Thinking About Suicide?
Sometimes, you may feel hopeless. This may lead to thoughts of suicide. If life doesn't seem worth living anymore, it may seem like relief only exists through suicide. It's hard to believe at times, but there are other options. This article walks you through how to stay safe, get through a crisis, and find treatment.
TRY TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS
- Depression and hopelessness can distort your perceptions and reduce your ability to make good decisions
- Suicidal feelings are the result of treatable problems
- There are options other than suicide, even if you don't consider them in this moment
This isn't something that happens overnight, but little by little, the sense of hopelessness - and thoughts of suicide - will start to lift like a heavy fog.
IF YOU NEED HELP ASAP
If you're thinking about hurting yourself or ending your life, get help NOW by doing any of the following:
- Call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to speak with a trained crisis counselor - available 24/7, nationwide. Learn more about 988 here.
- Call 911
- Seek help from your doctor, health care provider, or mental health specialist
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community
HOW TO COPE
Managing suicidal thoughts or behaviors on your own can be a difficult task, but you don't have to navigate this alone. Professional assistance and support can help you. These professionals can help you develop coping strategies that are tailed specifically to you. Talk about coping strategies with people who know you well, like close friends or family members who you feel comfortable with.
Sometimes, you will be advised to things that you don't like doing or don't want to do, like talking to friends when you'd rather stay home by yourself. Don't worry. These things will get easier the more you do them.
MAKE A PLAN FOR MOVING FORWARD
Make an action plan with a mental health professional that you can refer to when you're considering suicide or having a difficult time. Spot the triggers as early as possible, and put the plan into action.
This could be a checklist such as:
- Create your support system - Add the contact information of 3 people that you would like to talk to when you are having thoughts of suicide.
- Build your safety plan - Customize your safety plan by identifying your personal warning signs, coping strategies, distractions, and personal networks. This safety plan will stay with you at all times and can help you stay safe when you start thinking about suicide.
- Access important resources - Whether you're a veteran, seeking support from your local community, or just want to learn more about suicide prevention, pick the resources that best support you and keep them on hand.
- Get support at times of greatest risk - When you're having thoughts of suicide and it feels like there's no hope in sight, find support at your fingertips at any time of the day.
- Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - A trained crisis counselor from a crisis center near you can be reached 24/7. Anyone can call, whether you're concerned for yourself or for someone else. If you need someone to talk to, 988 is always ready to answer your call.
Even if the immediate crisis passes, it's always a good idea to still talk to someone. Getting treatment for suicidal thoughts and feelings will help you avoid having to continually operate in crisis mode.
LOOK BEYOND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
Hopelessness can be the side effect of a difficult situation, past traumas, or illness, and it can be treated. Sometimes it's so overpowering that it leads you to believe that suicide is the only option. This is never the case.
- Recognize that these feelings are only temporary and that with the right treatment, you can get better. Asking others for support can provide hope and help you see other options available to you.
- Make a list of the reasons you have to live. Maybe it's your pets, your kids, a favorite family member, a loved one, a hobby, or something else home or work related. It doesn't matter what the list includes, but finding a sense of purpose in your life does.
By recognizing that life is worth living and finding the right people to help you build your support system, you can learn to manage these thoughts and create a happier life for yourself.