Suicide is a public health issue, not a criminal or cowardly act.
Talking about suicide reduces the risk, and we all must join hands to remove the taboo around discussing suicide prevention. Talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can save your life.
September is World Suicide Prevention Month.
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
People with thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone inquires about them in a caring way, as research finds. Study findings suggest acknowledging and discussing suicide may decrease rather than increase suicidal ideation.
When talking about someone’s suicide, do not refer to it as “successful,” “unsuccessful,” or a “failed attempt,” but use “died by suicide,” “completed suicide,” or “killed him/herself.” Most people who die by suicide exhibit warning signs, so refrain from describing an act of suicide as “inexplicable” or “without warning.”
The Lifeline for Attempt Survivors is for those who have attempted suicide and their loved ones. The website has stories from survivors who have made it through their darkest hours.
Suicidal thoughts are symptoms of underlying mental health issues, much like the symptoms of any physical health problem. They can be treated so they improve over time. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Call Suicide Helpline or a healthcare professional to talk about what you are thinking or feeling. Reach out.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, USA: 1-800-273-8255 and 988
- Suicidal Helpline, India (AASRA): 91-9820466726 and 022-27546669
- Samaritans, United Kingdom: 116-123
5 Ways To Overcome Suicidal Thoughts
All suicidal thoughts (clinically termed “suicidal ideation”) must be dealt with seriously. If you think you can’t overcome them on your own, contact a doctor or hospital immediately, or call a crisis helpline. If you come across a friend or relative who you think might be suicidal, help them get in contact with a healthcare professional.
Suicidal thoughts are never sudden. They tend to occur following a series of depressing events leading to a person losing their hope and optimism in life.
One vital thing to always keep in mind, having suicidal thoughts is not being weak, or flawed, or insane. Some of our finest and strongest have lived through these dark and hopeless situations.
Suicidal ideas may appear as passing thoughts, frequent fantasies, or strong urges. These are ominous signs of underlying mental illness. Sometimes, suicidal thoughts can also be the fallout of abuse, torture, or online trolling.
This is a helpful page for those having suicidal thoughts: 100 Ways to Get Through the Next 5 Minutes.
If you are having thoughts and ideas of self-harm, here are five effective ways to deal with suicidal thoughts:
1. Give Yourself Positive Affirmations
This is one of the toughest things to do in depression. But if you are determined to overcome suicidal thoughts when in depression, you can give yourself positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations are statements of coping that you make to yourself.
The secret is to keep repeating them to yourself, silently, audibly, visually. Keep playing these positive affirmations in a loop in your mind. One example:
I am creating the support I need to stay alive, one day at a time.
When negative, self-harming thoughts come to mind, positive affirmations can help you go through a rough day, make you feel better about yourself, and nudge you to ask for help.
As an example, you could tell yourself:
That’s my depression talking, not me. I’m under a chemical imbalance in my brain that is distorting my reality. I actually don’t want to die. I only want to end my suffering. For that, I need to stay strong to go out and seek help.
Whatever is troubling you and making you feel sad, try to consciously replace your thoughts about it. Instead, talk to yourself in a positive way about yourself. It may appear difficult at first, but with experience, you will learn how to talk yourself out of self-deprecating thoughts and ideas.
I don’t need to die. I just need to persist and be strong long enough, and I’ll get through this.
Whenever suicidal thoughts begin to clutter your mind, tell yourself you are strong enough to face and overcome them. Remind yourself that life is lovely and you are lovable. Assure yourself of your mental strength. Build a wall of hope around you to protect yourself while also allowing you to reach out to others whenever you feel the need to.
This is just a temporary crisis. If I let my inner strength take control, I will successfully row myself out of these harming thoughts. Row, row, row your boat!
2. Reach Out And Talk To Someone
The pain of depression can be treated. The best way to overcome depression or suicidal thoughts is to talk about them. Express it to someone you are comfortable with.
Reach out and talk to someone you feel will understand you and listen to you patiently.
In case you feel lost and lonely while having suicidal thoughts, contact a psychological counselor. You may also call the suicide prevention helpline in your country to help you in these dire situations of your life.
People suffering from depression often end up making their problems insuperably big by overthinking. So they end up feeling it can no longer be dealt with by anyone, or suicide is the only answer.
Remember, such thoughts are happening only because you are unwell. Your self-harm thoughts are your depression showing its symptoms, like any other disease.
Reach out to someone. You don’t have to do it alone.
Reach out to the person who will listen to you and not leave you alone in your crisis. Get help from a trained professional as soon as you can.
If you reach out to the right counselor or doctor at the right time, you can overcome your suicidal thoughts quickly. Even though suicidal thoughts might seem unbeatable and incurable, they can be resolved with treatment if consulted.
3. Stay Away From Negative People
Strictly avoid anyone who triggers or aggravates your condition. Anyone who talks negatively or brings you down, make a conscious choice to stay away from them. People are prone to have more suicidal thoughts if they are not surrounded by the right people.
Stay off those who bring you down, abuse you, torture you, or troll you.
Get to know yourself better, but in the meantime, stay away from people who belittle you and criticize your actions, behavior, appearance, or achievements. Instead, reach out to people who understand your vulnerability and welcome you into a safe environment.
4. Avoid Alcohol, Drugs, Weapons
If you are aware of your condition, make sure you keep away all the lethal weapons or medicines that may cause you harm. The aim is to overcome your self-destructive thoughts without getting hurt, so promise yourself regularly to not do something that may be life-threatening.
Avoid alcohol and all kinds of drugs at all costs. Using these will render your brain more inefficient at thinking logically. As a result, you would jeopardize your safety.
Keep your home safe for yourself.
Suicide attempts are not always successful. There have been times where people end up in worse situations than they might not have even dreamt of.
5. Take Proper Medications
Suicidal thoughts are almost always symptoms of an underlying illness. You need to be on proper prescription medicines if you are harboring suicidal thoughts.
Follow the medication regimen prescribed by your doctor. Feel free to ask them for advice when in doubt.
Do not stop your medications unless asked by your doctor. Also, talk to your doctor in case you are feeling uneasy with the medications or not getting the expected results.
Getting the better of your depression is not just your fight with yourself, so don’t go alone. Seek the help of friends, relatives, and specialists at the first signs of you finding it unable to overcome them on your own.
One simple way to keep away from your toxic thoughts is to keep yourself busy doing what you love to do. You could take up a hobby such as playing a musical instrument, singing, writing, dancing, or enrolling in some learning classes to keep your brain occupied.
Keeping yourself occupied with a challenging but engaging activity might shift your focus to a thing that can relax you whenever you want. In time, your destructive thoughts will become less severe and less frequent.
All of us can help prevent suicide. Every September, mental health organizations and individuals around the world intensify their efforts to raise awareness of suicide prevention. September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
Finally, let us reiterate that any information in this post is no substitute for professional medical advice. The National Suicide Prevention Helpline can be found here https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and 1-800-273-8255.
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Research shows depression can be fought back effectively with mindfulness.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes popular science articles on happiness, positive psychology, and related topics.
• Our story: Happiness Project
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