Let's get one thing clear before anyone starts to get the wrong impression.
I have a mental illness. I have been suicidal. I was certainly not well during those times. Sitting in your closet with your hands over your ears and repeating 'make it stop' while you cry uncontrollably is not something that a helathy person does.
There is no doubt that many people who have suidical thoughts are suffering from a mental illness. The fact that mental illness is not a pre-requisite for suicide is not an excuse or reason to deny or ignore the fact that you or someone else may be ill.
I can say now that I was depressed and suicidal. If you had asked me at the time though, I would have denied both. I would likely have said that I was just tired; not sleeping well, a common problem of mine. I would have denied it not out of shame or to avoid talking about it or to avoid getting help. I wouldn't have even been lying, in my mind.
I wasn't thiking of killing myself. I didn't want to die. I hurt, and I wanted the hurt to stop. It's like having a horrific case of the flu; that moment when you are exhaused and hungry and nausrous and achy and hot and cold and you just want it to be done with. You want to fall asleep and wake up all better. Only you know that you can't just go to sleep and wake up without the hurt because it's been there for too long. You've tried that.
Instead there's this urge. These thoughts that come from no where. They're certainly not your thoughts. They're forced on you. They come and go as they please. Some days your ability to control your urges is low and the urges are extra strong.
It's terrifying. To realize that you're not totally in control of your thoughts. To realize that you may not be able to resist the next prodding. It's like your mind is holding a gun to itself saying: one more drink; take the samn bottle of pills; get the gun out of the closet; jump.
I didn't want to die; I just didn't want to keep living my life.