1. Promise not to do anything right now. Even though you’re in a lot of pain right now, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action. Make a promise to yourself: “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Or, wait a week. Your suicidal thoughts do not have to become a reality.
2. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important to not use non-prescription drugs or alcohol when you feel hopeless or are thinking about suicide.
3. Make your home safe. Remove things you could use to hurt yourself, such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If you are unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can return them to you one day at a time as you need them.
4. Take hope – people DO get through this. Even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now manage to survive these feelings. Take hope in this. There is a very good chance that you are going to live through these feelings, no matter how much self-loathing, hopelessness or isolation you are currently experiencing.
5. Don’t keep these suicidal feelings to yourself. Many of us have found that the first step to coping with suicidal thoughts and feelings is to share them with someone we trust. It may be a friend, a therapist, a member of the clergy, a teacher, a family doctor, a coach or an experienced counselor at the end of a helpline. Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. Don’t let fear, shame or embarrassment prevent you from seeking help.
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