Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library PTSD and Suicide Thoughts

PTSD and Suicide Thoughts

Topic Overview

With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your symptoms can be overwhelming. You may be thinking about harming yourself, or even thinking about suicide.

Sometimes people with PTSD also have depression, panic attacks, severe anxiety, or a substance use problem. This may put you at a higher risk for suicide.

You may think that ending your life is the only solution. If you feel this way, you're not alone. Many people with PTSD have thoughts about suicide. PTSD symptoms, such as having stressful memories of your trauma, may put you at a higher risk.footnote 1

Other things that can increase your risk for suicide include:footnote 1

  • Being male.
  • Not having social support.
  • Having a family history of suicide.
  • Owning guns.

If you have thoughts about suicide, there are ways you can get help. Talking to someone can help you see that there are other solutions. Tell a doctor, clergy member, friend, or family member how you feel, and talk to your doctor about counseling or medicines that can help you. Getting treatment right away can help prevent suicide.

Warning signs include:

  • Planning to hurt yourself or someone else.
  • Talking or thinking a lot about killing yourself.
  • Having a weapon that could be used for killing yourself.
  • Taking a lot of drugs or alcohol.
  • Feeling like you're not in control of your thoughts.
  • Spending a lot of time alone.
  • Giving away your possessions.
  • Writing or drawing about death or suicide.
  • Hearing voices that tell you to harm yourself.

If you think your spouse or a loved one is at risk for suicide:

  • Learn the warning signs listed above. Take these signs seriously.
  • Talk to your loved one as openly as possible. Ask questions and listen. Be supportive and caring.
  • Find out if he or she has a specific plan about suicide.
  • Remove things that could be used for suicide, such as a gun or knife.

If you have warning signs of suicide, go to the hospital, call 911 , or call a suicide hotline (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255) now.

If your loved one is planning to attempt suicide, call a suicide hotline or 911 , or take your loved one to the hospital. Try to get him or her to agree not to attempt suicide.

For more information, see the topic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

References

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2012). Suicide and PTSD. A National Center for PTSD fact sheet. Available online: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/ptsd-suicide.asp.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details