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Active suicidal ideation involves clear and precise ideas about suicide or plans to commit suicide. But suicidal ideation can also adopt a passive or less-defined form. Perhaps you do not have a formal plan for your death, but you:

  • Frequently contemplate death and dying
  • Have considered several ways to die
  • Consider yourself unworthy of life
  • Wish you could just give up and die

Constant thoughts about death and suicide, either active or passive can make you feel burdened, despondent, and unclear of where to find support.

How To Cope With Suicidal Thoughts

Additionally, discussing these feelings can be difficult. For one, you may not know how to begin sharing them with others. And you may also be concerned about their possible responses:

“Why would you desire to die? You have a successful career, a significant other, and a lot of people who care about you.”

“But you aren’t depressed.”

“I can’t believe you would subject your family to such suffering.”

Many people are unaware that suicidal ideation is fairly prevalent. Based on the data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 million adults in the United States had serious suicidal thoughts in 2019.

These ideas can also occur in the absence of depression or any other mental health condition. Frequently, suicidal thoughts indicate that you are suffering more misery and pain than you can handle.

So how to stop feeling suicidal? Suicidal thoughts may arise when you cannot see a way out of your sorrow, which is a reasonable reaction to grief and misery. However, you do have many options for receiving assistance with managing these significant suicidal thoughts.

If you are experiencing active suicidal ideation, you must first realize that suicide ideation can affect anyone. These ideas are not a sign of personal weakness, defect, or failure. They are also nothing at all to feel shameful or guilty of, regardless of your situation.

If you are contemplating suicide techniques or actively considering taking your life, the following measures will help you remain safe while you seek more long-term support:

Get in touch. Trustworthy loved ones can listen and provide emotional support. They can also aid in your safety. Start with a crisis counselor if you don’t know who to reach out to; they will listen with empathy and provide suggestions on how to reach out.

Go someplace safe. Getting to a safe place can make it easier to resist suicidal impulses. You could try a reading room, a library or other public area, a friend’s home, or even a different space in your own home, where you feel comfortable.

Remove or secure all weapons. Safety also involves avoiding firearms, medicines, and other potential suicide techniques. A friend or relative can assist you with removing these objects or stay with you, particularly if you need to keep taking medication. They can provide a single dose so that you do not have access to extra pills.

Avoid consuming alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and other substances may appear to be beneficial for suppressing painful and unwanted feelings, but they may exacerbate depression and suicidal ideation.

Consider grounding techniques. Taking a little stroll, cuddling with a pet, and practicing 4-7-8 breathing are examples of grounding strategies that might help you remain in the present during a period of extreme distress. Not certain how to begin? A crisis therapist or counselor can also guide you through their use by phone call or text message.

Do something that will help you unwind. Listening to music, relishing a favorite food or drink, or viewing images (or videos) of cherished people and animals might help you feel more relaxed and less anxious.

Get expert help. The feelings of anguish and despair may not improve instantly, and addressing suicidal thoughts may require expert assistance and patience. Taking the initial steps toward regulating these thoughts, however, can assist you in gaining enough space to reclaim some optimism and consider more permanent measures of relief.

Whether you or a loved one is having suicidal ideation, here are some strategies to help lessen suicidal ideation and obtain the treatment you want to get back on track:

Things To Do:

  1. Identify Triggers

Watch for triggers or conditions that contribute to depressive feelings, like a death or loss, alcoholism, or relationship tension. Eliminate, reduce or discard what you can and discuss the remaining items with a therapist or close friend.

  1. Remember That Emotions Are Transient

Emotions fluctuate and are not everlasting. Even when life appears bleak, treatment can put you on the path to feeling better. You will learn how to deal with life’s stresses and gain a fresh perspective. Resultantly, you will learn how to cope with suicidal thoughts. Even taking sleep or going to bed when you are feeling depressed will sometimes recalibrate your mood, at least enough to halt suicidal thoughts.

  1. Look after Yourself

In addition to consuming healthy meals regularly and never skipping meals, it is important to acquire sufficient rest to combat stress and assist your body in recovering from the past days. Exercise is also essential for alleviating stress and enhancing emotional health.

  1. Establish a Network of Support

Spend time with people who have a positive impact on your life and who inspire you to feel good about yourself. Also, remember to give back to the local community either financially or with your time. Supporting others and giving something back can be an excellent way to gain perspective and discover meaning.

  1. Get Moving!

In the same way, that old habits must die to abandon suicidal ideation, new beliefs must take their place to stick. Develop both your professional and personal passions. Find enjoyable activities, volunteer work, or work that offers you a feeling of purpose. When you engage in activities that you enjoy, you will feel better about yourself and your symptoms of depression will be less likely to resurface.

  1. Relax

Find your means of relieving stress. In addition to exercise, you can combat suicidal thoughts by meditating, using sensory tactics to relax, practicing simple breathing techniques, and challenging self-defeating attitudes.

Things To Avoid:

  1. Being alone 

Isolation can exacerbate suicidal thoughts. Call a crisis hotline or visit a family member or a friend.

  1. Drugs and alcohol 

Substance abuse can exacerbate depression, impair problem-solving skills, and induce impulsive behavior.

  1. Doing things that worsen your condition. 

Negative emotions can be heightened by listening to sad music, reading old letters, viewing certain images, or visiting the grave of a deceased loved one.

  1. Having unpleasant thoughts, such as thoughts of suicide. 

Try not to get fixated on suicidal ideas, as this can strengthen them. Don’t ruminate on bad thoughts. Find a diversion. Even if just for a short time, providing yourself a respite from suicidal ideation can be beneficial.

Usually, coping tactics are ineffective at addressing the underlying causes of suicidal ideation. However, they can assist you in controlling suicidal ideation at the moment.

In other words, unless you recognize and address the problems that are prompting these ideas, they will likely persist.

You are not required to begin this step alone. The assistance of a competent mental health practitioner can go a fair distance toward achieving more lasting healing from these ideas.

A therapist can provide empathetic guidance and expert assistance with:

  • Identifying crucial factors or causes, including indicators of mental health problems
  • Establishing a safety plan
  • Discovering means of communicating with loved ones
  • Developing new coping skills for suicide ideation, such as problem-solving, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and reframing undesired thoughts.
  • Discussing potential remedies for excessive or upsetting life challenges

Your therapist may inquire about the following:

  • Your suicidal thoughts, along with how frequently you have them and how you cope with suicidal ideation.
  • Any other mental health issues, such as mania, anxiety, depression, or psychosis, that you have observed?
  • Self-harm
  • Prior attempts or thoughts of suicide
  • Your family history of mental illness

In addition, they can suggest beneficial therapy modalities, like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

Getting care for any physical health, mental health, or emotional problems that are triggering suicidal thoughts can frequently help alleviate those feelings and prevent them from occurring in the future.

When looking for a therapist, keep in mind that choosing someone you can fully open up to will greatly improve the outcome of therapy. If you do not trust your therapist, you might not even feel comfortable discussing upsetting thoughts, worries, or mental health symptoms.

At present, you may feel as though there is no way to escape the agony and sadness you are experiencing. However, keep in mind that nothing is forever and permanent, not even the hardest suffering. Time, the support of loved ones, and expert assistance can make the future appear considerably better.

Communicating with a trusted individual is always an excellent starting step. Sharing suicidal thoughts can help you understand you are not alone, and knowing you have the backing and support of a loved one might make it easier to investigate professional treatment choices.

As cliche as it may sound, taking things one step at a time can also be helpful. Instead of dwelling on tomorrow or any potential suffering, the future may hold, try to remain in the present and remember that the future also presents opportunities for happiness.

If you have suicidal ideation but there is no urgent situation or an immediate problem, your physician or therapist may offer psychotherapy, drugs, and lifestyle modifications to lower the risk of suicide.

These can take place at a high-end inpatient suicide prevention center. Further options include luxury suicide help and treatment centers, including high-end luxury residential treatments and therapies offered for suicide prevention with luxury facilities. These treatments and therapies include:  

Psychotherapy. During talk therapy or psychotherapy, you and your therapist will discuss why you are suicidal and how to manage it.

Family education and therapy. Therapy and education for the family Involving loved ones in treatment might help them better comprehend what you’re going through, identify warning signals, and enhance family dynamics.

Substance use disorder treatment. If you are suffering from a drug or alcohol abuse disorder, you should seek treatment for substance use disorder.

Lifestyle changes. Changes in lifestyle, such as controlling stress, improving eating and exercise habits, enhancing sleep routines, constructing a strong support network, and creating time for interests and hobbies.

Medications: Medication therapy to address any emotional dysregulation or underlying depression that may be driving your suicide ideation. This could include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Individuals are less likely to commit suicide if they receive regular assistance. This may include easy access to excellent mental health care and regular follow-up communication from healthcare specialists, should the individual require it again.

Additionally, a person’s friends, family, and community play a significant role in maintaining their social connections.

It can assist individuals in focusing on what gives their lives purpose and meaning, such as:

  • Caring for an animal because they provide love and affection
  • Believing in religion and keeping the faith, many religions affirm the sanctity of life.
  • Long-term plans or objectives, like a graduation, a wedding, or a vacation

FAQs

Resource References:

  1. Are you feeling suicidal? HelpGuide.org. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/are-you-feeling-suicidal.htm.
  2. Suicide ideation: Symptoms, causes, prevention, and resources. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/193026#getting-help.
  3. Kerr, M. (2021) Dealing with suicidal thoughts, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/suicidal-thoughts#getting-help.
  4. What is suicidal ideation? Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/suicidal-ideation-380609.

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