How do I prevent suicidal thoughts?

Some background, some drama

It may not always be easy to prevent suicidal thoughts. There will be days when you feel like life just isn't worth living. Suicidal thoughts can happen when feelings of hopelessness, isolation and despair become too heavy to bear. You might feel so overwhelmed with pain that suicide seems like the only way to release yourself from the burden you've been carrying. The most important thing is that you don't feel guilty or ashamed for having these thoughts and know that you are not alone. Plenty of people have had suicidal thoughts and were then able to prevent having them and to go on to live meaningful life.

Do’s and Don’ts

You should know that there is help available to deal with your feelings. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to help you prevent suicidal thoughts.

Do’s

  • Know that you can get through this. Your life won't be amazing overnight but things can get better.
  • Ask for help immediately.
  • If you feel that you are in danger of harming yourself call your doctor or check yourself into the Emergency as soon as you can.
  • Delay your plan. Just putting off negative thoughts will give you time to turn to someone for help, find a distraction or to start seeing the world in a better light.
  • Think of all the things you have yet to do and all the people who love you and will sorely miss you.
  • Take care of yourself; eat healthy, sleep well and relax.
  • Immediately call a suicide helpline.
  • Seek professional help immediately. Suicidal thoughts can feel overwhelming, and there’s no reason to fight them alone.
  • Call a trusted friend or loved one. Your risk of suicide is increased if you’re alone with suicidal thoughts.
  • Wait for help. If you’ve called emergency services or a friend to come over, focus on keeping yourself safe while you’re on your own.
  • Take deep, calming breaths and repeat some positive statements to yourself.
  • Write a safety plan. A safety plan is a written plan for when you experience suicidal thoughts.
  • Make your home safer. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or are worried that you will, take opportunities to harm yourself away.
  • Seek professional help who can help you deal with what’s causing your suicidal thoughts.
  • Build a strong support network to help you cope with your thoughts.

Dont’s

  • Don't feel guilty or ashamed of your thoughts. If you dwell on your guilt and shame, you'll actually be feeling those feelings for longer.
  • Don’t use drugs and alcohol. It will cloud your thinking.
  • Don’t stay by yourself. Solitude does not help suicidal thoughts; in fact, it can worsen them to a great extent.
  • Don’t do things that make you feel sad, hopeless or stressed.
  • Don’t blame yourself if you experience suicidal thoughts. Instead, seek counselling to help preserve your sense of self.
  • Don’t bottle up feelings or keep them to yourself. Call someone you love and trust and share your thoughts with him or her.

Last words

Always remember this, you're loved. Your family loves you. Friends love you. The loss of you, already unbearable by a huge group of people, if you cause your own loss could lead to ruining others’ lives. No one may be able to recover. Someone may even start having suicidal thoughts because of inability to deal with your absence in life. You fill lots of people's lives, and never, ever try to end this on your own. It may be a rocky road, but it will be easier if you clear your mind from suicide and instead focus on fulfilling every moment until it really, naturally ends. Nobody deserves any kind of suicide.

Sources and citations