How To Manage Thoughts of Suicide and Get Help & Support
If you have suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help from trained mental health professionals who can help you feel better and manage your suicidal thoughts so that they do not get worse and lead to suicidal behavior or a suicide attempt. Don’t be – and so you can start to feel better.
What are suicidal thoughts?
- Recurring thoughts about death and dying
- Have spent time thinking about ways to die
- Believe that you are not worthy of survival
- I wish you could just stop living
How to handle passive thoughts of suicide?
- Recognize the signs
- Get professional support
- Work on a crisis plan
- Stay connected
- Find positive distractions
- Focus on self-care
Recognize the signs:- For some people, passive suicidal thoughts never become active. But these thoughts can eventually lead to suicide plans or attempts. Paying attention to early signs like hopelessness, feeling trapped, or feeling like a burden on others can indicate it’s time to reach out for help.
Get professional support:- Working with a trained mental health professional is usually the best way to manage suicidal thoughts. A therapist can provide guidance in identifying potential triggers, exploring treatment options, and creating a safety plan.
Work on a crisis plan:- Research shows that a safety plan can go a long way in helping you stay safe in a crisis. Safety plans usually include compiling a list of triggers or early signs of suicidal thoughts, coping tips, and contact information for supportive loved ones or professionals all in one place. A therapist or loved one can help you develop a plan, but you can also use a template to get started on your own.
Stay connected:- Feelings of guilt or being a burden may lead you to avoid loved ones, but staying in touch with people who care about you can make it easier to deal with a mental health crisis. Try reaching out to someone you trust by saying, “I’m going through a hard time. Can you support me?”
Find positive distractions:- Activities you enjoy can help reduce dark or painful thoughts and may even rekindle some feelings of happiness by helping you remember some of the reasons for being alive. Reading a good book can remind you of how excited you are for the next part of the series while taking your dog for a long walk can remind you of their unconditional affection and companionship.
Focus on self-care:- Taking care of your physical needs does not necessarily reduce suicidal thoughts. But you may find it easier to manage them when your physical needs are being met. Try to eat as balanced a diet as possible and stay hydrated, get some physical activity (even stretching or walking around your house), and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
What causes suicidal thoughts?
- Major depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance use disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)