Sometimes, the feelings we experience when depressed or anxious can drive us to think of not living anymore. Different people will have different experiences of suicidal thinking, ranging from wanting life to go away, through believing that the world would be better off without us, to making active plans to end our life.
However, suicide is often not about wanting to die; it’s that we cannot find a way of living.
It is important to remember that depression can significantly alter the way we look at the world – our decision-making processes can become skewed, as it grows ever harder to separate rational thought from depressed thinking. Many people who have attempted suicide, or come close to it, look back with gratitude that they were not successful in acting on their intentions. If we can be supported through this time, most people will gradually find a way out of the dark and begin to see through their suicidal feelings.
The key facts to remember here are that suicide is strongly associated with depression and, equally importantly, with support we can begin to find different ways of thinking about ourselves and our problems that don’t include suicide.
If you are about to harm yourself or have already done so, phone 999 or get yourself quickly to your local hospital’s A&E (Accident & Emergency).
If you feel suicidal now, take a look at our I Need Help Now page for quick, practical things you can do to access help.
The pages throughout this site will help you understand depression and anxiety in greater depth, as well as how to access support from those around you, and ways to support yourself.
The Importance of Self-Care and Prevention
It is not uncommon for people with depression to regularly experience suicidal thoughts (ideation) without any plans of actually acting on them (intent). Talking to someone, such as a trusted friend or member of the family, or a GP or counsellor, can be an important step in supporting yourself.
In addition, taking some self-care steps can be vitally important in helping yourself at times of crisis, particularly if you understand the factors that make things worse. Developing for yourself what is known as a ‘Safety Plan’ could save your life.
Download the Make A Safety Plan self-help resource here.
Other self-help worksheets are also available here: Self-Help Resources
You can do this on your own, or with someone. It simply involves making a list of those things that can make your suicidal feelings worse (risk factors), a list of things that can lessen your suicidal feelings (protective factors), and developing a plan around those two lists for you to act on at times of crisis.