How to Help Yourself When You’re Feeling Suicidal but Don’t Want to Die
Having suicidal thoughts doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll attempt suicide. Sometimes you might not want to live but don’t want to die either. However, feeling hopeless isn’t pleasant and might make you more likely to withdraw and engage in self-destructive behaviours. Here’s how you can help yourself cope when you’re feeling suicidal:
Come up with a safety plan
A safety plan is a set of sources of support that you can rely on whenever you’re feeling suicidal. You can think of coping strategies that helped you in the past such as making your environment safe by removing anything you can harm yourself with, reaching out to someone you trust or engaging in self-care. It’s also a good idea to write down the warning signs that allow you to help yourself a bit sooner next time.
The purpose of distracting yourself is to keep yourself safe from acting on suicidal thoughts but also to slightly lift your mood. For example, you can remind yourself that you don’t want to die and think of things that might be worth living for, such as your family, friends, favourite TV series or your pets, as well as try to engage in relaxing activities.
Seek social support
When you’re feeling suicidal, it’s easy to feel like nobody cares but it isn’t true. Confiding in a friend can make you feel supported and understood and help you get through the difficult emotions. A good idea is to also find support groups on social media, where you can connect with other people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. Knowing that someone else understands your pain might make you feel less alone and hearing success stories about overcoming suicidal ideation can help you see the light in the tunnel.
Use support services
A lot of people are reluctant to use suicide helplines to avoid judgement or feeling like a burden, even though the purpose of these services is to receive compassionate support. Samaritans is a support line available 24 hours to anyone who is struggling. If you don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone, you can always use the Shout service that allows you to communicate via text messages.
Remember that the feelings are temporary
It’s difficult to see it this way but your pain will pass and one day these kinds of thoughts will be just a memory. Remind yourself that you won’t always feel this way and that it’s worth looking into solutions and focussing on coping skills.
If you’re feeling suicidal, you might benefit from professional help. Contact My Family Psychologist to discuss treatment options