Many people have suicidal thoughts at some point during their lifetime, but what are they? Suicidal thoughts or feelings mean thinking theoretically about ending your life, or feeling as though your loves ones would be happier without you. It can also involve thinking about ways you can take your life, or setting out plans to do so. These thoughts can be very scary, confusing and overwhelming, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone and they will stop. We all remember the tragic loss of TV personality Caroline Flack who sadly took her own life earlier this year. Her inquest has taken place this week, and with the topic of suicide prevalent in the news, we thought it was important to share some information about what you can do if you are having suicidal thoughts.
The experience of suicidal feelings differs from person to person. You may feel terrible one day and better the next. Common thoughts and feelings of people with suicidal thoughts are:
- Feeling hopeless
- Negative thoughts
- Unable to imagine it ever feeling better
- Useless and unwanted
- Feeling as though they have no other choice
- Feeling disassociated from their body
- Feeling numb
- Fascination with death
Experiences synonymous with suicidal thoughts are:
- Insomnia and poor quality sleep
- Change in appetite
- Weight gain or loss
- Neglect of self care
- Avoiding others
- Writing a will or giving away possessions
- Difficulty communicating
- Self-loathing and low self-esteem
- Desire to self-harm
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone. However, evidence suggests than men and members of the LGBTQ+ community are more at risk. There are a combination of reasons why someone may be experiencing them. These can be: mental health problems, bullying, grief, abuse, relationship breakdown, chronic pain, financial problems. homelessness, loneliness, incarceration, addiction, trauma and more.
The good news is, suicidal thoughts can be effectively treated. Treatments include medication and/or talking therapies which are both proven successful.
You can also do things to help yourself both short and long term. If you’re feeling as though you may act on your suicidal thoughts, it’s important to remove anything you could use to harm yourself. You should also reach out to someone you trust to tell them how you’re feeling – you can always call Samaritans on 116 123. In the long term, it’s important to recognise your triggers so that you can understand why you have suicidal thoughts – this is useful in treating them. It can also be beneficial to make a little box full of things that make you happy that you can pull out whenever you feel low. Physical health is incredibly important for your mental health, so be sure to really look after your body – get quality sleep, exercise regularly, eat healthily and avoid recreational drugs and alcohol.
If you are experiencing strong suicidal thoughts always call Samaritans on 116 123 or emergency services on 999.
Do you think a friend or family member may be experiencing mental health issues? Click HERE to read our blog post on how to spot the signs.