There are many causes that can lead to suicidal thoughts, including things such as trauma, depression, and other forms of emotional pain (MentalHealth.org). Having struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a majority of my life, I believe that finding quality coping mechanisms for these thoughts and ideations is essential.
While everyone behaves and reacts to these thoughts differently, this article will discuss six standard methods and actions you can use to cope with your own suicidal thoughts.
1. Make Sure You’re In A Safe Environment
When dealing with suicidal thoughts, one of the most important things that you can do is make sure that you are in a safe place. Insure that there are no tools around that you could use to harm yourself or others. If this is not possible, find someone you trust and stay with them for however long the feelings may last.
2. Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
When feeling down, it can be easy to think that drugs and/or alcohol can make you feel better and get you out of your head. However, these substances can not only inhibit the functions of the body and mind, but they can make your suicidal ideations worse than they were already.
3. Share Your Thoughts And Feelings With Others
Whether you decide to find a therapist or confide in a close friend or family member, it’s important that you share your feelings with those around you. Keeping your thoughts and emotions bottled inside can make them stronger, and can weaken your own emotional resolve. Speaking about your problems can also provide a new perspective via a secondary source. Remember that there are many people who are willing to be with you during this emotional time, and that you do not have to be alone.
If you are without someone personal to discuss your problems with, you can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you live in the US. For those outside of the US, there is also the Samaritans at 116 123 for the UK and Ireland, and Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14 for those in Australia. For those not residing in these countries, visit IASP or suicide.org to find a list of available numbers in your country (HelpGuide.org).
4. Go Outside
Getting sunlight and exercise is a great coping mechanism when dealing with suicidal thoughts. HelpGuide.org recommends getting out in nature for at least 30 minutes a day to decrease suicidal thoughts and depression.
5. Make A Schedule And Stick To It!
Suicidal thoughts can leave you feeling like you have a lack of control in your life, so to get around that thought, make yourself a daily schedule to follow. Write down a daily itinerary and stick to it. Having a regular schedule can make you feel more stable mentally and emotionally.
6. Make Time To Do Things You Love
This can be very difficult to do when experiencing severe emotional distress, but sometimes the best way to cope with your thoughts is to find something to distract you from them. Try to find something mindless and easy to do, such as watching your favorite TV series or playing an easy video game. These quick activities can give you a release from your emotions.
Finally, while these tips can be helpful, they are of course not the only ways that you can cope with suicidal thoughts. There are plenty of online resources at your disposal that you can use to think of new and creative ways to handle your suicidal thoughts. Remember that everyone is different, and that everyone will respond to these coping mechanisms differently. Also, remember that none of these tips can replace professional help. If you continue to have suicidal thoughts and ideations, please contact a professional to get the help you need.
For more tips on how to cope with depression and suicidal thoughts, visit https://psych2go.net/suicide-10-tips-to-help-you-survive/
Are You Feeling Suicidal? (2019, January 03). Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/are-you-feeling-suicidal.htm/
Mental Health – Suicide: Coping with suicidal thoughts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/a-z/resource/50/suicide-coping-with-suicidal-thoughts