Coping with Suicidal Thoughts

If you struggle with suicidal thoughts …

1. Commit to not doing anything for this moment – Despite the fact that the pain is overwhelming, choose to put some distance between your thoughts and your actions. Tell yourself: “I am going to wait for 24 hours. During that time, I will commit to not doing anything I might later regret.”

Your thoughts can stay as thoughts. You don’t have to act them out.

2. Stay away from alcohol and drugs (including non-prescription drugs) – Suicidal thoughts can be intensified if you are using drugs or alcohol. They can increase your feelings of despair and hopelessness. They can also cloud your judgment and ability to think. Don’t risk it.

3. Plan ahead and make your home safe – Think about, and remove any items you feel you could potentially use to harm yourself (knives, razors, bottles of pills etc,) If it isn’t possible to remove these from your home, put them in a place that is hard to access.

If you think you might overdose on important prescription medication, ask someone you trust to give them to you one day at a time.

4. Keep holding on to hope – People who struggle with suicidal thought DO find the courage and the strength they need to get through the hardest, and darkest, times. The chances are you, too, can push through these feelings and find the will to live, no matter how desperate things feel, or how hopeless things look, or how lonely you are, or how much you hate yourself right now.

Please believe it is worth hanging on. Others have made it, and you can, too.  

5. Don’t fight this battle alone – Don’t keep your suicidal feelings to yourself. Lots of us have gone through times like this. People won’t think you’re crazy. There are really are people out there who can help you, and who will want to help you. The first step to coping with these thoughts and feelings is to share them with someone you think you can trust. Perhaps a close friend, a counsellor or therapist, or someone you can reach on a distress helpline. Give it a chance. Give it a try. Tell someone how absolutely awful you feel. Don’t allow fear, shame, or embarrassment stop you from getting the help you deserve.