How to Cope With Suicidal Thoughts

Original Article from:  Wikihow
Image Source: Public Domain


Life isn’t always the easiest of things. Whether it’s a result of depression or a reaction to something that’s happening around you, many people will find themselves thinking suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. How you cope with these thoughts can be the difference between life and death.

1.)  Deal with the immediate impulse if it helps. “The whole system that we live in drills into us that we’re powerless that we’re weak that our society is evil etc. and so forth. It’s all a big fat lie, we are powerful, beautiful and extraordinary. There is no reason why we cannot understand who we truly are, where we are going, there is no reason why the average individual cannot be fully empowered, we are incredibly powerful beings.” – Professor Richard Alpert.

2.)   Get a job you enjoy doing, getting a job that implements something you’re interested in can be a big motivator to not kick the bucket prematurely. Granted, this can be very difficult when depressed, but making even small changes to improve your life can help pull out of a more self-destructive mindset.

  • Beware of making your happiness dependent on your job, other people, or other peoples perception of you.

3.)  Don’t entertain these thoughts to make someone else feel guilty. You may have these thoughts because someone hurt you recently, and you want that person to feel guilty. It won’t work; think it through. You won’t be around to see how that person grieves or acts after you’re dead. It might be a long time before they even find out about you. And even if they got terribly upset on discovering you did away with yourself, you would not be there to see that reaction. Killing yourself isn’t the way to get love & attention from others. If they really can’t stand you, they’re not going to feel guilty anyway and may just be relieved you’re not around, so don’t give your enemies that relief. They’ll be the ones getting all the attention and support, no matter what they did to you to push you to that point.

4.) Realize that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Procrastination can help. Live life day-to-day and give it a chance to improve. Tell yourself that you can, at the very least, get through this day, all the way till bedtime. Once you’ve made it that far, tell yourself that you will sleep on it before deciding to take any action. Take one day at a time, or if you feel that’s too hard, take it one hour at a time. Remember that things will often get worse before they get better.

5.) Put away the implements if you have chosen a method for your demise. Put those items somewhere out of your immediate reach, somewhere that you have to make an extra effort to go get them. When you are hurting, impulses are strong – having to go out of your way to take action on those impulses will give you time to think and resist them. Example: If you plan to take pills, put them up on a high shelf, in a place you wouldn’t ordinarily look for them – highest shelf of your closet, rather than in the bathroom, or in the kitchen, in the highest cupboard. If you’ve chosen a gun–if you really don’t need it and the temptation to use it is strong–consider selling it. Otherwise, put it in your gun safe, locked. If possible, don’t keep the key in your home; leave it, at least temporarily, with someone you trust. If you feel that you can’t be open about the real reason you are leaving the key with them, make an excuse–you have children/an elderly parent in the house or you are afraid that an intruder may find it and open the safe etc. You can talk to yourself a little here, and tell yourself that if you really want to go through with it, you can make the necessary effort to retrieve your pills/gun etc.

6.)  Look for the things that are good in life. Start with the littlest things; perhaps a pet, a sunrise or sunset, something you find comfort in doing or seeing. Grab onto this thing and cherish it. Make a list. It doesn’t matter how trivial these things are or what anyone else thinks of them, it’s whatever you’re actually looking forward to that matters for any reason. One man survived a bad suicidal episode just because he didn’t want to miss a favorite TV show that aired two days later.

7.)  Find someone to confide in. A friend, a parent, a counsellor or teacher. Ask for help and allow yourself to receive the help offered. You may not wish to confide your desperate feelings to just anyone, but if you have just one person you can tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it might really help you feel less alone.

8.)   Remember to eat regularly, and stick with healthy food. Avoid sugar, which can contribute to mood swings. If you go too long without eating, you will get low blood sugar which worsens depression. Fruit can help elevate your mood, because it has phytochemicals in it which are shown to do so. Try eating an apple or an orange – if nothing else, it will occupy you in a harmless activity for a few minutes.

9.)  Engage in some exercise, such as jogging or calisthenics. Exercise increases the dopamine levels in the brain, and is also a very good way to take your attention off of emotional pain by a healthy dose of some constructive physical pain. Start off gradually if necessary. If all can manage is a five minute walk, that is an excellent start!

10.)  Find a cause and fight or contribute to it. Not money – anybody can give money to a charitable cause. Give your time. Help the needy and less fortunate.

  • Go to a local church and volunteer to help in their “feed the hungry” program – many churches do provide free meals to the homeless and less fortunate. You can help by offering to serve, to clean up after, or to help prep for the dinners.
  • Be careful, though, to not do anything illogical or irrational, just because you need to cling on to something. As in, if you don’t believe in a cults practices, or aren’t religious, don’t turn to either just because you need “something”. Please keep your head.
  • Go to a local food bank and offer to help.
  • Go to a battered women or children’s center and volunteer.
    • There are many people who need your help – you just have to go out and give it. And in the process, it’s very likely that you will find yourself feeling much better. Helping others is one of the very best ways to cope with thoughts of harming yourself, because it creates a very big feeling of warmth and generosity in your heart – it will be a welcome change after feeling empty and cold for such a long time. And feeling necessary can really help your outlook long term, too. There was a song that said, Give – when you have anything at all to give… you have everything to live for… give all you’ve got, and when you’ve given all you can… give again… give again… give again… The truth is, the more you give, the more you are filled with compassion, and the easier it is to give again. And all that good feeling is also yours to keep, because in an odd paradox, the more you give, the better you will feel.

11.)  Do not take any medication that hasn’t been prescribed for you by a medical practitioner. Also do not drink alcohol. Alcohol is, itself, a depressant. Whatever resolve you have to stay on top of things will be loosened by drinking. If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol see a doctor immediately.

12.)  Look up a website that gives advice on coping with suicidal thoughts and contribute your own ideas. Stretching your brain to think creatively about specific ways to help other people will, no doubt, be helpful for you. After all, it was your own idea! Be encouraged by every effort you make to improve your situation and your state of mind. Congratulate yourself for caring enough about yourself to make the effort because when you are feeling really low, it is an effort. Be assured that it is an effort well worth making.

13.)  Speak kindly to yourself with comforting words of validation and affirmation. When the waves of temptation come, soothe yourself by saying something like, “Given my situation and my state of mind, it’s perfectly understandable to be feeling this way. It’s OK. But whatever I may be feeling, I know, deep in my heart, that I will not ever act upon it. It’s not the answer. I know that the answer is to keep on riding out the waves of temptation and to keep on reaching out for help. I know that I’ll gradually feel better as time passes. I can do it.”

14.)    If all the positive, happy, generous impulses and feelings are worn away, other dark emotions can help fight your despair. Anger is better than despair. Living in spite for a while is still living long enough for the pain to ease and you can remember that there are things in life you enjoy and people you care about more positively. Don’t let the people who hurt you that deep win and succeed in getting rid of you completely. If you stick around, they still have to face your existence every day and know you stood up to them. This is if someone is hounding you or abusing you. Hold out long enough and you can find better ways to deal with that abuser, find ways to walk away and get out of the situation alive.

15.)    Become curious about what the future might hold for you. Ask yourself helpful questions like: “What will I be doing this time next year?” “If I take up tennis again, I wonder how many new friends I will make?” “If I get a job, how will I spend the money I’ll earn?”

16.)    Write down your feelings on a piece of paper or something else. Yeah, it sounds stupid to do it, but it will help. Put as much emotion into it let yourself go and write down all that you feel. It’s a good way to relieve yourself and get away from suicidal thoughts you may be having. Just try it out it might actually help.


  • See a counselor or psychologist. Find one you really like, and allow them to teach you how to cope with your feelings and with life.
  • Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. It means that you value yourself enough to find a solution.


  • If you are suicidal, call someone! It is an emergency and you should treat it as such. Call 1-800-SUICIDE or look up another suicide hot line, even 911 they will help you calm down and give you the assistance you need. You can make that one call, it could be the most important call of your life.
  • Seek help from whoever you feel comfortable talking with.
  • Avoid people that will bring you down further. You know that they’re trouble, but you may think that you can’t do any better and that they are the only type of people you can make friends with. You can do better — find people who motivate you!
    • Also avoid self absorbed passive-aggressive people who would rather use guilt to manipulate you into staying alive for them, when you are (probably) in misery. Staying with these people will most likely make the perceived problem “worse”.