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Living with suicidal thoughts/feelings

As a society we seem to be more accepting of taking about depression than we used to be, however we are still really shy and quiet about suicidal thoughts. As soon as we start discussing suicide people get extremely scared and immediately start thinking the person needs to head straight to therapy. Don't get me wrong therapy is fucking great BUT talking about suicidal thoughts shouldn't be ran away from. Some of us live with these thoughts/feelings day in and day out. Understanding it better can help you to understand and sympathise with a person that experiences this.

I have lived with depression since the age of 11 and my depression comes along with suicidal thoughts (not everyone's does, remember everyones mental illness is unique). When i first started experiencing these thoughts it extremely scary at any age, but being so young i wasn't sure what it even was. It's not something that needs to be as scary as people think it is and I wish I'd known more about it when I first started experiencing it. I'm no longer what you'd class as 'at risk' because of my suicidal thoughts, which means i have the tools to be able to keep them at a manageable level. Mostly, they're just passing thoughts that come and go, just like any other thought might.

I really think it's such a ran away from topic because people don't really understand what they are and why people experience them. Even the information on google regarding this is pretty shit. So here's some information that's not actually shit. Some snippets are taken from and from, i highly recommend checking out both these websites.

What are suicidal thoughts:

Suicidal thoughts/feelings can mean having abstract thoughts about ending your life or feeling that people would be better off without you. Or it can mean thinking about methods of suicide or making clear plans to take your own life. Suicidal thoughts can be different for everyone and everyone can experience them differently, but this is the gist of it.

If you're experiencing these thoughts yourself, you might be scared or confused by these feelings. You may find the feelings overwhelming. But you are not alone.

It's important to know where you are with you suicidal thoughts, you know yourself and know when you need someone to step in. For me personally i liked to spilt my thoughts into, low, medium, high risk and crisis.

Low risk is what i live with constantly. It equates to the occasionally thought of suicide, but it's mostly just in passing like floating clouds. These thoughts don't bother me much but they're still there.

Medium risk is when they thoughts are more frequent, they're starting to be a little more intrusive. When i'm at medium risk the thoughts tend to stick around longer and settle a little more. This is when i need to start thinking about reaching for help if i need it. i like to have a place to go where i feel safe until these ones shift or have a plan for what i can do if i start falling into high risk. When a depression episode kicks in i tend to sit in medium risk. I can still very much function when i'm a medium risk and still go about my day/go to work etc, but the thoughts bug me more.

High risk is when i need to actually get myself help or somewhere safe. I haven't reach high risk in years but this is the point where i need external help. Thoughts are constant at this stage and this is when people star to think up plans of suicide. If you're at the stage, it's important to remember who can help you. There's so many companies/charities out there now that you can turn to for external help, and it's not just ones you have to call and speak to now (i'll list a few below). Talk to friends/families/partners at this point. It's easy for them to not know you're struggling, especially when you learn how to hide your depression.

Crisis is when i need help and i need it right that second. the thoughts have become too much and turned to action. This is when external and trained people are needed. Its scary being in crisis but it's not the end.

Even though i spilt my thoughts into different categories, this isn't always helpful to everyone. Remember to actually discuss with the person who lives with these thoughts/feelings and find out how they want to do things. These are also just guidelines. Some people will have suicidal thoughts/feelings constantly but still be in low risk. This is very much based off personal experience.

Who can experience them:

Suicidal thoughts can be experienced by anyone, including those that don't have a mental illness. However, it is more common in those who have depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

i'm still not sure i understand?

and that's okay! Understanding comes from having more open conversations and asking questions. Drop me an email or a Instagram DM if you feel like you want to ask some questions or talk to the person you know could possibly live with this (given that they're comfortable talking and asking questions)

Different people have different experiences of suicidal feelings. Some might feel unable to cope with the difficult feelings they are experiencing. Some may feel less like they want to die and more like they cannot go on living the life they have.

These feelings may build over time or might change from moment to moment. And it's common for them not understand why they feel this way. Don't push people to have a reason for these thoughts, we don't always have one.

Some ways people experience suicidal thoughts/feelings are:

  • Hopeless, like there is no point in living

  • Tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts

  • Unbearable pain that you can't imagine ending

  • Useless, not wanted or not needed by others

  • Desperate, as if you have no other choice

  • Like everyone would be better off without you

  • Cut off from your body or physically numb

  • Fascinated by death. 

Signs that someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts/feelings;

  • Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"

  • Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

  • Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there is no other logical explanation for doing this

  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again

  • Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above

  • A change in appetite, weight gain or loss

  • No desire to take care of yourself, for example neglecting your physical appearance

How do i help someone that has suicidal thoughts?

  • TALK TO THEM. It may be uncomfortable or scary to talk but nothing ever gets resolved if you don't. You need to be honest and non judgey. Find out what you can do to help and what they can do to help you. Talking to someone about their suicidal thoughts does not make them more likely to end their life.

  • Know when you need to get external help. remember, you aren't a trained therapist.

  • Small gestures such as saying ‘hello’ or asking, ‘how are you today?’ can sometimes make a big difference to how someone is feeling

  • Just listen, sometimes it helps to just talk it out in a non judgemental environment.

  • Remind them that you care about them and that they are not alone

  • Empathise with them. You could say something like, ‘I can’t imagine how painful this is for you, but I would like to try to understand,'

  • Be non-judgemental. Don’t criticise or blame them

  • Ask about their reasons for living and dying and listen to their answers. Try to explore their reasons for living in more detail

  • Encourage them to focus on getting through the day rather than focusing on the future

  • Encourage them to seek help that they are comfortable with. Such as help from a doctor or counsellor, or support through a charity such as the Samaritans

  • Follow up any commitments that you agree to

  • Make sure someone is with them if they are in immediate danger

  • Reassure them that they will not feel this way forever

  • Helping someone with suicidal thoughts is likely to have a big impact on you. Find out what support is available to you too. Don't forget to take care of yourself.

  • Don't pressure them to give you a reason for feeling this way. Sometimes the thoughts get worse because of an event or something someone has said but sometimes they just get worse without a reason.

i've heard of crisis plan but i'm not sure what it is. (taken from

A crisis plan is sometimes called a safety plan. Ideally a crisis plan should be made before someone is in crisis, but it is never too late to start.

If someone is being supported by a care coordinator, they should already have a crisis plan in place. You can ask them to show you their crisis plan. But it is their choice if they show you or not.

The aim of a crisis plan is to think about what support someone needs when they are in crisis. This may include:

  • Not being alone,

  • Removing certain objects from the home

  • Talking to a certain person or helpline

  • Talking to a professional

  • Distraction techniques

  • Including reasons to live, such as pictures of family.

Distraction techniques can include:

  • Read a book or magazine

  • Watch a film or TV

  • Go to a museum

  • Walk in nature

  • Draw or paint

  • Listen to music

  • Sing/dance

  • Listen to nature

  • Spend time with a pet

  • Spend time with someone you trust

  • Find your safe space

Remember to write down the names and numbers of people who would be able to help them.

Places that can support you if you need help:


The Samaritans give people confidential emotional support. In some areas they have local branches where you can go for support.

Telephone:116 123(UK) (24 hours)


This is a national helpline. The offer emotional support and information for people affected by mental health problems.

Telephone:0300 304 7000 (4.30pm – 10.30pm daily)

Textline: available through their website

CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably)

They raise awareness of suicide. Their helpline and webchat offers emotional support, advice and information to men and their families.

Telephone for outside London:0800 58 58 58.

Telephone for inside London: 0808 802 5858.5pm – midnight, everyday.

Webchat: through the website

PAPYRUS (prevention of young suicide)

This is an organisation that aims to prevent suicide in young people. It can offer emotional support to people under 35 who are suicidal. They can also support people who are concerned about a young person who might be suicidal.

Telephone:0800 068 4141. Open Monday to Friday 9am – 10pm. Weekends 2pm – 10pm

Text:07786 209697

The Mix

Aimed at people under 25. Their helpline is open between 4pm and 11pm, 7 days a week. They also run a crisis text service which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Telephone:0808 808 4994

E-mail: through the website.

Crisis text message service: Text THEMIX to85258

Webchat: through the website. (4pm - 11pm, 7 days a week)


If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support, text Shout to85258. Shout can help with urgent issues such as suicidal thoughts, abuse or assault, self-harm, bullying and relationship challenges.

Text: Text Shout to85258

Support Line

Support line offers confidential emotional support by telephone, email and post. They try to help people find positive ways to cope and feel better about themselves.

Telephone:01708 765200. Hours vary



Maytree is a national registered charity based in London. They provide a unique residential service for people in suicidal crisis so they can talk about their suicidal thoughts and behaviour. They offer a free 4 night, 5 day one-off stay to adults over the age of 18 from across the UK. Their aim is to provide a safe, confidential, non-medical environment for their guests.

Telephone:020 7263 7070

Address: 72 Moray Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3LG

Last important words:

  • Some of us live with suicidal thoughts constantly even though we aren't at risk of killing ourselves. Even though it's not very spoke about, be considerate about what we're experiencing inside our own head

  • Sometimes, people that developed suicidal thoughts/feelings at a young age can struggle to find where they fit in when they're older. I never thought i'd live to 21 and now i have i'm not really sure what to do with myself. I never have a plan for this.

  • Be kind and be considerate

  • Remember that just because someone lives with suicidal thoughts/feelings doesn't mean they're 'at risk' of killing themselves.

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