Suicide is the act of intentionally taking your life. Sometimes people feel so down that they can’t see a way out and feel that the easiest decision to make is to end their own life.
There are two forms that suicidal thoughts often take:
- Having abstract or general thoughts about wanting your life to end or feeling that your death might make things easier for other people
- Making plans to take your own life – like thinking about particular methods of suicide, choosing a time or a place, or planning the aftermath (sometimes thinking about how to lessen the pain for your loved ones).
If you feel this way, you’re not alone.
Many people have suicidal feelings at some point in their life, and there are ways to overcome these feelings and improve your mental wellbeing.
Why do people feel suicidal?
There are many things in life that cause people to feel suicidal – whether difficulties at home or work, relationship problems, a traumatic past, a long-term illness or condition, or something else.
Here are some of the common causes for suicidal thoughts and feelings:
- financial difficulties
- mental health problems
- the end of a relationship
- housing problems and homelessness
- substance abuse
- losing a loved one, including to suicide
- bullying, prejudice or discrimination
- physical, sexual or emotional abuse
- a history of trauma
- a difficult childhood
- adjusting to a big life change, like pregnancy, the arrival of a baby, retirement, redundancy or being sent to prison
- a long-term illness or health condition
- confusion about your gender or sexual identity
- cultural pressure
- feeling like a failure
Effects of feeling suicidal
If you’re experiencing suicidal ideations or thoughts of suicide, this can easily affect how you think and behave, and you may feel:
- hopeless, like your life has no point
- intrigued or fascinated by death
- useless to others, or unwanted
- incredibly painful
- tearful and overwhelmed by sadness and negativity
You may have:
- a desire to avoid people
- a change in appetite or weight
- difficulties communicating
- urges to self-harm
- poor sleep patterns, or quality of sleep
- no desire to take care of yourself
- low self-esteem and a hatred of yourself
- the desire to make a will and start giving away your belongings
If you’re feeling suicidal and your life is at risk right now, seek help immediately.
- Talk to someone you trust, it may be hard to start talking about your ideations but just expressing how you are feeling can really help
- Speak with your GP, some people choose medication to help with their suicidal thoughts
- Talk to a trained Counsellor
- Make use of mental health organisations and the support they offer through helplines and listening services
- Consider joining peer support groups that include other people who have similar thoughts and feelings to you
- Practice self-care and take time for yourself, exercise, sleep well, eat healthily and try to find things that you enjoy
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs, some people use them for temporary relief but in the longer term they cause more harm