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What to Do if You Feel Suicidal

Suicidal feelings can be overwhelming, lying to you and convincing you that you have no reason to go on. Don’t listen to them. Suicide survivors often remark that the first thing they thought upon moving to take their lives was that they wanted to live. Most people find that their thoughts of suicide dissipate with time. In other words, suicide is a very permanent solution to a solvable, temporary problem.

Even if you are convinced that your feelings will never go away, ask yourself this: why do you need to hurt yourself now? Suicide will always be an option, which means there is no harm in waiting until tomorrow or next week. After all, such a permanent solution warrants much thought and contemplation. If you’re feeling suicidal right now and do not know how to cope, here’s what to do.

Find a Distraction

When you’re feeling suicidal, it’s easy to sink so deeply into your feelings that you can feel and think nothing else. Indeed, this sense of being trapped in misery is what convinces many people to take their own lives. Find a way to distract yourself from these fleeting thoughts. Go out for coffee with a friend. Go shopping. Get outside. Do anything that takes your mind off of the immediate misery of now.

Call Someone You Trust

Suicidal thoughts tell us the lie that we are isolated, and that all is hopeless. Don’t listen to this thought. Instead, reach out to someone you trust—a friend who has helped you before, or a family member who you know will not judge you. Avoid contacting people who tend to guilt or shame you, since being judged by a loved one can make you feel worse.

Call a Hotline

If you feel like you have no one to talk to, or you’re nervous about contacting a loved one with your difficult feelings, there is still help. Contact one of Australia’s many suicide hotlines for confidential and private help. You’ll be connected to a caring, trained advocate who can help talk you through what’s troubling you.

Seek Help for the Underlying Problem

People don’t become suicidal for no reason at all. Divorce, a break-up, a death in the family, financial turmoil, and even weight gain can all trigger thoughts of harming yourself. Once your crisis has passed, it’s time to seek help for the underlying problem. Every problem has a solution, even if you cannot yet see it.

Therapy can be extremely helpful in solving a range of problems. Your counsellor will listen to you without judgement, offering you compassion and support. He or she can then work with you to develop a plan to dig you out of whatever problem has brought you to this point. Your therapist will also help you address the underlying problems that led to your thoughts of suicide.

At Three Seas, we work with suicidal people each and every day. Please know that you’re not alone. This feeling is temporary, and can and will go away with the right help. Give that help a chance before you make a decision you cannot take back.