Suicidal thoughts come quick for me. Even though my medications are working most of the time, intermittent suicidal thoughts are possible. If I feel that my medications are at fault, then I know I need to see my psychiatrist ASAP. Recognize that the suicidal thoughts are merely a symptom of the illness due to the chemical imbalance. Yes, it is a difficult symptom, but help is available.
While I am coping with the suicidal thoughts, I prefer to do things with my hands. I'm a believer in art therapy, even if it only serves to get the person out of their head for awhile. Using our hands seems to force the focus away from distressing thoughts.
Some people are reluctant to draw, but any creative activity works well. Scrapbooking, painting, making jewelry, and even cooking by creating a new recipe or twist to an old recipe are excellent creative activities.
If the depression is making it too difficult to focus on a creative activity, I force myself to sit and watch a funny movie from beginning to end. I know it sounds simplistic, but there was a difficult time in my life that I practically lived on Robin Williams movies. Even if there was only fifteen or twenty minutes out of the movie during which I would forget my suicidal thoughts, it helped me through it.
After living with bipolar disorder for nearly twenty years, I know my limits. I know when I need to concede that hospitalization is necessary. If the suicidal thoughts are too strong, the person should definitely call their case manager, Crisis Intervention, or whatever emergency mental health hotline is used for their area.