If you’re thinking about ending your life, you must be having a really tough time right now. Suicidal thoughts are overwhelming and scary. There are various reasons why people experience these types of feelings. They might feel like their life is too difficult or they might be struggling with an area of their life and feel like there’s no way out.
If you have been having thoughts of ending your life, it’s important to know that there is support available to help you.
What Makes Someone Have Suicidal Thoughts?
Sometimes, if someone is exposed to a ‘risk factor’, they can be more likely to develop suicidal thoughts. These might be:
- Mental health condition, like depression or schizophrenia
- Someone close to them passing away or leaving their life
- A difficult life event, like abuse
- Misusing alcohol or drugs
- A physical health condition or disability
- Challenges in their life, such as trouble at school
But it’s not always easy for someone who is having suicidal thoughts to know why they feel that way. You might feel angry at yourself or feel useless or a burden to those around you. This is why suicidal feelings are confusing and worrying. But you deserve help, no matter what. And there are several options to help you when you’re having a difficult time.
How Can I Get Help?
The first thing to remember is that if you feel like you might hurt yourself and need immediate care, call 999 straight away. If you can find a friend or family member to take you to A&E, ask them as soon as you can.
Tell Your Doctor
You can speak to your doctor who can offer advice and support. Your doctor will be able to put you in contact with services like counsellors or help you decide if medication is a good option for you. It can be awkward to tell your doctor about how you’re feeling. But they have a lot of experience in helping people feeling this way and they want to help.
Call a Helpline
There are helplines you can call or text to get support for suicidal feelings. The Samaritans, PAPYRUS and The Mix are all available to young people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide. Suicidal feelings are overwhelming and can leave you feeling exhausted. So, it’s important to take care of yourself and speak to someone trained to listen to how you’re feeling. They have a lot of experience in helping people feeling this way so they will be able to support you and give advice.
Let People Around You Know What’s Going On
Your family and friends are also there to help you. Find someone you trust, like a friend, a family member or even a teacher, who you can talk to about how you’re feeling. They might be able to calm you down or suggest ways to help you deal with what’s bothering you. It’s sometimes easier for other people to see a solution to a problem, especially when they know you well.
If talking to a friend or relative isn’t an option or you feel uncomfortable, you can talk to a professional instead. Talking to someone who can listen to your worries and offer advice can be helpful for some people. Talking treatments are a way of chatting about your worries and finding ways to deal with them in a safer way.
Counselling is an example of a talking treatment that can help you with suicidal feelings. You can see a counsellor for a few weeks or long-term, depending on what you need. Most people see their counsellor once a week to chat about what’s going on in their life and what’s bothering them. It can be useful to get things off your chest in a safe and confidential space.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a different type of therapy that helps you find ways to deal with negative thoughts. A CBT therapist can help you think differently and show you ways to replace suicidal thoughts with helpful ones.
Keep Yourself Safe
When these types of thoughts are strong, it might feel like you have to act on them immediately. But it’s really important to remind yourself that these feelings will pass. A lot of people have said that putting off their decision to end their life, they have been able to get the help they need. There are things you can do to distract yourself when you feel down:
- Watch a film
- Go for a walk or a run
- Read a book
- Listen to some music
- Call a friend for a chat
It’s also important to keep your location safe. Get rid of anything that you’ve been thinking of using to hurt yourself. And avoid going to places where you have thought about ending your life.
It’s also a good idea to avoid drugs or alcohol, as these can make you feel worse and blur your thoughts. Sometimes, people use drugs or alcohol as a way of avoiding their problems. But it can make it difficult to make clear decisions and can actually make negative thoughts more likely. So, it’s best to avoid it.
Suicidal feelings often take a while to develop. So, it’s just as likely that it will take a while for them to go away. But even if it feels like things aren’t going to get better, remember that the way you are feeling about things will change with time. Often people don’t want to die, they just want the difficult feelings to end . With help and support from the people around you, you can find a way out of upsetting thought patterns and feel better in time.