with Suicidal Thoughts
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If you need help RIGHT NOW,
please contact the
Samaritans or other
There are times in
life when we might feel totally, hopeless, helpless, overwhelmed with emotional
pain. It can seem like there is no other way out of our problems, we've
run out of ideas, possible solutions. Our problems seem unfixable.
The pain feels like it will never end. We believe we've run out of options, and
suicide is the only answer left.
Maybe the suicidal
thoughts come to mind, you might have mixed feelings about them. They're
frightening and confusing.
For some people,
suicide may be a way of getting back at others, or showing them how much pain
you're in. But after suicide, you won't be there to see that they feel
guilty, or finally understand your pain.
pass. Depression feels permanent, but it's transient. Things will
change. Depression comes and it goes.
Over 90% of people who survive a potentially lethal suicide attempt, do not go
on to kill themselves. It is a temporary crisis, an attempt to stop
the inner pain. You will get through this tunnel and come out
the other side. The feelings will pass!
Depression and pain
distort our thinking. It can seem like we're wearing very dark tinted
'gloomy specs'. Everything looks different to how it really is.
Thoughts are thoughts - not necessarily how things
are, although it certainly feels like the thoughts are true. Thoughts
affect the way we feel, and thoughts and feelings affect the way we react, what
we do (see this page).
thoughts can result when we experience too much pain, without having enough
resources to cope.
We therefore have two
ways to get us through this horrible time:
REDUCE THE PAIN
Do something that
will help you feel better, right now
Perhaps collect items
into an emergency bag or box that you can turn to
Use all five senses
to find things that will soothe you
Focus your attention on looking at something nice, nature, a painting,
watching a favourite programme or movie
Listen to a favourite piece of music, sounds of nature, sing
Really notice smells - favourite soap, food, essential oil
Use sensation of taste to focus your attention. Eat mindfully -
savouring each moment
Wear soft comforting socks, stroke a pet, give yourself a hand massage
5 things I can see
4 things I can hear
3 things I can touch
2 things I can smell or taste
1 breath. Then continue to just notice your breathing, and the
sensations of breathing in your body - in your nose, throat, abdomen
Avoid drugs and
Are these thoughts
facts or my opinion?
What has helped me
feel better in the past?
What can I do right
now that will help me feel better?
What gives my life meaning? What are my goals, dreams or life values?
E.g. Family, friends, pets, helping others, faith, spirituality, community life,
connecting with nature.
I've coped this far,
I can get through the next .... (day, hour, 10 minutes)
Things will look
better in time.
temporary - this will pass.
distorting my thinking - these thoughts are the voice of depression. They
are not facts. I don't have to act on them.
The vast majority of
people get better from depression. I will look back and be pleased that I
chose to live.
Write things down
RESOURCES - IMMEDIATE STEPS
Take one step at a
Take things a little
at a time. Set out to get through the next day, the next week or month,
perhaps the next hour or even less. Tell yourself: "I've got through
so far, I can get through the next hour".
Help for Distress - Now!
Do something else,
and focus your attention fully on what you're doing, e.g.
Physical exercise -
walk, run, cycle, dance
(Emotional Freedom Technique)
Reading - magazine,
self help book
Seek out a supportive
discussion forum on the internet
Learn something new
on the internet
the park, the beach - pay attention to nature
something creative: painting, writing, knitting, play a musical
instrument, make a collage, bake a cake, cook a meal, arrange some flowers, make
a website or blog
worksheet version PDF)
Talk to someone -
A friend or family
(E.g. Samaritans 08457 90 90 90)
A health professional
Go somewhere you'll
feel safe - be with other people
Go to the local
Accident & Emergency department
Call the local
emergency number (E.g. 999, 112, 911)
INCREASE COPING RESOURCES - LONGER
Plan activity and
Look after yourself
work through a problem
Connect and be with
Call, text, email -
friends or family
Create new contacts -
join a local support group or an online discussion forum
Sometimes life can
feel like we're struggling to drive or cycle up a long and steep hill, in top
gear. The motor just can't get us there. It works really hard, but
it's impossible to get up that steep hill in top gear. We need to change
down a gear or two. Changing down gives the motor more torque, and is much
better able to drive those wheels up that hill, albeit a bit slower.
We often try to
struggle on in top gear, expecting so much of ourselves, of others, of life
itself. Sometimes we need to change down a gear. Slow it down,
reduce the struggle. Carry on, but in a lower gear.
Pace & Plan
Write a daily diary or journal, or use:
man's experience of wanting to kill himself : Reasons to stay alive