If You Are Thinking About Suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) Veterans Press “1”
Red para la Prevencion de Suicidio Nacional
National Native American Youth Crisis Hotline
Toll Free: 1-877-209-1266
National 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hot line aimed at gay and questioning youth:
We know you are hurting right now, but you don’t have to go through this alone. We have some suggestions for things you can do right away to help yourself get through the immediate crisis, and have a chance to find other solutions.
Give yourself today
The option of killing yourself isn’t going to go away. It is a choice you can make tomorrow or next week or next month, if you decide that’s still what you want. When you are feeling so bad that you want to kill yourself, the thought of just surviving the days ahead can seem exhausting, overwhelming, and unbearable.
Try to focus on just getting through today, not the rest of your life. It is also ok to just try and focus on getting through the next minute. Your ability to cope right now is not greatly weakened, but it’s not gone. You’re reading this website, so that shows there’s a part of you that wants to live.
You may have a voice in your head right now that’s telling you all kinds of things. It could be an inner monologue or a voice you can actually hear. Most of the bad things the voice tells you aren’t true. I don’t care how long the voice has been with you; it’s not your friend. It does not have your best interests at heart. Stop believing it right now.
Don’t try to handle thoughts of the future right now; just make a decision to get through right now. Now may be painful, but you can decide to survive it and give some other options a chance. At least for today.
Suicide is a Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem
Look for Reasons to Live
While you may feel really alone right, you are far from the only one who has ever considered killing yourself.
While suicide may seem like the solution to all of your problems, not all suicide attempts are fatal. If you survive, you will still have all of your original problems, plus the aftermath of your attempt which can include anything from disappointed and frightened family and friends to horrific injuries. After Your Suicide Attempt: Deciding to Live was written by a suicide attempt survivor living in New Mexico.
Talk to someone
If you’ve resisted professional help, then now is the time to get over your mental block and reach out for help. Maybe you’ve worked with a mental health expert in the past and it wasn’t a very good experience. That can happen. Therapists and psychiatrists are people too. If you don’t like them, then you’re probably not going to let them help you. It DOES NOT mean that you are defective. In other words – it wasn’t your fault. Find someone you do like. You deserve it, and you should expect it.
If you’re currently in treatment, call your therapist right now and tell them you’re considering suicide. Be honest with them, and let them help you. If you’re provider gave you a number to call when you’re in crisis, then by all means, use it. And yes, it’s perfectly ok to “bother” them at home.
We’ve never yet heard a mental health practitioner complain to us about patients calling them at home or accessing their agency’s crisis services. Instead we hear of their regret because a patient didn’t reach out for help when they needed it, and they attempted or completed suicide because of it. If you’re lucky enough to have some one to call, call them right now. Go ahead.
If you are currently in treatment, and you like your provider, but you feel like it’s not helping you – don’t give up. You only get out of therapy what you put into it. Now be honest with yourself – the last time you had therapy did you speak honestly and openly about the things that were really bothering you?
Therapists nowadays do a lot less talking, and expect you to do more. If you’re waiting for them to tell you what’s wrong with you and fix you, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Their job is to help you figure out what’s wrong with you.
But for that to happen, you need to talk. And talk, and talk, and talk. Eventually, like magic, you’ll start talking about the things that are really bothering you. Trust us on this one.
Have you been honest with your psychiatrist about how bad your symptoms and side effects are? If the meds are making you feel worse, tell someone sooner, rather than later. Your doc can’t help regulate your mood, if you’re not honest with them about what your mood really is.
Also, if the side effects are unbearable, be honest about that too. The more uncomfortable the side effects, the greater likelihood you will stop the medication abruptly – which can actually make you feel worse.
Bottom line, call someone. Don’t try to suffer through this on your own. If you aren’t currently working with a mental health professional, consider calling someone else you trust. Consider reaching out to any of the following people:
- Crisis line 1(800) 273-TALK (8255)
- Your Doctor
- Community mental health team
- School teacher
- Religious or spiritual leader
- Friend or family member
Develop a list of things that you can do when you are in a crisis
When you find yourself getting overwhelmed, go down your list and do each thing until you are able to go on. Think of the things that help you “get out of your own head,” for long enough that the intense urge to die has passed. Remember this is not a treatment plan, just something to help you get through today. For instance, your list might include:
- Do some breathing exercises. Count to ten while breathing.
- Play with a pet
- Take a hot bath
- Call a crisis hotline (keep the number with you and by your phone)
- Eat your favorite food
- Watch a movie or TV
- Look through a magazine
- Write down your thoughts, how you could be helped, what you would like to change.
- Call friends or support (keep their numbers with you and by the phone)
- Go for a walk or exercise.
Your list should contain as many items that you can think of that help to calm you down, and may not be like the list above at all. The important thing is that it is useful to you.
Avoid using drugs and alcohol when you are feeling desperate or in a crisis
It is tempting to use drugs and alcohol to numb painful feelings, but these substances can make your emotions more volatile and affect your judgment. Remember youre not only numbing the painful feelings, but also your hope and your determination – the things that you need to get through this. Using drugs or alcohol while you are in crisis will greatly increase your risk of hurting or killing yourself impulsively, even though you may not have fully decided to do that.
Remember that however alone you feel, there are people who want to talk with you, who want to help.
Call a crisis line to talk with someone like that right now.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK