Are you having suicidal thoughts?
With everything that has happened and everything that you have been through it is possible that the feelings and thoughts about this are so overwhelming that you feel totally helpless and without hope. The pain that you have experienced and feel seems to continue without let up and you might feel that you are out of ideas on what to do next. It may feel as though you are out of choices and there is only one option left – suicide.
Suicide is the most extreme course of action that you will take and you need to establish first of all one important question: Is the situation such that you actually want to die or is it that you want an end to the way you are feeling now?
Often it is the case that when we feel such despair we are desperate to stop feeling the pain and anxiety that we are but as with everything else that changes so will feelings.
Being in mental, emotional and physical pain will also mean that our thinking becomes distorted but another thing to remember is that just because we think things it does not necessarily mean that the thoughts are true. Thoughts affect the way we feel and then the way we react so if the thoughts are distorted then its possible that our emotional response will be and then the way that we respond.
There is clearly an imbalance between the intensity of the feelings of pain versus the coping tools and resources that you have to hand. So here are some ideas of things that you can do to bring some perspective to these moments and help you weather those darker times.
As always, make sure that when these thoughts about suicide come into your head that you take the time to breath – stop, think only of your breath, drop your shoulders and breath slowly in through the nose and out of the mouth making sure that your stomach rises on the in breath. This will mean that more oxygen gets to your brain and helps combat the stress hormones that can work towards that crooked thinking.
Distorted thinking can even make us view our immediate space in the world through crooked glasses so focusing on where you are at using your senses is a good way of grounding – look at what is around you, what do you see. Listen to the sounds. Notice smells. What can you taste if anything. Touch the walls or the floor or anything around you and observe how it feels to connect with that object – is it cold, warm, soft, prickly etc.
Commit to not making any decisions for the next hour or the next day and giving that time over to doing everything that you can to avoid taking your life using all the tools and resources at your disposal.
Get in touch with someone that you trust – a friend or counsellor or anyone who is there.. Even if you cannot talk to someone right now and if it is safe to do so, go and be with other people.
Find something to do that takes your focus off your suicidal thoughts and put all your thinking energy into this activity. You might like to think about some of the following examples:
- Household chores (only light ones)
- Relaxation CD
- Paint or draw how you feel
- Visit someone
- Offer to help someone else
- Put on some loud music and dance in your room
Tell yourself about alternative ways of thinking that might help:-
“I’ve managed to cope for an hour/day so I could try another hour/day”.
“I have felt this before, but it passes”.
“I have people I can contact and I know where I can get help”.
“When I feel this I know that my thinking is a bit crooked so I need to wait until I feel clearer”.
“Thoughts might not always be real, it could be that they are dark thoughts because I am feeling so depressed”.
“I don’t have to act on thoughts”.