Suicide can affect people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, life can become unbearable for someone who does not have healthy connections and resources to manage their mental health. Sometimes, people who appear to have everything can suffer in silence, eventually making the heavy decision to take their own life.
Preventative care is one of the best ways to decrease the incidence of suicide in the U.S. With a tough three years behind all of us, learning how to identify and navigate thoughts of suicide can help you live a more fulfilling and empowered life.
Life can be challenging; many people have grown up in a society where emotional challenges are overlooked or ignored. It takes time and practice to learn how to actively use the skills to manage your emotions. Just know that there is hope.
Who Is at Risk of Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts?
Thoughts of suicide can appear for any person at any time. Some specific circumstances can put someone at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal ideation.
The potential risk factors for suicidal thoughts are:
- A previous suicide attempt
- Personal or family history of undiagnosed or chronic mental health disorder
- Substance abuse
- Impulsive or aggressive behavior
- Unemployment, financial hardship
- Childhood trauma
- Legal trouble
- Unhealthy relationships
- Social isolation
- Lack of community resources
- Lack of healthcare resources
- Social stigma
- Careless media portrayals of suicide
Some people develop suicidal thoughts as a result of their own inner experience, while others can be triggered by external events or a combination of the two.
Even though there is no right or wrong reason to feel suicidal, it is important to get help immediately. Suicidal thoughts are often the byproduct of a deeper problem. Finding the right support to help you identify and use healthier tools for managing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences will help you move away from suicidal ideation.
What Are the Signs Someone Is Considering Suicide?
Knowing how to tell if you or a loved one are actively considering suicide can help you save a life. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s safety, please seek help at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or your local hospital for immediate support.
Some of the more subtle signs that someone is contemplating suicide include:
- Intentionally withdrawing from social connections
- Speaking about death, wanting to die, methods of dying
- Feeling immense guilt or shame, feeling like a burden
- Extreme mood changes
- Changes in appetite and sleep
- Increased substance use
- Unbearable emotional or physical pain
It is also possible for someone to be considering suicide without showing any notable symptoms. Sometimes, it can be hard for a person to share that they are having suicidal thoughts. If you are still concerned about your loved one’s well-being, it can be helpful to offer support without judgment or shame.
How Can I Combat Thoughts of Suicide?
A person often considers suicide when they feel that they no longer have any hope for a brighter future. However, it is essential to understand that the most beautiful life you can live will still have some hardships.
It is a great skill to learn how to move forward without the weight of your challenges holding you back. Fortunately, there are many options available to help you navigate life’s ups and downs with more peace and acceptance.
A strong self-care or treatment plan will consist of multiple tools and resources to help you get through your times of distress. As long as you practice healthy coping mechanisms, there is no right or wrong way to foster a sense of peace for yourself.
Overcoming suicidal thoughts and any underlying mental health concerns can start with any of the following practices:
- Meditative practices, such as meditation or prayer, journaling, and breathwork
- Regular movement such as dance, yoga, walking, swimming, etc. at least a few times a week
- Take care of your mind and body with good sleep, balanced meals, and a healthy routine that supports your basic needs
- Make time for rest, find ways to balance your time between productivity and relaxation
- Stay connected, reach out to supportive friends, and foster new relationships that feel nurturing
- Get involved in your community by joining a religious institution or volunteering
- Do more things that inspire and empower you
- Spend time in nature
- Receiving well-rounded healthcare to help manage any physiological symptoms that may accompany your challenge with suicidal thoughts
- Call 911 or the new suicide and crisis hotline at 988 for urgent help
Overcoming thoughts of suicide does require you to pull yourself out. As heavy and challenging as this experience can be, it is vital to have healthy and supportive connections that can help lift you from the darkness you’ve been experiencing.
Although some helpful techniques can be practiced alone, you must develop or lean into trusting and supportive relationships. Social connection plays a large part in developing and maintaining mental and emotional health.
It takes a very strong person to live through pain and overcome it. With the right tools and support, you will overcome your hardships and move forward in an empowered way.
West Coast Recovery Centers can help you and your loved ones navigate challenging situations with compassionate support. Suicide prevention takes collaboration, transparency, and the love of a strong support system. You can contact us at (760) 492-6509 for guidance and support through any of your challenging thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. Our team is here to help you and your loved ones manage the symptoms and experiences that can contribute to suicidal ideation. However, if you or a loved one need immediate care and attention, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988. You can also contact your nearest medical facility by dialing 911. Healing is better together, and with the right support system, you can overcome your hardships.