Tips For Coping With Depression And Suicidal Thoughts
Depression is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. An article in the National Library of Medicine explains that “suicidal ideation (SI), often called suicidal thoughts or ideas, is a broad term used to describe a range of contemplations, wishes, and preoccupations with death and suicide.” It is not uncommon for a teenager struggling with depression to also have thoughts of suicide and vice versa. It can be extremely difficult to combat depression and suicidal thoughts, which is why there are a variety of supportive resources available as well as certain tips that can help you cope in your daily life. Consider the following suggestions:
- Make your environment safe: remove items from your home that may tempt you to hurt yourself (e.g., guns, pills, etc.). If that is not possible, remove yourself from the situation and stay somewhere else.
- Return to things that have made you happy in the past: although a common symptom of depression is being unable to draw joy from previously enjoyed pastimes, going through the motions of engaging in hobbies or activities that were once fulfilling can be comforting and a familiar reminder that life has the potential to be brighter.
- Reestablish connections: Many people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts feel as though they are a burden to those they care about. Mental illness is not a choice, and it is important to allow your loved ones the opportunity to support you.
- Journal: Write a letter to yourself that you can refer to when you are experiencing thoughts of despair. Having a tangible letter that you have written to yourself can be encouraging and act as a helpful reminder that the pain you are feeling is temporary.
- Find a confidant: someone who is comfortable talking with you about the serious stuff that you can call or text when you’re feeling hopeless or depressed can be extremely helpful.
Most importantly, if you are feeling trapped or actively have a plan to end your life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They do not require you to provide any personal information and will help to determine your suicide risk, provide resources, and help you develop a safety plan.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, in the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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