Life can be hard to deal with, especially when one bad thing after another seems to happen. People who suffer from severe depression may begin to find life hopeless, leading to thoughts about suicide and the urge to act on those thoughts. If you find yourself wanting to commit suicide, you should immediately seek emergency help. Whether you are currently receiving treatment for your depression or not, there are additional measures you can take right now to fight the urges.
- Give yourself some distance. Promise yourself that you will not act on your urges right now. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours before doing anything,“ or even promise yourself to wait a week. By reading this article, you are reaffirming that, while you feel suicidal, you are not acting on it, and this can be an encouraging feeling.
- Understand that people do get past the feelings, even people who have actually hit rock bottom in their lives. By not acting on the urges, getting professional help and working at getting better, people have improved their lives and gone on to feel happier than ever, and you are more than capable of the same thing.
- Remember that relief is a feeling. Many people consider suicide as a permanent solution because they seek relief from the pain that has built up over time. However, relief is a feeling, and to feel something, you need to be alive. Committing suicide will bring no relief to anybody.
- Understand that suicide does not always work. Every method of suicide has a chance of not achieving the desired result, and many people survive suicide attempts with regret. For example, survivors of the Golden Gate Bridge have reported regretting their suicide attempt in mid-air, and even as early as the moment their feet left the bridge. If you attempt suicide, you may not only live to regret the decision, but you may wind up harming yourself permanently, such as paralyzing yourself in a fall.
- Seek assistance from friends or family. Be aware that whoever you speak to may be unsure how to react, and they may even thoughtlessly say painful things. However, these reactions are exclusively about their own fears of losing you, not anything you have done to them. If you want to speak to someone who is guaranteed not to judge you, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Avoid drugs or alcohol when you feel suicidal. These drugs greatly lower your inhibitions, and you may wind up hurting yourself – something you normally wouldn’t do when sober.
- Seek therapy if you have not already. Suicidal thoughts are a form of trauma, and trauma is something that needs professional assistance to help heal.
- Know that it is not your fault. You cannot help what your brain thinks of, and you most certainly cannot control it when you become depressed enough to consider suicide. Keep in mind that these feelings are usually temporary, but you do need to speak with someone immediately to help you get through it.
How to Get Help if You Are Contemplating Suicide
- Call a suicide hotline at 800-SUICIDE (784-2433) and talk to someone who can help you right now. There are also other hotlines available. Or, look in the community services pages in the front of your local telephone book for the number of your local suicide prevention hotline.
- Call 911 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital if you are thinking of hurting yourself. Tell them you are feeling suicidal and need help.
- Call a friend or family member. Tell him or her how you are feeling and that you need someone to talk to and, if possible, to come over and be with you.
- Call your doctor and tell him or her you need to set up an urgent appointment. If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance, look in your local telephone book in the community service pages under Mental Health and Crisis Intervention and make an appointment.
- Do something that will help you feel better for a little while. For example: take a hot bath, go for a walk, watch TV, rent a funny movie, listen to music, cook a nice meal, sleep, pray, read a good book, surf the net.