Often however, it is not that we actually want to die but, at that point, we cannot find a way of living.
It is important to remember that depression can significantly alter how we look at the world, and the choices we identify for ourselves. Many people who have attempted suicide, or come close to suicide, 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 experience a lessening of the severity and/or intrusiveness of their suicidal thoughts.
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 and emergency).
If you feel suicidal now, take a look at our 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 more, how to access support, and things you can do to begin to support yourself.
The Importance of Self-Care and Prevention
It is not uncommon for people with depression to experience suicidal thoughts (ideation) regularly, although without any plans of 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 ‘Keep Safe plan’ could save your life.
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.