Suicidal thoughts are a deeply distressing and challenging experience that many people encounter at some point in life. It's important to know that you are not the only one battling this struggle. There is help available and people who care about you!
Recognize the Signs
The first step in coping with suicidal thoughts is to acknowledge and recognize them. Suicidal thoughts come about differently per individual, but common signs may include:
-Persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair.
-Isolation and withdrawal from friends and family.
-Increased substance abuse.
-Drastic changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or over sleeping.
-Giving away possessions or making final arrangements.
If you or someone you know may be showing these signs, it's crucial to take them serious and seek help immediately.
Seek Professional Help
Consulting with a mental health professional is the most important step in coping with suicidal thoughts. Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists are trained to assess your situation, provide a diagnosis if needed, and create a specific treatment plan through various types of therapy or prescribing medications.
Keep in mind that it may take time to find the right therapist or medication, so be patient and persistent in seeking the support that best suits you.
Create a Support System
Open up to friends and family about your feelings. Sharing your struggles with those you trust can help relieve your current state of mind and provide emotional support. Sometimes, just talking about what you're going through can be incredibly therapeutic.
Consider joining a support group, either in-person or online. Support groups offer a safe space to connect with others who are experiencing similar battles, providing understanding and empathy that can be very comforting.
Develop Coping Strategies
While seeking professional help and support from loved ones is crucial, it's also vital to develop coping strategies to help manage suicidal thoughts on a day-to-day basis.
Prioritize self-care activities like exercise, meditation, journaling, and maintaining a balanced diet. These activities can help improve your mental well-being and state of mind.
Create a safety plan to help guide you through times when you experience intense suicidal thoughts. If you have a therapist you can have them help you come up with a plan that can include contacting a crisis line, reaching out to someone you trust, or going to a hospital.
Engage in activities you enjoy to keep your mind occupied and focused on positive thoughts. Reading, art, music, or spending time in nature can provide a temporary relief from overwhelming emotions.
Remove Access to Harmful Means
If you have access to lethal means, such as firearms or medications, it's crucial to restrict access to them during a crisis. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help you secure these items or store them in a safe place. Removing this immediate risk can be life saving.
Coping with suicidal thoughts is an ongoing journey that requires patience, professional help, and support from loved ones. Just know that you are not alone in this struggle and there are resources available to provide the assistance you need. Reach out to mental health professionals, create a support system, develop coping strategies, and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety. Your life matters!
National Suicide Hotline: Dial 988