When a client comes into session with suicidal thoughts, it is very common for them to see this as a weakness. Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. In most cases, it's not the fact the people want to die, they just want the pain to end. This pain can range from oppressive depression to crippling anxiety, it is awful and if it was a matter of just ‘cheering yourself up’, then we have no such thing as suicide. Willpower has nothing to do with it, it is just lack of resources for coping with pain.
3 important facts about suicide:
1. People do get through this. I have met people professionally and personally who have learned coping strategies for addressing their mental health and have gone one to live happy lives.
2. Give yourself something to work towards. Give yourself 24 hours to a few days before taking action. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things and just because you feel like ending your life, doesn’t mean that you have to act on it. You have already given yourself a few minutes by reading this article, try to extend that to 24 hours.
3. People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember, relief is a feeling and you have to be alive to feel it. Peoples feelings on suicide will defer, and this is due to their fear, anger, or something they’ve been through. You do not have to concentrate or control their actions, this is about you and what you're coping with.
What do I do now?
As previously discussed, plan out your next 24 hours. Partake in one of the following plans
· Call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service.
· Make an appointment with your GP. Disclose to the office staff that you need an urgent appointment to discuss your mental health with your GP. In the meantime, get in contact with Samaritans or lifeline.
· Speak to a close friend or family member. I understand this can be difficult to do, but merely feeling a connection to someone can have an instrumentally positive impact on your mood.
· Seek therapy – most mental health charities provide a small number of free counseling sessions, which would be great gateway back to positive mental health.
· If you feel like you can keep yourself safe for the next few days, present yourself to your local accident and emergency department, where staff will be on hand to help.
In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this. Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue to care for yourself. Remember you’re not alone.