Suicide represents 1.6% of all deaths in America.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens.
Suicide ranks 10th in causes of death in America. Homicide is 16th.
Men are 4 times more likely to carry out a successful attempt than women.
Women attempt suicide 3 times as much as men.
There are approximately 1 million suicide attempts/year.
So what do you do if feeling suicidal? It’s important to know that as lonely and hopeless as you feel, many people from all walks of life have suicidal thoughts. Feeling suicidal is scary, but it’s not uncommon. Suicidal thoughts are the result of being overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and pain. You feel like you can’t cope and there is no other option. What’s important to know is with time and healthy choices, suicidal feelings can pass and you can regain control of your life. Here are some things that help if feeling suicidal:
Talk to someone. Don’t keep suicidal feelings to yourself. Talk to someone. Feeling understood will decrease the loneliness and hopelessness.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. Some feel that drugs and alcohol numb the pain; however, drugs and alcohol can actually exacerbate suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Make your home safe. If you have thoughts or a specific plan of how to hurt yourself, remove household items, weapons, and/or medications from your home. If you can’t, then go to a safe place or have someone remove the items for you.
Exercise and get outside. Try to exercise for 30 minutes. Go for a walk outside. Even 10 minutes of activity can result in an improvement in mood.
Keep yourself busy. Staying busy keeps you from thinking about suicide and keeps you productive. It also gives you time to gain perspective on your situation.
Focus on what keeps you from attempting suicide. You are alive and that is for a reason. Focus on what keeps you alive (faith, family, friend, hobby, anything that helps).
You may be thinking that everyone will be better off, or even happier, if you aren't around. That is never the case. A suicide leaves a path of pain and sadness behind for those left to deal with the aftermath.
If you are feeling suicidal, there is always someone to talk to. In the U.S., you can call:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
Outside the U.S., you can search for a resource in your country by visiting the website below:
If you know of someone who is suicidal, you can call 911 or take the person to the nearest emergency room.
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Salmaan Toor is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Knoxville, TN. If you are interested in being notified of future posts, you can “like” The Family Center of Knoxville on facebook here or can follow me on Twitter here. Thanks for your support!