How Can I Overcome Suicidal Thoughts?

overcomeThis one’s a toughie.  When suicidal thoughts show up for real, they don’t just vanish in a puff of smoke when you want them to. They stick around, they taint everything with a touch of darkness, they poison excitement, healthy challenge, and kill feelings of success.

But there are ways out that can work for you, if you are carrying the burden of suicidal thoughts.

Learn the Al Anon acronym for handling emotional overload:  HALT. You can keep terrible, defeating thoughts away, even if they have been haunting you for years.  A part of the solution at least, is fairly simple.  Don’t let yourself ever get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  That’s it:  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If it starts to happen, course-correct, and change what’s happening immediately.  Make your own comfort, your sense of safety in the world, a top priority.

Why?  Because you matter. You matter a lot to people who know you. You are aware of some of the people who care about you, but there are others, many others, who would miss you terribly if you were gone.  For their sake, take care of yourself when you start to feel pain.  Feed yourself, rest, find a friend who lifts you when the sadness comes, and talk out your anger. And then look together for solutions.

When you feel angry and you notice you are stuck feeling upset, say to yourself:  “I feel really angry right now.  What can I do for me that will make things better, just for myself and right now?” Focus on something that will empower you. That is a surefire fix for feeling that there is nothing you can do.  You can’t change others, but you can empower yourself.  How? Check out the article, Empowering Yourself 101. You mean something, and you matter.  And, you can find a way out.

Practice extreme self-care. For now, make your survival your top priority. Watch out gently for your own feelings; respect them, and keep your inner mood as light as possible. Retrain your mind by learning successful self-distraction techniques.  (You can learn about these from an expert health care provider.) In the meantime, remember HALT, and stop yourself from sinking into distress.

Over time, you will be surprised at how much these simple techniques can help you.  They are designed to keep you out of a self-destructive mode.

Don’t be shy! get some support from a person who really, really wants to help you find genuine solutions to the things that feel so overwhelming in this moment. You might feel that no one can help you. Maybe you don’t want to disturb them or you are too embrace to share.  The truth is that people love to help their friends and family. The truth is that what might look like a big secret for you, will sound much smaller to them. Ask for their help and support in a very frank way: “I need your support and help. Can you help me?” If you feel that you can’t trust anyone, there is still a good solution.  You can find support at

Did you know that more than 4 out of 5 people who tried to commit suicide and failed are grateful they are still alive? Suicidal thoughts like any other thoughts, are temporary and eventually are replaced with new thoughts.

Share with others who are struggling with the same life and death questions, what solutions help you to feel better as you work toward recreating your own experience.  Become a part of the solution when you comment on this article.

To summarize, keep in mind that suicidal thoughts can kill, but they don’t have to. If you recognize today that you are not your suicidal thoughts, but you are just a person who has temporary suicidal thoughts, than you can get help in time. Give yourself a gift–care for you, remember there is help out there, and reach out to get support.  I have faith in your power to heal your pain.

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