If you are suicidal and thinking “I Want To Die” or “I Want to Kill Myself,” the most important thing is that you get help for yourself. If you cannot find help, this article should help guide you in the right direction. In order to get better, you need to reach out for help. Being suicidal can feel like an everlasting trap and you may start believing that no matter what you do, what you try, or however much will power you put forth, you will never get better. Although most people have different stories leading them to feel like killing themselves, the one thing that suicidal individuals have in common is that they want to die, but deep down, if they could get rid of the emotional pain, they would like to live a fulfilling life.
I Want To Die / Kill Myself: Coping With Suicidal Thoughts
When you are suicidal, I have found that three aspects of intervention are absolutely necessary to facilitate a full recovery. These three aspects include: social support, distraction, and professional help. Although it is imperative that you get some sort of professional help, you cannot be with professionals 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In the times when you feel most alone, you need at least one person who will listen to you talk, and even if they cannot provide good advice or a solution, be supportive and allow you to vent.
Additionally, when you don’t have anyone to talk to and are alone, I’ve found that distraction is necessary. If you don’t distract yourself, you may end up moping in a room all day by yourself and feel even worse that you didn’t do anything by the time the day is over. I’ve divided this up three ways into things that you should do if you are suicidal.
1. Call family – If you are lucky enough to have supportive family members, give them a call and tell them what is going on. Chances are good that you know someone (at least one person) who you can talk to about how you feel. If you cannot call them, at least text them and tell them what’s up.
2. Call a friend – If you don’t have any family that you can talk to about how you feel, hopefully you have at least one friend you can vent with. If you have no friends or don’t feel comfortable talking about your feelings with them, there are still other options.
3. Call 911 – One way of getting some very good support for the way you are feeling is by calling 911 and explaining to them how you feel. When you call 911, a police officer will talk to you about how you are feeling and help you get to the bottom of the situation. If you do call 911, just know that you have nothing to be afraid of – the police are well trained and will help talk to you about what you can do to feel better. They may make you visit the hospital and get a professional mental health assessment, so keep this in mind should you decide to call 911.
4. Online forums – There are plenty of great online forums on which you can post anonymously and explain your situation. Many people on these forums are going through similar things and share your feelings of wanting to die and depression. One post will likely get you a ton of different feedback from people who have managed to live through their own suicidal days and create a fulfilling life.
Examples of forums include:
I have listed them in the order that I recommend. I have given them all a shot and due to the sheer number of people signed up at PsychCentral, you are likely to get a lot of responses in a short period of time. Additionally, there are some extremely helpful souls at the PsychForums. Posting in forums anonymously is better than sitting in a room moping to yourself and holding in all your emotional pain. Share it with the world and let everyone know what you are going through. Someone may end up giving you some great advice or telling you exactly what you need to hear to push through another day.
5. Talklife App (iPhone / iPod / iPad) – A very cool app out to help those who are suicidal and struggling with their feelings is the Talklife app – available for free for iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices. I’m not sure if they are going to make one for Android platforms, but this is truly a gem with a lot of supportive people. You can help others by posting responses, get help by sharing your story and waiting for responses, and also come to learn that other individuals are going through tough times just like you. This is an awesome app if you utilize it correctly.
6. Suicide hotline – There are plenty of free suicide prevention hotlines that you can call anonymously to talk about how you feel if you are feeling suicidal. One example is that of the Samaritans. These are people that are waiting to talk to suicidal individuals and get them some help. At the very least, these anonymous people on the phone can be some sort of social support if you have none at the moment. Talking to a complete stranger is better than talking to no person at all.
7. Create a “life” contract – One good method for preventing suicide is to write up a contract saying that you will not kill yourself. You must share it with your therapist, psychologist, family or all of the above and sign it. This is essentially a promise that you vow to keep that you will not commit suicide. Surprisingly enough, these are pretty darn effective at preventing people from ending their life.
1. Exercise – One of the best distractions from your emotional pain of feeling suicidal is exercise. When you force yourself to work out, you are essentially becoming stronger and healthier. Additionally, in some cases, exercise provides a very quick antidepressant effect. Perhaps the most effective way to feel good is to go for a run – make yourself run at least a few miles. By running a few miles, you will stimulate the production of endorphins (natural feel good chemicals) in your body.
Whether you decide to go for a run, lift weights, do push ups, do pull ups, etc. Some sort of exercise can keep you distracted. Work your body until you are so tired that you think about getting some good sleep instead of suicide. Putting in your headphones, getting some fresh air, and going for a run outside is one of the best feelings in the world – no matter how terrible you currently feel.
2. Read (uplifting book or article) – If you are feeling like ending it all, some uplifting, inspirational reading material can really work wonders for your mind. If you read something positive or inspirational in regards to any aspect of life, it will help you feel better about your situation. Reading is a great distraction because no matter what you read, you are forced to focus on what you are reading instead of the suicidal thoughts cycling through your head. I know it may be difficult to read and stay focused, but having some good reading material handy can help you make it through another day. There are some great personal development websites (i.e. Steve Pavlina), books, and audio tapes (i.e. Tony Robbins) that may help you improve your situation by giving you a more positive perspective on life.
3. TV – If there is a good show on TV, or anything that you like to watch – sometimes simply watching TV can help distract you from your suicidal thinking. Whether it’s a sporting event, comedy, or just a show that you’ve always liked, it may be really helpful to force yourself to watch it if you feel like killing yourself. TV can sometimes be inspirational, funny, but most of all, a good distraction from the way that you are feeling.
4. Journal – For certain individuals, one of the best ways to get out their suicidal emotion is by journaling. Write down how you feel and then write down some ways in which you think you can overcome the feeling. Writing it down and analyzing how you feel helps you become more aware and conscious of yourself and your life. You can learn a lot about yourself by journaling and if you have nobody to vent to, at least getting your suicidal feelings documented will help.
5. Movies – Movies are a great distraction when you are feeling suicidal and distressed. When I was at my most suicidal I watched the entire James Bond series and rented one new release every night until I had seen them all. I think that comedy type movies tend to be most beneficial for those who are suicidal. I would recommend staying away from dramas and movies with a lot of sadness because they may make you feel even worse. Stick to something upbeat and who knows, by the end of it, you may feel pretty good.
6. Fresh air – Get outside, go for a walk, breathe some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. There is nothing better than getting outside in nature if you feel suicidal. Getting away from all the hustle and bustle and going for a walk to clear your head is one of the best feelings in the world. If it helps, take music, or an inspirational tape with for some sort of mental boost. If you have a dog, take the dog for a walk and just enjoy being outside and feeling free. Even if you feel terribly suicidal, the fact that you are moving and doing something is a positive step.
7. Play a game – There are many types of games you could play including: board games, sports, Nintendo, Xbox, poker, etc. Pick a game that you like and play it. There are computer games, board games, card games, and tons of options. You could even play chess or checkers or try to learn a new game. When you feel suicidal, you can use this game as a distraction to help you cope with your feeling.
8. Food – Treat yourself to some good, healthy, food and see if it helps. If you have been eating too much, or unhealthy as a result of your depression, you may want to stay away from this item on the list. However, if you are suicidal, eating something good may provide you with at least some sort of temporary satisfaction. If you have enough money, order a good meal and enjoy the fact that you get something delicious to eat. Although this may not take away your suicidal feelings, it will help keep you distracted.
9. Sex – If you have a significant other to have some sexual fun with, this can really help improve mood. It helps increase the production of dopamine in the brain and sex is generally considered beneficial for mental functioning. The same effect and level of satisfaction is not typically achieved via masturbation. If you have a partner that you can have sex with (and your sex drive is not nonexistent due to the depression), you may want to have some fun – it could be a good temporary distraction from your suicidal feelings.
10. Clean your room – One of the best things you can do for yourself to stay distracted is to stay productive. Acknowledge that you feel suicidal, but make yourself do something to improve your living situation. Something simple that you can do is clean your room. Make your bed, pick up your clothes, do some laundry, vacuum, dust, organize, etc. Having a cleaner room and the sense of accomplishment you’ll get may distract you from how crappy you feel.
11. Art – Many people that have depression or are suicidal are great at drawing and creating artwork that helps express how they feel. Although dwelling on your emotion to create art may be painful, the act of creating artwork can help you get all of your feelings out and share them with the world. Additionally, if you are very musically inclined, you may want to write a song or play an instrument to help keep yourself distracted.
1. Psychotherapist – There are some great psychotherapists out there that may be just as smart and equally as equipped to help suicidal individuals as psychologists. The great thing about psychotherapists is that you can talk to them, they listen to what you have to say, and they come up with some solutions to help get you back on the right track mentally. If you are feeling suicidal, they will help you determine what is causing you to feel so down in the dumps and then come up with a plan to help you correct the situation.
2. Psychologist – There are some great psychologists that genuinely want to help people who are suicidal turn things around and make a full recovery. Psychologists are highly trained individuals that know how to help people struggling with thoughts of suicide and depression. Additionally many will help you come up with solutions for overcoming depression, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and can recommend various treatments depending on what is causing you to feel suicidal.
3. Psychiatrist – If you are suicidal all the time and don’t know what to do, somewhere along the line you will want to visit a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will likely diagnose you with depression and give you some medication to try to help you overcome your depression. Although medications can be a pain in the butt to deal with, they do help a lot of people get through rough patches. If you feel suicidal all the time, every day, and don’t know what to do, a psychiatrist will prescribe you a medication that will produce some chemicals to make you feel better about yourself. Most people who commit suicide do not realize that there are tons of different treatment options available and that one medication could turn their entire life around and change their entire reality: from extreme despair and sadness to happiness within weeks.
Life is Temporary: Death Is Permanent
Just know that there is always hope for your future. Science is advancing at such a quick rate that there could be a cure tomorrow for whatever ails you. If you have a mental disorder, there may be an amazing new treatment that you don’t even know about. The key is getting yourself in touch with the right people for help. Wanting to die and/or kill yourself are not solutions to the problem at hand. The problem is that you are suffering. You need to take a look at yourself from the inside out and work towards making positive changes. Find one area of your life to improve so that you feel less depressed tomorrow.
If you have done everything on this list you should feel better and continue to improve your situation. Keep showing up, keep putting forth effort, keep trying, and eventually you will get better. It may not be overnight, it may not be in a week, a month, or a year, but when you figure out what works, you will be happy that you stuck around to enjoy life. You will look back at the time when you were suicidal as a mere “bump in the road” on the path to becoming the strongest version of yourself. If you can make it through this tough time, you can make it through anything. Choose to live.