Suicide Prevention: How To Overcome Suicidal Thoughts

May 19, 2020 7 min read

Almost all of us get suicidal thoughts at some point in our lives. Even though these moments of unbearable pain and suffering appear overwhelming and hard to skip over, always keep in mind that there is a solution for every crisis

Having such suicidal thoughts does not mean that you are weak, crazy, or flawed. Keep in mind that it is only the hopelessness of the moment that drives you into having these thoughts. But, when you have a clear, calm head, you will be able to process things with a different, positive perspective.

If you are getting the feeling that life is not worth living or that the only way to find relief is through suicide, then take a step back and think. Keep in mind that some of the finest, most admired, needed, and talented people had gone through similar situations. They had gathered courage and looked beyond suicide. You too can separate your emotions from your actions and make good decisions.

Try out some of these simple coping strategies to help you avoid suicidal thoughts.

Reach Out For Help

Managing your suicidal thoughts and behavior on your own may not always work out as intended. During such times, it’s okay to reach out for help by taking any one of these actions:

  1. Call suicide hotline number. (In United States- 800-273-TALK, or 800-273-8255)
  2. Call a trained counselor or a mental health specialist.
  3. Talk to your close friend or loved one about your thoughts.
  4. Contact a priest, spiritual leader, or someone from your faith community.

Don’t get the idea that talking about suicidal thoughts will increase it. Studies show that acknowledging and expressing your suicidal thoughts and emotions can actually reduce it [1] ✅ Trusted Source Dazzi, T., Gribble, R., Wessely, S., & Fear, N. T. (2014). Does asking about suicide and related behaviours induce suicidal ideation? What is the evidence?. Psychological Medicine, 44(16), 3361-3363. Open Reference

Understand Your Emotions

There is nothing more healing than understanding oneself. Your emotions reflect your inner conflicts. However, they are not permanent. What you feel today is not what you feel tomorrow or next week.

Understanding your emotions more will help you recognize some of the warning signs of suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health [2] ✅ Trusted Source Suicide Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml Open Reference , they are as follows:

  1. Recurring thoughts about death or suicide
  2. Feeling hopeless
  3. Staying away from family and friends
  4. Extreme mood swings
  5. Feeling like a burden
  6. Giving away possessions
  7. Losing interest in activities

Write Down Your Thoughts and Feelings

If you are one of those people who finds it hard to open up to people, then there is always the option of writing down how you feel. Keeping a personal journal about your thoughts and emotions- no matter how small they are- can help you value and appreciate even the little things in life. You can re-evaluate yourself from time to time.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Although alcohol and drugs give temporary relief to suicidal ideation, they actually have the power to devastate a person. They can harm your relationship, profession, health, and pushes you further into suicidal behavior.

Research shows that people with alcoholism are 120 times more likely to commit suicide than normal people. It is estimated that in about every 20 seconds one alcoholic commits suicide and more than 29% of suicide victims in America have alcohol in their system [3] ✅ Trusted Source Ohberg, A., Vuori, E., Ojanperä, I., & Lonnqvist, J. (1996). Alcohol and drugs in suicides. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 169(1), 75-80. Open Reference .

Set up a Safety Plan

Negative emotions are known to channel suicidal thoughts. But, how can you keep yourself away from these emotions? A simple way to do this by setting up any of these safety plans to help you look beyond the thoughts of suicide.

  1. Make a list of positive things about yourself and read through it whenever you feel down.
  2. Distract yourself by watching a film or comedy, reading a book, or listening to your favorite songs.
  3. Engage in activities or hobbies that can help you cultivate positive thoughts.
  4. Go to a place where you feel calm and happy. It can be your parents’ house, a church, or maybe even the bench on the far end of the park.
  5. Make a list of people and their phone numbers for you to call in case of a mental breakdown.
Cite this article as: Winona Silverman, "Suicide Prevention: How To Overcome Suicidal Thoughts," in Guide My Mind, May 19, 2020, https://guidemymind.com/2020/05/overcoming-suicidal-thoughts/.
References