Suicidal Feelings

What are Suicidal Feelings?

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking your own life.


Suicidal feelings can range from being preoccupied by abstract thoughts about ending your life, or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide, or making clear plans to take your own life.


If you are feeling suicidal, you might be scared or confused by these feelings.


But you are not alone. Many people think about suicide at some point in their lifetime.


How you might think or feel;

  • hopeless, like there is no point in living
  • tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts
  • unbearable pain that you can't imagine ending
  • useless, unwanted or unneeded 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


What you may experience;

  • poor sleep with early waking
  • change in appetite, weight gain or loss
  • no desire to take care of yourself, for example neglecting your physical appearance
  • wanting to avoid others
  • self-loathing and low self-esteem
  • urges to self-harm


If you are experiencing ongoing suicidal feelings, you might feel as if there's nothing that could help. But there is support to help you cope with the problems that may be causing you to feel suicidal.


Support through your GP

Going to your GP is a good starting point. It is common to feel worried about talking to your doctor about suicidal feelings, but they will be used to listening to people who are experiencing difficult feelings.


Your GP can:

  • refer you to talking treatments
  • prescribe you medication
  • refer you to specialist services, such as a community mental health team


Talking treatments

Talking treatments involve speaking about your feelings with a trained professional, such as a counsellor or psychotherapist. This could help you understand why you're experiencing suicidal feelings, and think about ways you can help yourself cope with and resolve them.


There may be a long waiting list in your area to access talking treatments on the NHS, but you may be able to access them through charities, your workplace or university, or privately at a reduced rate.


Medication

Although there isn't a specific drug licensed to treat suicidal feelings, your doctor might prescribe you psychiatric medication to help you cope with your symptoms, or to treat a mental health problem, which might be causing your suicidal feelings. These might include:

  • antidepressants
  • antipsychotics
  • mood stabilisers

 

Crisis services

A crisis service is any service that is available at short notice to help you resolve a mental health crisis, or to support you while it is happening:


Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) teams who can support you at your home during a mental health crisis.


Community mental health teams (CMHT) who can support you at home when you are not in crisis.


Local support services which may offer day services, drop-in sessions, counselling or issue-specific support. Many local branches of the Samaritans offer walk in face-to-face support. 


Telephone support

Telephone services can be a good way of getting information or support when you need it. Many are available out-of-hours and provide a confidential, judgement-free service.


Talking to someone on the telephone can also be helpful if you are finding it difficult to open up to the people you know, or speak to someone face-to-face.


Peer support

Peer support brings together people who’ve had similar experiences to support each other. You can share your thoughts and tips for coping with others who understand what you are going through.


Peer support is also available online. You might prefer this if you don't feel like you can talk to people on the telephone or face to face.