How to Recover From a Suicide Attempt & Help Others as Well

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A suicide is when an individual harms themselves, intending to end their life.

It is a serious problem that affects not only the life of the individual but also affects their families, friends, and the community involved in that person’s life.

Suicide attempts are often connected to another form of violence and injury, although other internal and external factors may cause an individual to attempt suicide.

It is not a problem limited to age, gender, race, or ethnicity, but some groups may show higher suicide rates than others. 

Ongoing research shows that the more vulnerable groups are people living in rural areas, veterans, workers in certain industries, and young people in general.

Still, the rates are higher for those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Suicide attempts remain a mystery for everyone. It is hard to imagine what goes on in a person’s head and what led them to reach for their own life.

Families and friends often wonder if they have missed any clues or warning signs, but suicides are almost impossible to foresee. 

Still, there are ways that may help prevent suicidal thoughts.

This requires creating a strong and healthy environment and a comprehensive health approach. 

The Possible Reasons to Attempt Suicide

The surrounding may not be aware of factors that have led an individual to suicidal thoughts, but several possibilities may be the reason behind it.

They result from long-term struggles and difficulties that an individual has experienced and cannot cope with anymore. 

1. Hopelessness

Losing all hope and having a feeling of not being able to change is one reason to attempt suicide.

This feeling very often overshadows all the good things that are happening in that individual’s life. 

Hopelessness may be a long-term or short-term trait due to the physical or social challenges the individual faces.

Usually, they don’t know how to cope with the situation or see no way out. Individuals struggling with depression have difficulty seeing that things will get better, and this is due to despair and pessimism.

2. Fear of Loss

Facing a loss or fear of potential failure is a possible reason for attempting suicide, depending on the events that are happening in the life of an individual.

There are many cases of bullied, discriminated against, or abused individuals that have attempted suicide. Other situations may include:

  1. Loss of a loved one;
  2. End of a romantic relationship or close friendship;
  3. Problems with money;
  4. Receiving a diagnosis of a life-changing illness;
  5. Academic failure or loss of a job;
  6. Shaming, humiliation, cyberbullying;
  7. Loss of social status.

3. Traumatic Experience

Abuse and trauma in any form may be a leading suicide factor. It is not rare that victims of sexual and physical abuse, war trauma, or rape have attempted to commit suicide.

If an individual has experienced multiple traumatic incidents, then the signs of a possible attempt on their life are inevitable. 

Many of these individuals are diagnosed with PTSD and feel hopeless and helpless.

Therapists undoubtedly offer advice on how to stop suicidal thoughts, but is it something their patients aren’t always ready to accept. 

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4. Mental Illness

Mental illnesses, such as severe depression, is another leading cause of suicide.

Every possible reason that may be a potential trigger for suicide is most often accompanied by depression.

The loss of hope and feeling of great emotional pain makes individuals blind to the alternatives to relieving that pain.

The only option for them is to reach for their life. Eating disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder are other possible mental illnesses that present a risk factor.

5. Substance Abuse and Impulsivity

Substance and alcohol use makes people impulsive and act upon urges that they may not have when sober.

Turning to alcohol and other substances may be a result of losing a loved one, ending a relationship, loss of a job and finances, or any other painful event. 

The combination of any psychological disorder with alcohol or drugs presents an even higher risk for suicide. 

6. Social Isolation

Social isolation is accompanied by hopelessness, loss, anxiety, low self-esteem, severe depression, and potential abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Regardless of the reason for becoming socially isolated, these are all high-risk triggers for attempting suicide. 

7. Cry for Help

The human mind often plays tricks leading people to think they are unable or do not know how to get help.

These suicide attempts are a cry for help, although they are often regarded as a cry for attention by the community. 

It’s a way to tell the world how much they are hurting, and at the same time, these people misjudge how lethal and risky this can be. 

8. Illness and Chronic Pain

Individuals undergoing severe chronic pain and suffering from a terminal illness see suicide as a way to regain dignity and control of their life.

Illness and pain are often accompanied by depression and anxiety.

To relieve people of the great pain they are suffering, some states allow for a legal assisted suicide for this reason only. 

9. The Feeling of Burdening Others

People suffering from a terminal illness or chronic pain need a helping hand in performing their daily tasks.

They are pressured by the feeling of burdening their family and friends with all the assistance, attention, and care they need.

Carrying around an overwhelming emotional burden and a sense of worthlessness is why these people attempt suicide. 

What to Do After a Suicide Attempt?

The post-suicide attempt is a traumatic period where everyone is dealing with a mix of very intense emotions.

Both the person who has attempted suicide and their loved ones are under tremendous emotional pressure.

Shock, guilt, shame, confusion, and anger are just some of the conflicting feelings.

Physical pain and lethargy are also things people commonly experience after a suicide attempt.

Things may seem too overwhelming and intense, but the mixed feelings will pass, and life will return to normal.  

Recovering from a suicide attempt can be mentally and physically challenging for both the person who tried to take their life and the people supporting them during that period.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome the obstacle and return to a more or less normal life. 

1. Reasons for Living

A good place to start is by reflecting on the reasons for living. Think about them, or you may even want to write them as a reminder.

Are children, family, friends, or even pets a reason to live? Or maybe you can find an interest or passion that is so meaningful to you that it will give you a reason to live.

This is unique for every person, and there are always reasons for living, so take your time to search for it. Know that there is definitely one; you just have to find it. 

2. Build a Support Network

Suicide is largely misunderstood, and you might worry that people will talk and judge.

Building a network of trusted and supportive people around you is an essential part of the recovery process.

Be kind to yourself and always have someone to talk to about your feelings.

Seek professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist who will guide you and help you understand your situation.

3. Coping With Suicidal Thoughts

It’s important to deal with whatever led you to suicide and learn how to stop suicidal thoughts in the future, should they occur.

It is possible to recover from suicidal thoughts and learn how to manage them.

Remember that many people before you have recovered from suicidal attempts, and so can you. You are not alone, and you can always reach out for help. 

4. Create a Safety Plan

In case your suicidal thoughts return, you need to work out a safety plan with your doctor or counselor.

To create the best safety plan, you need to be honest with yourself and be sure you are comfortable with the plan.

You and your counselor or doctor should both have a safety plan in case you need to call for help, and they can react and keep you safe. 

5. Know Where to Get Help

There are many options to get help, and these should be a part of your safety plan.

Start with helplines and work your way down the list of services that can provide help. It is wise to have a safety plan and a list of helplines with you at all times. 

6. Thought Triggers

It is important to learn what triggers suicidal thoughts and learn how to stop them.

A piece of stressful information, being alone most of the time, or even an anniversary may be considered possible triggers. Be sure to use the safety plan once these triggers start to keep safe.

7. Relaxation Techniques

Learning relaxation techniques is beneficial because it helps you learn how to calm down and distract yourself from any unnecessary thoughts.

There are many activities you can find helpful to distract your mind and relieve stress.

Go for a walk, read a book, draw, paint, listen to uplifting music, or simply treat yourself to something you enjoy and feel how those negative thoughts and feelings disappear.

8. Take Care of Yourself

No matter how dull and uncomfortable life may feel during this period, you must take care of yourself.

Eat well, get enough sleep, and be physically active as much as possible. Doing this and anything else that you enjoy will improve your mood.

When you are ready, you will be able to incorporate more and more activities into your daily routine. 

How to Support Someone After a Suicide Attempt?

Supporting someone after a suicide attempt is a challenging task that needs to be taken seriously.

What to say after a suicide attempt is burdening everyone who has to provide the much-needed support. But it’s not always about the words; It’s more than that.

Providing support also means creating a safe and pleasant environment where the person will feel understood and accepted.

Try to establish a line of communication by letting the person know you understand them and you are not judging them for their actions. 

Here are some words of advice on how to support a person who is recovering from a suicide attempt:

  1. Make a safe environment where you will remove any kinds of triggers that may cause suicidal thoughts;
  2. Encourage them to utilize the available professional support and ask family and friends to join the support system. You are not to play the role of a doctor or counselor;
  3. Educate yourself on how to adjust the language around the person, but do it naturally, so they don’t notice;
  4. Get familiar with warning signs that may point to suicidal thoughts or behavior;
  5. Build a trustworthy relationship and create a safe environment where a person will want to talk and re-build their relationships;
  6. Support the person in identifying the core of the problem and find a way to make small steps in dealing with their emotional pain.
    Both occurring difficulties and resolving problems don’t happen overnight; therefore, creating a realistic plan of recovery is essential;
  7. Having a safety plan developed between the person and their doctor or counselor will make you feel prepared in case suicidal thoughts return.

Supporting a Youngster With Suicidal Thoughts

Being in school and dealing with hectic schedules is hard enough as it is.

Having a friend who has suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide is an additional burden.

Playing the parent role is not an option as the task is more complex than just knowing how to talk to a suicidal teen.

Every school has resources that can help in dealing with the situation and providing support for all involved parties.

Reaching out to the family is an option, but it has to be done with caution. 

Be prepared that not every parent can accept their child is suicidal.

It may be wise to have counselor support when doing this, offer resources to educate themselves, or simply let them know their child is not alone.

Parents like to know someone is watching over their child and will inform them in case of any changes.

Taking care of yourself is a priority to be able to help the friend that needs all the support they can get. 

How Online Therapy Can Help to Recover From Suicide

Reaching out for professional help is normal after going through a very traumatic experience like suicide.

You may have worked with your therapist on your issues, but that doesn’t mean that the triggers will go away overnight. 

There are many online therapy services to consider that can provide different treatment approaches.

Online therapy may be just as effective as traditional person-to-person therapy.

It is an effective treatment method for people dealing with panic and anxiety disorders and depression. 

Having suicidal thoughts and living in rural or remote areas is a fatal combination.

The lack of accessible mental health treatment options makes online therapy an excellent support choice. 

Daily contact with the therapist is important to set manageable goals.

During times of revisiting negative thoughts, clients can revisit recorded rational thoughts and listen to the positive sides and the given reasons for living.

Some online therapy services offer rooms that suicidal clients can fill with positive content and make it a safe and hopeful environment. 

This is a big pro of online therapy because all a therapist may sometimes need to do is remind the client to visit their safe place.

Traditional in-person therapy cannot offer such an option because suicidal clients require immediate attention and a quick reaction.

Waiting to see the therapist and discuss suicidal thoughts is not an option. 

However, regardless of whether it’s traditional or online therapy, therapists have a responsibility to inform the authorities that a client is in imminent danger.

As long as the client has the phone, the therapist can stay with them until they are in safe and professional hands. 

A Better Looking Future

Suicide attempts have undergone microscopic research in order to find the source that is causing them.

Unfortunately, there are many factors that are interlinked and are responsible for the situation a person finds themselves in. 

All necessary steps have to be taken to avoid a person taking an attempt on their life.

For all those recovering from attempting suicide, there is a better-looking future.

With the right professional and personal support network, individuals can look forward to overcoming suicidal triggers and leading a normal and happy life. 

Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help when in crisis and create a happy environment that will remind you of the reasons that life is good and worth living. 

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