If you are feeling suicidal right now and you need someone to talk to: click here.
We are born with the ability to take our own lives. Each year a million people make that choice. Even in societies where suicide is illegal or taboo, people still kill themselves.
For many people who feel suicidal, there seems to be no other way out. Death describes their world at that moment and the strength of their suicidal feelings should not be under-estimated - they are real and powerful and immediate. There are no magic cures.
But it is also true that:
- Suicide is often a permanent solution to a temporary problem
- When we are depressed, we tend to see things through the very narrow perspective of the present moment. A week or a month later, things may look completely different
- Most people who once thought about killing themselves are now glad to be alive. They say they didn't want to end their lives - they just wanted to stop the pain.
The most important step is to talk to someone. People who feel suicidal should not try to cope alone. They should seek help NOW.
Read more suicidal-feelings
Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs. Read more www.befrienders.org
Be quiet and listen!
If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, our first response is to try to help. We offer advice, share our own experiences, try to find solutions.
We'd do better to be quiet and listen. People who feel suicidal don't want answers or solutions. They want a safe place to express their fears and anxieties, to be themselves.
Listening - really listening - is not easy. We must control the urge to say something - to make a comment, add to a story or offer advice. We need to listen not just to the facts that the person is telling us but to the feelings that lie behind them. We need to understand things from their perspective, not ours.
Here are some points to remember if you are helping a person who feels suicidal. Read more helping a friend