This information explains why you may have suicidal feelings and provides some options to help you look forward and break the circle of your negative thoughts.
What are suicidal feelings like?
Suicidal feelings can be terrifying.
If you can no longer see why you should go on living, your distress will seem unbearable. You may hate yourself and believe that you are useless and unneeded. You may feel rage, shame and guilt.
Repeated painful experiences, particularly losses, can lead you to blame yourself and feel that you haven’t lived up to your own standards. Faced with an unbearable situation, unsolvable difficulties, overpowering feelings of guilt, failures or conflicts, you may start to think that death is your only option.
You may feel suicidal for no apparent reason. You may think that you have no reason to want to kill yourself. This can trigger feelings of deep guilt and shame and you may find it difficult to tell others what you are going through.
Whether you are aware of a cause or not, it can be difficult to relate to others at this time, so you are likely to feel withdrawn or irritable. Even if you have family and friends around, you may find it impossible to tell them how bad you feel. If you have been badly hurt by someone close to you, you may be thinking of suicide as a way of getting back at them. It is understandable to be angry with people who have hurt us, but suicide turns that anger in on ourselves.
What you may experience:
• sleeping badly and waking early
• a change in appetite
• weight loss or gain
• feeling cut off from your body or physically numb
• a loss of energy
• you may have stopped taking care of yourself e.g. neglecting your physical appearance.
You may be very clear that you want to die; you may simply not care if you live or die; you may be thinking of death as a release. If you feel powerless to influence circumstances that are distressing you, the idea of suicide may give you a sense of being in control again. Depending on your beliefs, you could be looking forward to ‘nothingness’ or to being reunited with loved ones or to reincarnation.
If you feel low and suicidal for no apparent reason, this can also make you feel powerless: if you can’t find a cause for your difficult feelings, you may find it hard to believe that there might be a solution.
You may be harming yourself by cutting, biting or burning your body. Perhaps you are getting into fights or taking extreme risks. You may also be overdosing on drugs, binging on alcohol or have developed anorexia or bulimia. However, even when you are not sure why you are self-harming, it is usually a means of trying to stay alive – trying to kill the pain you are feeling inside rather than a wish to actually kill yourself. For most people, suicidal thoughts are confusing. As much as you want to die, you may also want a solution to your difficulties in life and you may want others to understand how you feel and to help. Such mixed feelings and being unsure what to do can cause great anxiety. This is why suicidal thoughts can be frightening and confusing.
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