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Suicidal Thoughts

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Having suicidal thoughts can be the most confusing and alarming experience, especially when they happen for the first time. You may be surprised to know just how many suffer from such thoughts. According to the NHS 1 in 5 people have suicidal thoughts. (if you live in Leeds and have suicidal thoughts please contact us immediately).(https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20180328140249/http://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748)

And 9% of all employees are thinking thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Just because it is common, doesn't mean that it is something to be ignored or accepted. The very fact that it is alarming tells us that we need to address whatever is causing the thoughts. For many people, it can feel shameful to admit to anyone the thoughts that we have been having. We might worry that it will upset people around us or that they might panic and force us to do things we just aren't ready for.


the best therapist in Leeds - Sarah Blossom

There are some people for whom suicidal thoughts have become a form of comfort when life has become stuck in circumstances that seem relentless or without any hope of resolution. We can even toy with ideas in our minds about escape and freedom from the pain we are in. The problem with this approach is that we get deeper into a state where the idea seems comfortable and soothing. This is a dangerous pathway with a potentially devastating end.

There is no point saying to someone who is having suicidal thoughts 'don't think like that' because this doesn't address the underlying reason and can bring about isolation and shame.

One of the most important and constructive things that you can do as someone experiencing suicidal thoughts is to find someone who you feel safe to be open with about them. Aim to be accountable with that person about the frequency and extent of the thoughts so that they becomes someone who can help you keep in touch with reality and hopefully prevent you from going down the rabbit hole of further, deeper and more frequent thoughts.

Getting the help of a professional therapist can be the way out of the tunnel of depressive and suicidal thoughts. As a therapist, I encourage clients to be open about thoughts of suicide because in acknowledging them and bringing them into the open and contained space of the therapeutic relationship, a place without judgement and shame, they can be explored and lose their power.

We can't always tell when someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts. You may be able to hide your thoughts very effectively. I am reminded of Robin Williams who made the world laugh while inside he was clearly suffering. It is totally acceptable and often necessary to have a front/mask in order to get on with life. Addressing the underlying cause might mean that you can maintain your life more effectively, indefinitely without the burden of the internal struggle, that is true freedom.


the best therapist in Leeds - Sarah Blossom

Sometimes, we need to get help immediately. If you feel suicidal and isolated and that you may potentially harm yourself, the most important thing you can do is to be in company. Research has shown that, even if you don't like the person you are with and don't reveal your thoughts, being in company for 3 hours after the initial crisis of suicidal thought, can be life-saving. Giving yourself time to recover from the thoughts without acting on them is a vital survival strategy.

Sometimes we cannot be physically with someone, especially at night or when other people we would normally spend time with are unavailable. In this case, helplines can be really helpful.

Samaritans are one of the well-established organisations that you can contact free of charge. Their number is 116123 and it is free to use. They also have other ways to be in contact, information via the website https://www.samaritans.org/

In Leeds, we have an amazing organisation called Dial House. It opens in the evening through to the early hours of the morning as this is a time when other services aren't easily accessible and many people experience crisis at this time. Dial house is run by survivors and so you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion. They open at 6 pm and it is good to call them between 6 and 7 pm if you feel likely to need their help. Their phone number is 01132609328. More details are available on their website https://www.lslcs.org.uk/services/dial-house-2/


If you read this article and you live in Leeds England, why not get in touch for a free initial meeting so that you can work out if getting some help with those dark thoughts and feelings could free you to live life more authentically? What is there to lose that is more valuable than life itself?




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