Some people may become so overwhelmed by their thoughts and feelings that they feel their only option is to end their own life. They might be experiencing unbearable physical or psychological pain, may feel totally desperate and even feel like it would be better for everyone else if they were dead.
Suicidal feelings can be very difficult to cope with, and even harder to talk about. There is still a lot of stigma around talking about suicide. But, for the majority of people who experience suicidal feelings, with the right support, things do get better.
Men are more likely to complete suicide than women, perhaps because men can find it really difficult to talk about how they feel, especially if they feel desperate. See TheCalmZone which offers advice and support for men.
People in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning) community are also more at risk of suicide – this could be a result of bullying and stigma they may experience. Visit Switchboard for more information and guidance.
Also take a look at The Samaritans website - they provide a listening service for anyone experiencing suicidal feelings.
Papyrus campaign for reducing suicide in young people. They also have a helpline - 0800 068 41 41
Real life experience
The door to suicide will always be open to me. It is no longer wide open beckoning me to walk through but it is ajar and it will never be closed. After a long time in therapy I really struggled with the fact that I still had frequent times when I felt desperately suicidal. I felt that it meant that I was no-where near being recovered and that it I was still really mentally unwell. I felt scared of the thoughts and what I might do. I felt I needed to be protected and kept safe. I also felt a lot of guilt about my suicidal thoughts as I have a husband and two children who I really love. How could I really love them if I was thinking about leaving them and in doing so causing immeasurable distress?
The way that I have found to live with the almost daily thoughts of suicide is to not get caught up in the thoughts when they come. I have accepted and know that I don’t really want to die but that in itself doesn’t stop the thoughts. Now I have learnt to acknowledge the thoughts when they come but no longer feel the need to engage with them. If I just see them as a thought that my mind has conjured up it is much easier to let them go again.
Therapy has helped me take control of my thoughts and responsibility for them, it has helped me to make choices rather than feeling at the mercy of my thoughts. The thought of shutting the door to suicide completely is terrifying and I don’t need to do that – as much as I don’t want to die and don’t have any plans I feel much happier knowing that the possibility is always there. Having made many half-hearted and a few very serious suicide attempts I don’t think it will ever be possible to stop having suicidal thoughts completely. I have accepted that they are a part of who I am and know I am in control of them which is a far better place to be.
Real life user story