Written by UKCP psychotherapist, Richard Nicholls
If you’ve made the decision to take your own life there’s one thing to do first.
It can feel impossible to talk yourself out of it when you’re so low. So, for now, just wait before doing anything.
The intensity of suicidal feelings sometimes diminishes.
Get out into the open so that you aren’t alone. Go for a walk, sit in a coffee shop, go to the library. Do anything to feel in some way connected to the outside world.
Talk to someone and tell them that you need some help making yourself safe. You might need a friend to make the place you’re staying safe. Tell them that you don’t trust yourself.
If the truth is that you are making plans to take your life then tell them that. Shocking as it is, it’s the truth and your friends deserve to know the truth about how you feel. If telling someone face to face is too difficult then call someone from a support organisation, such as the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you’ve been suicidal before, been so low that you felt you had to die right there and then, yet you didn’t and your mood lifted, then remember that!
If you’ve thought about killing yourself before and you didn’t, recognise that since that point there would have been times that you were glad that you didn’t. There would have been some good things have happened since the last time you thought this way, no matter how small. Think about those things because your emotions are not fixed.
Your emotional state is in constant flux. How you feel right now might not be the same as how you felt yesterday or how you’ll feel tomorrow or next week. Your depression might not be permanent, but suicide is. There’s no going back from it. It’s a permanent solution to what might be only a temporary problem, remember that.
Psychotherapy provides a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional who can support you. If psychotherapy is something you want to explore then you can search for an accredited therapist on the UKCP website.
For immediate help with suicidal thoughts:
In an emergency, call: 999
NHS (England), call: 111
NHS Direct (Wales), call: 0845 46 47
The Samaritans 24-hour helpline, call: 116 123
Richard Nicholls is a UKCP psychotherapist and podcaster who works with clients on a range of issues.