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What To Do If You’re Feeling Suicidal

If you’ve been experiencing difficult feelings, such as being preoccupied by thoughts about taking your own life or feeling as though everyone would be better off without you, it’s important to remember that although you may be scared or confused by how you’re feeling you’re not alone – many people think about suicide at some point in their lives.

The pressures of modern-day life can become too much for some and there’s no shame in admitting that you need help. New Office of National Statistics figures, revealed by the Independent, show that the number of teen suicides across England and Wales climbed by 67 per cent between 2010 and 2017.

And in the last 12 months, 187 people under the age of 19 took their own lives, compared to 162 the year before, representing a rise of 15 per cent.

Suicidal feelings can be overwhelming and it is common to feel as though you’ll never be happy ever again, but if you receive the right support and self-help, you can start to leave these feelings behind and move on with your life.

The earlier you seek help, the sooner you’ll be able to find the right kind of support to help you overcome these feelings. Remember that you deserve this support and that you’re not alone. You could seek help from a Wimbledon counsellor, for example, or talk to your GP as a good starting point. Your doctor will be able to refer you to talking treatments or specialist services.

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place this year on September 10th, an annual awareness raising event encouraging people to start a conversation with anyone they think may be struggling. Now could be the perfect time for you to start a conversation yourself.

The Importance of Suffering

Why is it important to suffer?

There seems to be an unspoken assumption within today’s society, that the ultimate goal in life, is to achieve maximum happiness, and this is seen as ‘normal’. People often plan the future, with ones happiness in mind, one hopes to have good experiences and good times. We live in a culture awash in talk about happiness. In a three-month period in 2013, more than 1,000 books were released on Amazon on the subject of happiness. Is it any wonder that we think this is what we should be aiming for in life? After all, we all like being happy, and one could argue what’s wrong with wanting this?

An interesting point is that people will often recall past memories that include difficulties and suffering: not only times of happiness. It is often ordeals that involve suffering that seem most significant. People may aim for happiness but feel shaped through suffering.

I’m not suggesting that we should all stop wanting to be happy, or stop doing things that inspire us, rather we should at least acknowledge that suffering is part of life. Suffering is an important part of life, it is through suffering that we grow and learn as human beings. In today’s society in can be easy to get caught up in the fast pace of living, there seems to be urgency about life. People want answers quickly and in an instant. Today’s technology allows us to be in constant contact with each other, which can take one away from reflecting and thinking. Unlike happiness, suffering takes you on a different path; it takes you deeper into yourself. Suffering can put us in touch with parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. Allowing oneself to endure suffering can take one beneath the routines of life, people often find out they are not who they believed themselves to be. Grief and agony can smash through the floor of one’s personality, unveiling another area.

In 2011 a staggering 47 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were dispensed to the British public. Normal human emotions such as grief for a loved one are now being dealt with by medicalization, as if we shouldn’t grieve. I often hear people say that they think they should be over it by now. People often feel they shouldn’t take time to get over painful experiences, but as people, we need time to heal and come through our suffering, suffering is an important function of what it means to be human.

Suffering can give people a more authentic sense of their own limitations, helping them to understand what they can and cannot control. Instead of perhaps trying to tell ones self to stop feeling pain, or to stop missing the one who has died, or gone, they can surrender to such emotions. When people plunge into these deeper regions, they are forced to accept the fact they cannot determine what goes on there. And when moments of relief do come it is not clear where the relief comes from. The healing process, too, feels as though it is a natural process beyond individual control.

People cannot determine the course of their pain but they can choose how to respond to it. They may not be masters of the situation, but neither are they helpless. Given the chance to be heard, people often feel a moral responsibility to respond to their pain. It is our human right.

Suffering alone and in silence can seem to much to bear, the experience of talking to someone and being heard can dramatically change how one feels. People are often afraid to admit that they feel vulnerable or ashamed. We all experience emotions like these at different times in our lives; no one is immune from suffering. Recovering from suffering is not like recovering from a disease. Many people don’t come out healed; they come out different. Instead of recoiling from the sorts of loving commitments that almost always involve suffering, they throw themselves more deeply into them.

 

Bereavement

If you have experienced the death of someone who was very important to you, you might be finding it very difficult to adjust to the immense changes happening in your life right now. Grief can shake everything up – your beliefs, your personality, and even your sense of reality.

psychotherapist wimbledon sw19Bereavement is the time we spend adjusting to loss. There is no standard time limit and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the bereavement period – everyone must learn to cope in their own way.

Grief, although normal, can manifest in a huge range of unexpected ways. Some people get angry, some people withdraw further into themselves and some people become completely numb. Sometimes, grief can turn into something more serious – like depression.

The bereavement period can be a confusing time involving a lot of very powerful emotions. These emotions can grow, fade and shift as we move across the different stages of bereavement. Not everyone experiences the same stages of bereavement at the same time or in the same order.

Different emotions associated with grief include: 

  • Sorrow
  • longing (to see them again)
  • guilt
  • numbness
  • anger
  • hopelessness
  • loneliness
  • despair.

What you feel after a person has died will depend on the relationship you had with that person and the nature of their death. Of course, there is no telling what form your grief will take, and everyone’s experience is unique.

As painful as it feels, it is important to let yourself grieve for your loss. Some people lock their emotions inside and try to get on with life as usual. Denying yourself the time to grieve properly could result in complications that prevent you from getting on with life. Sometimes grief can be so powerful it can lead to:

  • Not wanting or feeling able to get out of bed.
  • Neglecting yourself – not taking care of your hygiene or appearance.
  • Not eating properly.
  • The feeling that you can’t carry on living without the person you’ve lost.
  • Not feeling able to go to work.
  • Taking your feelings out on other people.

All of these reactions are normal parts of bereavement – unless they go on for a very long time. If you feel like you are no longer coping with grief very well, you may need some extra help from a bereavement counsellor.

I am a psychotherapist in Wimbledon SW19.  If you are seeking psychotherapy in Wimbledon SW19 please call me Lisa on 0203 128 7755