How to overcome suicidal thoughts? The active thoughts of suicide include clear, specific thoughts about taking your own life or thinking about it.
Suicidal thoughts may also be more passive or less defined. You might not have a plan for your death, but you may:
- are often concerned about dying
- spent time thinking of ways to die
- You don’t deserve to live
- Wish you could just stop living
Obvious thoughts about suicide or death, whether they are active or passive, can make you feel overwhelmed and helpless.
Talking about these thoughts can be difficult. For one, you might not know how to share them with others. You might be concerned about the potential reactions.
- “Why would anyone want to die? You have a great job, a good relationship, and many people who care about you.”
- “But you’re not depressed.”
- “It’s unbelievable that you would put such pain on your family.”
Suicidal thoughts are quite common, but many people don’t know this. According to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), suicides in India were at an all-time high of 1,53,052 in the year 2020, with student suicides seeing the highest percentage increase at 21.20%.
Suicidal thoughts can occur even if you do not have depression or another mental health diagnosis. These thoughts are often a sign that you’re feeling sad or in pain than you can manage.
It is natural to desire to end pain and unhappy feelings. Suicidal thoughts can arise when you are unable to see a solution. There are options to help you deal with these thoughts.
Suicidal thoughts are difficult to understand and deal with. They can sometimes be brief and fleeting. Other times, they can be more intense and can lead to fantasies or urges that promise relief from unbearable pain.
Even though you may think that you will never act on them, suicidal thoughts should be addressed immediately.
It can be hard to stay hopeful. However, there are steps to deal with suicidal thoughts. In this guide, we will discuss “How to overcome suicidal thoughts?”
What is the cause of suicidal thoughts and behavior?
Suicidal thoughts can occur for many reasons. There could be many reasons they start. Sometimes they may be symptoms of a deeper mental health condition like-
- major depression
- bipolar disorder
- substance use disorders
- eating disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
However, not all people with these conditions will think active thoughts of suicide. Suicidal thoughts can occur even if there is no underlying mental illness.
How To Overcome Suicidal Thoughts?
1. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM DANGER
Suicide thoughts can strike the hardest when you are in dangerous situations or areas (waiting for a train, driving, standing on a balcony, near weapons, or other potentially dangerous objects).
You should leave the area and the situation immediately to reduce the possibility of suicidal thoughts.
A trusted friend or family member can help you put away potentially dangerous instruments (e.g. weapons, rope) so that you don’t have them near you or keep any medications safe until you need them.
2. SLOW YOUR BREATHING
Suicidal thoughts are scary and can cause panic. You can slow down your breathing to reduce your heart rate and shift your attention from any thoughts.
To regain control over your breathing:
- Exhale and take a few deep breaths.
- Hold for four seconds, then hold for four more, and four more seconds.
- Repeat the process four times.
- Start slow and work your way up if four seconds seems too long.
3. RE-FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION
There are many methods to accomplish this, and each one will be different. You should work to shift your focus away from negative thoughts about hurting yourself and onto something positive. Although it can seem difficult at first, you will eventually be able to shift your attention away from the negative thoughts of hurting yourself.
VISUALIZATIONS – Focusing on breathing can help, especially when combined with visualizations. Visualize your lungs expanding and your diaphragm falling. The more details you provide, the better. While you count your breaths, try visualizing writing the numbers.
USE YOUR SENSES – For a few seconds, close your eyes and then open them again. Concentrate your attention on what is happening around you. Try to describe what you see in detail. What is the texture of your ground? What colors are on the walls? What sounds do you hear? As detailed as you can when writing a scene for a book. Use all your senses to distract from negative thoughts.
4. AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Alcohol can affect the brain areas that control judgment, concentration, behavior, and emotions. You might be more inclined to have suicidal thoughts if you drink alcohol.
Drugs can alter your thoughts and feelings. Different drugs can have different effects. Cocaine, for example, can make you happy and make you more willing to take chances.
After the effects wear off, you might feel depressed. Other drugs can also cause paranoia, confusion, and hallucinations. Illegal drugs can make it more difficult to end your own life.
5. FIND A SAFE PLACE
Find a safe place to go. It is another great tip on how to overcome depression. Here’s a list of possible places to try.
- Your bedroom
- Mental health or spiritual centre
- Friend’s house
Avoid using razor blades and pills to cause harm. You can ask your loved one to hold the medication until you feel better.
6. TALK TO SOMEONE
Talking to someone about your feelings could help. Many people can help. Talk to your doctor, friends, or family.
Be patient. Friends and family might be willing to help but may not know how. You should let them know what you expect from them if this happens. You might want to share your feelings with them, or they may be able to assist you in seeking professional help.
You can call an emotional support number, an app, or an online group to talk to someone you don’t know.
7. COUNT REASONS TO LIVE
People who consider suicide do so to escape their pain. However, they don’t always want to die. It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of your life when you’re feeling low. It’s easy to see suicide as your only option. You should start to think about the reasons you live.
Many people have relationships with their loved ones, pets, religion, goals, dreams, and responsibilities that keep them from committing suicide. Consider all the reasons that you have to live. These are your reasons for living. Write them down. When you feel low, keep them in mind.
Conclusion: How To Overcome Suicidal Thoughts and Help
While coping strategies may help with thoughts of suicide, they don’t usually address the root causes.
This means that until you can identify and resolve the thoughts that are triggering them, they will likely come back. This is not a solo task. A trained mental health professional like Dr. Neha Mehta can help you get more lasting relief from these thoughts.
She can offer professional guidance and compassionate guidance with:
- Key triggers and causes, as well as signs of mental illness
- Developing a Safety Plan
- Sharing your thoughts with loved ones
- Building new skills to deal with suicidal thoughts, such as emotion regulation, problem-solving and distress tolerance.
- Discussing possible solutions to overwhelming or distressing problems in life.