Have you been thinking about suicide? You may have found yourself wishing that you were dead, or perhaps that your friends and family would be better off if you were. You may have even considered how you would kill yourself.
Sometimes thoughts like these can be triggered as a response to feeling that you don’t have any control over your life, or that things will never improve.
You may feel terribly alone at the moment, but it is important to know that other people have been in similar situations and had similar feelings to those you’re having now. Other people have also felt like ending their lives, and will have had similar thoughts to your own.
The following are some examples of things that you may find helpful when you’re feeling distressed or overwhelmed and thinking about hurting or killing yourself. It may be useful to experiment with some of these suggestions, and make a note of the ones you find helpful so you can look back over them if you need to.
Activities that you may find helpful in distracting you from the way you’re feeling and relieve some of your distress might include:
It is easy to neglect your physical health when you’re feeling distressed or suicidal, but paying attention to your diet, getting regular sleep, maintaining a daily routine and keeping active can help you to feel more able to manage things.
It can be helpful to educate yourself about other coping strategies, such as relaxation techniques. There are various techniques that can help to reduce feelings of distress. There are a range of books or reputable websites available where you can learn more about these, but here are some examples to get you started.
Find a comfortable position. Focus on something in the room or close your eyes. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold the breath for a few counts, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Hold your breath again for a few counts, and then repeat the process until you feel a little calmer.
Instead of trying to stop your distressing feelings or thoughts, try simply recognising and accepting them without judgement. Remember that you experience a whole range of thoughts and feelings apart from the ones you’re dealing with at the moment. Remind yourself that feelings and thoughts are temporary and will pass.
Lying down or reclining in a chair, begin by breathing slowly. Starting with your feet and working your way up your body, tense each group of muscles for 10 seconds, then release them for 15 seconds.
Another important step in coping with suicidal feelings is to develop a suicide safety plan.
This tipsheet is available as a downloadable PDF.