If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.
How do people get to the point where they think suicide is an option?
For many people, in addition to their hardships and mental health challenges, their thoughts are overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. This can paralyze a person, making it challenging to function or think rationally.
If you’ve ever felt like this—if you’ve ever felt like suicide is an option—keep in mind that, regardless of your situation, everything changes over time. You may feel like you can’t take it any longer, but the pain you feel won’t last forever. Even if you feel like your future is hopeless, no one can predict the future, and things can improve.
Suicide is not the answer. If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, here’s what you should do.
Go to The Hospital Immediately if it’s More than Just Thoughts
If you have a plan in place for a suicide, or you’ve acquired the means to complete a suicide, you must call 911 immediately. Or reach out to a loved one and tell them what’s going on—they will likely intervene and bring you to the hospital. You can also call your therapist or psychiatrist, if you have one, and they will help you. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
If your life is not in immediate danger, the first step is to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. Suicidal ideation is serious and should not be ignored—it requires proper care. Your loved ones, friends, relatives, priests, etc. are all potential sources of help, but they cannot and should not replace professional help. Regardless of your situation, it is essential to ask for help when you need it.
Focus on the Facts of Your Situation and Not Your Thoughts
When people are depressed, they often can only “hear” their fearful, negative thoughts. This will only make you feel worse. Your fearful thoughts are exaggerated and not based in reality.
When you’re depressed or anxious, focus on the facts of your current situation and not on your fearful and suicidal thoughts. When going through a difficult time, you will tend to think of negative things which might be related to suicide. When this happens remind yourself that your thoughts may exaggerate your current situation. During these cases its best to talk to your counselor who can give you advice on how to reduce symptoms and handle your difficult emotions.
Remember That No Situation is Hopeless
You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. Even if things look bleak, there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to help overcome your current situation. Remember that all you can do is try your best each day—for yourself. Show self-compassion for the challenges you face and remember that patience, persistence, education, and committment will go along way in improving your mental health. Most importantly, get help right away when you feel that suicide is your only option.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non-Resistant Methods.” Stan’s managing fear book has become very popular with over 400 positive book reviews and counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan’s popular book by going to Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/
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