I tried to kill myself.
Please don’t feel ashamed if you have felt this way before. Suicidal thoughts are symptoms of an illness – they are not you.
Your brain is a problem-solving machine, and when you feel depressed, it repeats the same thinking patterns over and over again to try to fix what is making you feel bad. It doesn’t realise that these thoughts are making you feel worse.
Depression affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men. It’s a huge chemical change that affects sleep, appetite, libido, memory and concentration. The earlier you get help, the easier it is to treat.
Even if you have suffered intense emotional distress for a long time, there are ways to ease that pain and treat your depression.
Talk to someone
Go and see a friend or relative or ask them to come to you. If it’s night time, ask them to stay over, or ask if you can spend the night at their house. Please don’t be alone at night with suicidal thoughts.
Do not drink alcohol or take drugs
When you are affected by alcohol or drugs, they wash away your logic and intelligence, and your emotions and impulses take over. When you are feeling really miserable, these impulses and emotions will drastically exaggerate how bad things are.
Make yourself safe
Get rid of the methods you were contemplating using. Or ask your friend to lock them away. Avoid places you had been considering going with a view to harming yourself.
Distract your mind
Make yourself do a crossword, a puzzle, a maths problem, a jigsaw or anything that requires you to focus your mind on something else. Physical exercise like skipping or running can help, too.
Write down what you would tell a friend who was feeling suicidal. You would never advise a friend to die; tell yourself what you’d tell a friend.
Go to sleep instead
Doctors give people painkillers to make them sleep when they have bad physical pain because they know that when they wake up, the pain will be less. It’s the same for psychological pain. Go to bed and try to sleep. If you have been prescribed sleeping tablets, take a safe dose of these; even if you do not sleep, they will lessen your emotional pain. When you wake up, you can access help from family, friends and professionals.