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Suicidal Thoughts

This video is me reaching out to you if you’re feeling suicidal. The link below takes you to a longer article with more explanation and suggestions for you if you’re feeling on the edge and worried. If you are in immediate danger call 999, where you will be supported by trained paramedics or police to help you get out of immediate danger.

Dr Alexandra Lagaisse, Registered and Chartered Clinical Psychologist.

Lots of people experience suicidal thoughts, it’s surprisingly common. It’s often a sign that the trauma or emotions that you’re experiencing feel overwhelming at the moment. Having suicidal thoughts does not mean you will lose control. Taking these thoughts as a sign to get support is important though.

Mental health charity Mind describes how people can experience the following, and I’ve certainly met many people in my work who describe these too:

  • Feeling hopeless, like there is no point in living
  • Tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts
  • Unbearable pain that you can’t imagine ending
  • Feeling like you’re useless, not wanted or not needed by others
  • Desperate, as if you have no other choice
  • Like everyone would be better off without you
  • Cut off from your body or physically numb
  • Fascinated by death

These feelings are certainly awful and overwhelming. Here I have put together a list of some practical things you can do and places you can get support. Of course, if you are in immediate danger call 999, you will be supported and helped to be safe by paramedics or the police. The people working in these services are often well trained; their intention is not to punish or shame but to get you out of immediate danger.

Pieces of advice:

  • Engage in something you love to do; can be anything small, just to claw your way out of feeling terrible for the moment, gain some strength by doing something you like to do and put worrying about the future aside for now. One step at a time.
  • Go outdoors and take a gentle walk to free up your thoughts, try to engage your senses, notice things around you, take in the sounds, smells and what you can see. Grounding in the body helps to get out of our heads. If you feel unsafe going alone, see if someone will go with you. You can use it as an opportunity to open up and talk about what’s going on or even just to be quiet.
  • Speak to those around you; even confiding in just one person can help, to share the burden and get the thoughts out of your head
  • If you can’t face talking to someone write it down; get it out of your head.
  • Write a list of goals, they can be really small and achievable things to start you on the journey of recovery. It can be really hard to imagine a future that looks better than now, but it is possible.
  • Speak to your GP; they can support you with getting access to support or prescribe medication to take the edge off
  • You can call Samaritans on 116 123 any time of the day or night; text the Shout Crisis Text Line on 85258; or speak to a trained advisor via webchat, available through Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) from 5pm to midnight every day.

As a more personal note, I want to add that I have worked with lots of people who have experienced severe suicidal thoughts and who have recovered, got better and live happy and fulfilling lives. They often describe those moments as being the turning point. It is possible to get better and feel good again.

If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis...