Feeling Suicidal If you’re feeling suicidal, call for help! Lifeline: 0808 808 8000 Lifeline is a 24-hour counselling service for people of any age in Northern Ireland who is in distress or despair. Calls are answered by qualified counsellors who will listen, offer support and advice, but not judge. If you’re not ready to make that call, remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When you’re feeling extremely depressed or suicidal, problems don’t seem temporary — they seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, your feelings will change, especially if you reach out for help. Reaching out for help You can choose to live, but first it is important that you find some relief from your pain. To do that, you will need to find a way to increase your connections with people who will listen. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, there are many people who want to support you during this difficult time. They won’t try to argue with you about how miserable you feel or tell you to “snap out of it”. They will not judge you. They will simply listen and be there for you. Reach out to just one person. Do it now. Use your 24 hours or your week, to tell someone what’s going on with you. Call a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. It doesn’t matter who it is, as long as it’s someone you trust and who is likely to listen with compassion and acceptance. Even if your suicidal feelings have subsided, get help for yourself. Experiencing that sort of emotional pain is itself a traumatising experience. Finding a support group or therapist can be very helpful in developing strong coping resources for the future. Not sure who to contact? Call The Rainbow Project on (028) 9031 9030 and we will be able to provide you with immediate access to counselling, support, groups and helpline services that can support you through this difficult time. Feeling suicidal does not make you a bad person Thoughts of ending your own life do not necessarily mean that you truly want to die. Instead, they mean that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. The pain of deep depression is intense. It is too much to bear for long periods of time. What might be bearable to someone else may not be to you Many kinds of emotional pain may lead to thoughts of suicide. The reasons for this pain are unique to every person, and whether or not the pain is bearable differs from person to person. But even if you’re in a lot of pain, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action. Make a promise to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Or, wait a week. Thoughts and actions are two different things—your suicidal thoughts do not have to become a reality. There is no deadline. There’s no time limit, no one pushing you to act on these thoughts right now. Wait. Wait and put some distance between your suicidal thoughts and suicidal action. Ways to cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings Remember that while it may feel as if the depression will never end, depression is never a permanent condition.You WILL feel better again. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to cope with your suicidal thoughts and feelings: Talk with someone every day, preferably face to face. Though you feel like withdrawing, ask trusted friends and acquaintances to spend time with you. Spend time with people who aren’t depressed. This can lift you up and make you feel better. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can give them to you one day at a time. Remove any dangerous objects or weapons from your home. Avoid alcohol and other drugs. They will only make you feel worse. Wait until you are feeling better before doing things you find difficult or unpleasant. Make a written schedule for yourself every day and stick to it, no matter what. Don’t skip meals, and get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Get out in the sun or into nature for at least 30-minutes a day. Make time for things that bring you joy. If you wish to speak to one of The Rainbow Project’s counsellors about any issues raised in this article, please call us on (028) 9031 9030 or email [email protected].