someone who knows you may have a different impression.

Chris, Community Member
5/10/09 12:20am

You should get in to see your doctor (or maybe it's time to check-in to a hospital if it's real bad).  Suicidal thoughts are a key marker that something's not right.

To answer the question - yes I've had these in the past.  Always trying to come up with the most painless way to do it.

I had been depressed for some time.  I would always tell the pdoc that i was mildly depressed.  They didn't change anything.  It wasn't until I said I was suicidal that they changed my meds (for the better).  Even though I had been depressed for some time, like 3 years. I will not use the term "mildly depressed" again.  I'll use non-doctor words like "unacceptly depressed" or some such.

Note that if you live in the US, your life insurance doesn't pay claims on suicide.  So you're leaving your loved ones to cough up a lot of cash for funeral and burial expenses.

flemenco, Community Member
3/ 4/10 12:18am

Thanks for your post.  This helps me know I'm not a lone.

Virginia W., Community Member
5/25/09 10:43am

Hi Maddy,


I do, too.  It's called sucidial ideation.  I feel like I am not even in control of the images that come pouring in.  For me it's usually a gun to my head, but sometimes a knife, and sometimes someone is murdering me.  I wrote down what I call my suicide defense plan.  It has three parts: family (I have a wonderful son and husband who would be devastated), spiritual--self-murder is the gravest offense to the cosmos, and rules about how to do it, such as, I can't hurt anyone else in the process or involve anyone else in it.  For example, I can't walk on the freeway at night and hope to get run over because that would make someone else guilty. 


I know I won't do it either.  I change the images--the knife becomes a banana, for instance.  or a pickle.  Or I try to shoot myself with a watergun.  Something goofy works for me.  Good luck.  I know these images can be very disturbing and one hates to mention them to the shrink because he might panic and hospitalize us, right?  You have all my sympathies.

maddy, Community Member
5/25/09 12:45pm

Hey, thanks again.

CJfaulkner98, Community Member
9/11/13 2:15am

Hi maddi,


i am having these thoughts now and i gotta tell u that talking to someone hasnt helped, my mum died when i was 5 and my dad has left me, i have no family and no friend and i have been kicked out of my home many times for no reason. im not saying that u should kill urself but im trying to find answers and i need answers cause i cant live like this. i might as well be in prison cause compared to my own life its a luxury. i just need answers to what i can do cause i cant live like this anymore. Help me.


CJ Laidlaw

Dude., Community Member
4/18/14 2:33am

Shit man nobody's replied to you here.  I'm feeling the same way right now... But I've got too much to live for.  I am not capable of doing it. I hope you are doing well and if you are I hope you can reply with a few words of wisdom. Because I'm going through the same thing right now. 

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By maddy, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/18/14, First Published: 05/08/09