Suicidal thoughts can be pretty scary; however, it’s important to understand them for what they are. Thoughts and feelings are quite different to actions, so even though you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts you don’t have to take action. If you’re feeling suicidal there are things you can do to keep yourself safe.
This can help if:
- You think about suicide sometimes
- You feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do
- You want to challenge your suicidal thoughts
Thoughts and feelings
If you’re at a point where sometimes you think about killing yourself, or like you want to die, you may be feeling as though you cannot solve the difficulties you are experiencing. Sometimes life can be really overwhelming and it can be incredibly difficult to know how to handle things.
If you are beginning to feel like there’s no way out, it might help to know that many people who think about killing themselves find that soon after those feelings pass.
Maybe you feel as though there is no one you can trust to help you – or that you just don’t belong with the people around you. Sometimes it is difficult to reach out to others for support, yet the contact with others can make a real difference.
If you think that you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling and there’s no one around that you trust, have a look at our Emergency help
page for some services that can offer support.
Understanding suicidal thoughts
It’s important to remember that suicidal thoughts are only thoughts. Just because you’re thinking about killing yourself, doesn’t mean you have to act on these thoughts. Suicidal thoughts don’t last forever, and often they pass quite quickly.
It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed if you’re going through a tough time and sometimes it can feel like nothing will get better. If you are thinking of killing yourself because you can’t think of any other way out, it’s important to know there are a number of ways you can keep yourself safe and work through your feelings.
Things you can do to challenge negative thoughts
- Seek help early. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling; a family member, friend, local doctor or support service can be a good place to start. If you feel like people aren't listening, keep asking for help until someone does.
- Postpone any decision to end your life. By postponing your decision for 24 hours you might find that the desire to end your life passes. You can also find the support you need to talk through how you’re feeling if you give yourself time.
- Avoid being alone (especially at night). You don’t have to go through this alone. Stay with a family member or friend, or have someone stay with you until the thoughts of suicide decrease. If someone can't be there, chat to a service online or use one of the 24 hour crisis services.
- Have a plan of action. Ask someone you trust if they would mind being your go-to person if you’re feeling overwhelmed or upset.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Many drugs can make you feel even worse. They won’t solve your problems and may even make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.
- Set yourself small goals. Try to set goals that will make you feel in control and help you move forward. Write them down and tick them off when you’ve achieved them.
- Write down how you’re feeling. Sometimes writing a journal, story, song lyrics or poem can help to understand yourself better and think about alternative solutions.
- Talk to someone who can help. Contact a crisis service so they can help with your immediate situation, and help you find others for longer term support. You can also make an appointment with your doctor or local health professional. Find someone who knows about treatments and strategies to help you get through your tough time.
It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.