Life can be tough. When our problems mount up, they can seem overwhelming and make us worry that there’s no way out. At times like these, some of us feel like we can’t carry on, and wonder if death would be better than a life of pain and distress. Even if you’ve only thought briefly about suicide, it’s so important that you talk to someone as soon as you can – and get the help and support that you need.
What causes suicidal feelings?
Suicidal feelings can strike anyone, from famous TV stars like Stephen Fry to the people you pass on the street. It’s not always easy to pinpoint what leads someone to the brink of taking their own life. For some of us, it follows a devastating life event, like the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or losing your job. For others, it’s a feeling that builds up over time, perhaps after a period of loneliness, abuse, money problems or a painful illness. You might reach this point after dwelling on a traumatic episode from your past (even if it happened many years ago). Or you might be more prone to suicidal feelings due to mental health issues or an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Sometimes, people find themselves feeling suicidal even when their lives appear to be going well – but this shouldn’t be taken any less seriously.
How do I know if I’m having suicidal feelings?
The definition of feeling suicidal is that you no longer want to carry on living. However, suicide is not a decision that anybody takes lightly, and for most of us, there are a number of emotions that we pass through to reach this point. Perhaps you feel angry, guilty or ashamed of something that happened to you in the past. Maybe you feel stuck in a predicament with no clear solution. You might have noticed changes in your routine, with weight loss/gain, disrupted sleep, or feelings of lethargy and numbness. If you experience these feelings – even without the desire to end your life – you should think about talking to someone.
How can I get support?
If you’re feeling suicidal, you might tell yourself that nobody can help. But by taking the first step and making an appointment with your doctor, you’ll find there are lots of treatments and support networks available. Your doctor will be able to run through the options and help find the one that suits you best.
If you live in Gloucestershire and are aged 9-21, you can get support from our TIC+ counsellors. TIC+ works hard at raising funds so they can arrange for a counsellor to see you for free, all you need to do is call us on 01594 372777 or text us on 07520 634063 to arrange an appointment. We know it can be hard to take that first step but, like the other young people we’ve helped, you’ll be so glad you did.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, call Childline on 0800 1111, NHS 111 (on 111), Papyrus on 0800 068 4141 or the Samaritans on 116 123. There’s always someone there to help, and any conversations you have with them are confidential.
How can I help myself?
Nobody should have to face suicidal feelings alone, and it’s always advisable to seek professional help if you’re struggling with thoughts of taking your own life. However, you also have the power to take control of your situation.
– If you’re thinking about suicide, a good first step could be to share how you feel with someone you trust – whether that’s a parent, friend or teacher. It might be tough to open up at first, but the more you talk, the less you’ll feel like you’re facing things alone. If you don’t think anyone will understand, call one of the confidential support groups listed above.
– Focus on the positives. Don’t dwell on your failures or low moments, but think instead about the things you’ve achieved, the reasons you have to feel proud, or the moments in life that you’ve most enjoyed.
– Distract yourself. Get involved with a local community scheme, or try volunteering at a worthwhile charity. It’s a good way to get some perspective on your problems and get out of your own headspace for a while.
– Stay healthy, exercise regularly and keep away from anything that alters your state of mind (especially drugs and alcohol). Any short-term relief will only be cancelled out by the comedown.
– Try getting your feelings out through a channel that you’re comfortable with, whether that’s a musical instrument, a diary or artwork.
– Structure your day. Make an action plan of what you’re going to do and stick to it. Spend plenty of time outside and don’t allow yourself to go to bed until night-time.
For more advice check out our SUPPORT RESOURCES page!