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How do you deal with suicidal thoughts? A lot of people have felt suicidal at some point in their lives, because of feeling like a failure, having experienced a loss or as a symptom of chronic depression. It’s hard to shake off the feelings of despair, hopelessness, helplessness or whatever feelings are associated with your suicidal thoughts.

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts

The best way to cope with suicidal thoughts is to heal the underlying feelings that cause them, such as sadness, depression, hopelessness, stress and self-hatred. It takes time for such feelings to go away, it’s not easy to simply stop thinking about suicide just like that, as we cannot control the thoughts that come to us. But what we can do is to react to them in in order to effectively deal with suicidal thoughts.

How do you react to thoughts about committing suicide? For example, if you have the thought that you cannot bare the pain any longer, do you think of these thoughts as if they are actually true? That you should die just because you think that these feelings are unbearable? Or do you think that such thoughts are symptoms of the sadness, depression, loneliness and other feelings that are within us? To deal with suicidal thoughts and to regain control of your life, you need to talk back to them.

Observe such thoughts mindfully: be aware of them even as they pass through your head. but stop feeding them, and never act on them. Ask yourself what you would advise a cherished friend in similar circumstances. No doubt you would try to comfort them, discourage them from taking any action and assist them in finding help. Here, you are your own friend. Can you help yourself by providing self affirmations, hope for the future and reaching out for professional help?

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts

Therapists call this a “coping technique”, where you tell yourself things that will help you cope with suicidal thoughts more effectively. A good example of “coping statements” to help you deal with suicidal thoughts would be to tell yourself, “This is my depression talking . This will pass too. I will most certainly get through this and come out of it as a better person. No, I don’t want to die, but I do want the pain to be over. Yes, things look bad right now, but the suicidal thoughts that I am having are not rational and they will pass. I will get through them.”

Repeat the above coping statements to yourself as often as you can; write them down, that’s even better. See if you can add more coping statements to counter your suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.  Create “coping cards” with such statements, stick them on the refrigerator or carry them in your purse or wallet. Read the coping cards every time you feel a feeling of sadness within you. Train your mind to take on the irrational thoughts to deal with suicidal thoughts.

The Buddha said “What you think, you become”. That’s what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about – when you tell yourself that bad things will happen to you, you will feel tense, anxious and possibly depressed. When you say positive things to yourself, you will feel better. Stop putting yourself down, don’t be so harsh on yourself.  Try to be kind and soothe yourself.

This does not mean using positive affirmations that you know in your heart  are not true and will only increase your misery. Be truthful to yourself. Tell yourself, “Yes, I’m NOT happy. I feel really upset right now and here’s why that is, but I’ll get through this.”

Be realistic. Forced or unrealistic positive thoughts can make you feel worse. Emphasize to yourself, “Yes, I feel terrible, but I won’t feel like this forever. This too shall pass. I will get better and feel better. Nothing stays the same in life.”

Use your own coping statements to deal with suicidal your thoughts. If you are not sure how to, ask yourself how you would convince a friend to shake off such thoughts in a way they would understand. How can you convince someone not to kill themselves? Can you tell yourself that?

Treatment for Suicidal Thoughts and Depression

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In Tennessee, about 3.7% of all adults will have serious thoughts of suicide.  Furthermore, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment. In 2011, the latest year for which state-specific figures are available, Tennessee’s age-adjusted suicide rate was 14.6 per 100,000 people, translating into 938 reported suicide deaths. This rate and number are down from previous years but are still above the national average of 12.4 per 100,000.

Effective treatment for depression is available.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender.

If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.