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Home > Health Library > Finding Strength to Keep Going: Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts
Many people who have thoughts of suicide don't want to die. They want relief from intense emotional pain and distress. Thoughts of suicide are serious. But thoughts don't have to become actions. Here are some things that can help you get past those thoughts and find hope and meaning in your life.
If you are having a suicidal crisis, which means you feel like you can't keep from hurting yourself, stop reading now and call 911 or the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.
This could be a doctor, a counselor, or a social worker. They can help you understand why you feel the way you do. And they can help you work through problems that may be causing thoughts of suicide. For some people, talking to a spiritual advisor may also help.
Emotions are powerful. When you're having emotional pain, it can be really hard to see around it. But some days will be better than others. Take the time to remind yourself of that. It's hard to imagine in the moment, but you may not feel the same tomorrow as you do today.
This might be hard to do. You might think, "If I could focus on reasons to keep going, I wouldn't have thoughts about suicide." But you're here, reading this right now, because you want to overcome those thoughts. So take your time, and try to write down some things that are important or valuable to you. They don't have to be huge or profound. Everyday things count too.
If at any point this exercise makes you feel uncomfortable or worse, stop and come back to it when you feel ready.
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Hopefully this exercise was helpful. But if it was hard to come up with any examples, you may need some more help to deal with the pain you're feeling right now. Call your counselor right away. If you don't have a counselor, make an appointment to see one. And remember, the national suicide hotline is always available to help you. Call 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.
There may be times when you just don't feel like others can understand. But remember, many people do understand. A lot of people have been where you are right now, or have experienced something like it. Those people can give you hope. They can also share things that helped them overcome thoughts of suicide that might help you too. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline website is a good place to start: suicidepreventionlifeline.org/stories/
Talking with others who are going through similar things can help. Your area may have mental health support groups. You can find local groups by asking your doctor, searching online, or calling your local suicide prevention hotline and asking them for more info. If there are no groups near you, check out online options. For example, the Anxiety & Depression Association of America offers an online peer support group. Go to adaa.org/find-help/support/support-groups to learn more.
Everyone's experience with suicidal thoughts is different. The tips above will be helpful for some people, while others might find them harder to connect with. If these tips aren't helpful to you, it doesn't mean you can't be helped. You just might need an approach that's more tailored to you. Contact a counselor or other mental health professional. They can help you.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral HealthLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
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