Suicidal Feelings

How To Cope

What Are Suicidal Feelings?

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking your own life.

Suicidal feelings can range from being preoccupied by abstract thoughts about ending your life, or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide, or making clear plans to take your own life

If you are feeling suicidal, you might be scared or confused by these feelings. But you are not alone. Many people think about suicide at some point in their lifetime.

"I couldn't see past the pain. It was a different reality for me. I only knew I wanted the pain to stop, the anguish to go away"
How does It Feel To Be Suicidal?

Everyone's experience of suicidal feelings is unique to them. You might feel unable to cope with the enduring difficult feelings you are experiencing. You may feel less like you want to die and more like you cannot go on living the life you have.

These feelings may build over time or might fluctuate from moment to moment. And it's common to not understand why you feel this way. Here are some thoughts, feelings and experiences you may go through if you are feeling suicidal.

How you might think or feel:

  • hopeless, like there is no point in living
  • tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts
  • unbearable pain that you can't imagine ending
  • useless, unwanted or unneeded by others
  • desperate, as if you have no other choice
  • like everyone would be better off without you
  • cut off from your body or physically numb

What you may experience:

  • poor sleep with early waking
  • change in appetite, weight gain or loss
  • no desire to take care of yourself, for example neglecting your physical
    appearance
  • wanting to avoid others
  • self-loathing and low self-esteem
  • urges to self-harm
How Long Will I Feel Suicidal?

Suicidal feelings can be overwhelming. How long these feelings last differs for everyone. It is common to feel as if you'll never be happy or hopeful again. But with support and self-help, the majority of people who have felt suicidal go on to live fulfilling lives.

Suicidal thoughts aren't permanent - things do improve. You can find your motivation to live again.

The earlier you let someone know how you're feeling, the quicker you'll be able to get support to overcome these feelings. However, it can feel difficult to open up to people.

You may want others to understand what you're going through, but you might feel:

  • unable to tell someone
  • unsure of who to tell
  • concerned that they won't understand
  • fearful of being judged
  • worried you'll upset them

If this is the case, you might find it helpful to show our pages on supporting someone else with suicidal feelings to someone you trust. This can be a good way of starting the conversation and can give them suggestions of how they can help you.

It's important to remember that you deserve support, you are not alone and there is support out there.

Sharing that I felt suicidal with close friends, although scary as I worried they'd be angry, has helped me in subsequent black times. They said they'd hate to lose me having not been given the chance to help.
Where Can I Get Support?

If you are experiencing ongoing suicidal feelings, you might feel as if there's nothing that could help. But there is support to help you cope with the problems that may be causing you to feel suicidal.

Support through your GP

Going to your GP is a good starting point. It is common to feel worried about talking to your doctor about suicidal feelings, but they will be used to listening to people who are experiencing difficult feelings.

Your GP can:

  • refer you to talking treatments
  • prescribe you medication
  • refer you to specialist services, such as a community mental health team

You might find it helpful to have a look at Mind's booklet The Mind guide to seeking help for a mental health problem for tips on how to prepare for your GP appointment.

Always ask for help. Talking is hard but people can help us through the hard times.

Talking treatments

Talking treatments involve speaking about your feelings with a trained professional, such as a counsellor or psychotherapist. This could help you understand why you're experiencing suicidal feelings, and think about
ways you can help yourself cope with and resolve them.

There may be a long waiting list in your area to access talking treatments on the NHS, but you may be able to access them through charities, your workplace or university, or privately at a reduced rate.

See Mind's booklet Making sense of talking treatments for more information about different types of treatment, and how you can access
them through the NHS and privately.

Medication

Although there isn't a specific drug licensed to treat suicidal feelings, your doctor might prescribe you psychiatric medication to help you cope
with your symptoms, or to treat a mental health problem, which might be causing your suicidal feelings. These might include, antidepressants,
antipsychotics or mood stabilisers

Crisis services

A crisis service is any service that is available at short notice to help you resolve a mental health crisis, or to support you while it is happening:

  • Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) teams who can support you at your home during a mental health crisis. See our page on crisis
    teams for more information.
  • Community mental health teams (CMHT) who can support you at home when you are not in crisis.
  • Crisis houses offer a sanctuary where you can go to reflect and talk to others when you are experiencing suicidal feelings. Take a look at our page on crisis houses for more information and to find out what is available to you locally.
  • Local support services which may offer day services, drop-in sessions, counselling or issue-specific support. Many local branches of the Samaritans offer walk in face-to-face support. See our page on day services for more information about how to find and access local support services.

Telephone support

Telephone services can be a good way of getting information or support when you need it. Many are available out-of-hours and provide a confidential, judgement-free service.

Talking to someone on the telephone can also be helpful if you are finding it difficult to open up to the people you know, or speak to someone face-to-face.

I've saved the Samaritans number so I know there is always a place to talk.

Peer support

Peer support brings together people who’ve had similar experiences to support each other. You can share your thoughts and tips for coping with others who understand what you are going through. For more information, and to find peer support services near you, see Mind's online
guide to peer support or contact your local Mind.

Peer support is also available online. You might prefer this if you don't feel like you can talk to people on the telephone or face to face.

  • Big White Wall offers support from trained professionals as well as
    peer support from other people experiencing mental health problems. For many areas across the UK the site is free to access, although in some cases you might need a referral from your GP to use the service.
  • Mind runs Elefriends, a supportive online community.
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