For Immediate Help
- call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line)
- text HOME to 741-741 to reach Crisis Text Line
- text 838-255 to text Veterans Crisis Line
- visit any nearby hospital
Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts
Suicide has become a major issue in our world today. Because of the increasing depression and other mental illnesses, suicide has become a more significant issue for many people, especially today’s youth.
Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts. They don’t always mean that you are weak or failing as a person, so there is no shame in admitting that thoughts of suicide cross your mind. More often than not, people, who experience having suicidal thoughts do not know what to do when they occur. Do they immediately seek out professional help? Do they ignore it? Do they need to talk to someone about it if it only happened once?
More often than not, going to a psychiatrist is the best thing to do. Professional help can often assess what needs to be done in a situation – if counseling is enough or medications that may help you.
Active vs. Passive Suicidal Thoughts
Active suicidal thoughts are more serious. More often than not, people with these thoughts already plan out a specific date and time to do it, how to commit suicide, and other details regarding their death.
Passive suicidal thoughts, on the other hand, are less specific. More often than not, these are thoughts wishing you were dead or situations in which you could or would prefer to die. Frequent thoughts of death, even if you have no plans of killing yourself, are also part of these categories.
What to do?
Usually, professional help is the best thing to do. But aside from that, here are other things that you may do aside from getting help. (Remember that these are complementary and should be done together with not in place of professional help)
1. Connect with Others
Trusted friends and family can often give you emotional support and help you feel safe when your thoughts may be too much. If you’re unsure where to go, calling up a psychiatrist or a crisis counselor will often offer guidance on what to do and what you feel. A grief and life transformation coach could also help you manage grief and passive suicidal thoughts long-term. If you would like to speak to someone on the phone anonymously and immediately, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
When talking to someone, avoid making vague comments such as “I’m done” or “I can’t take it anymore,” letting other people know what exactly your struggling with can help them help you with the specific causes of suicidal thoughts.
2. Surround Yourself with Others
Going to a friend’s house to avoid being alone will prevent you from putting your thoughts into action. However, if you have nowhere to go, a public place that may calm you down, like a mall, park, skating rink, or a library, could also be a good backup option.
However, avoid going to places that make you feel unsafe, or that could worsen your suicidal thoughts. For example, if you know that going back to an abusive partner can worsen thoughts on suicide, going to a public place would be better. Avoid bars or places that sell alcohol as well.
3. Get Rid of Weapons
Put away any weapons that can be used to harm yourself, such as guns, knives, and matches. However, this does not end with those alone. Ensure to throw away pills (that you do not need or those you could overdose from) and cleaning materials that you could ingest.
It is better to give items to a trusted friend or lock them in a cabinet or storage room in your house for items that cannot be thrown away. Remember that if you opt to lock something, you should keep the key separate or in a faraway place.
4. Discard alcohol (and drugs)
Alcohol and drugs do not make you forget your suicidal thoughts; it does the opposite and makes the suicidal thoughts stronger. Avoid non-prescription drugs and alcoholic substances at all costs.
5. Relaxing activities
Doing something that relaxes you often helps you relax. Eating your favorite food, listening to music, and looking at other people’s photos are everyday relaxing activities to help you feel calm and distract yourself from suicidal thoughts. However, your other hobbies or coping mechanisms can also be employed in these circumstances. To illustrate, some go skating or skateboarding to calm themselves, some start a new painting or go outside and take photos.