Explains what suicidal feelings are, and what you can do if you feel suicidal. Also covers the causes, treatments and support options for suicidal feelings.
Why do I feel suicidal?
Suicidal feelings can affect anyone, of any age, gender or background, at any time.
If you are feeling suicidal it is likely that you have felt increasingly hopeless and worthless for some time. You may not know what has caused you to feel this way but it is often a combination of factors.
This page covers:
The thoughts would completely consume you sometimes, feeling like you have no control over your own body.
Struggling to cope with certain difficulties in your life can cause you to feel suicidal. These difficulties may include:
- Mental health problems
- Bullying, prejudice or stigma, such as relating to your race, gender, disability or sexual identity
- Different types of abuse, including domestic, sexual or physical abuse
- Bereavement, including losing a loved one to suicide
- The end of a relationship
- Long-term physical pain or illness
- Adjusting to a big change, such as retirement or redundancy
- Money problems
- Housing problems, including homelessness
- Isolation or loneliness
- Being in prison
- Feeling inadequate or a failure
- Addiction or substance abuse
- Pregnancy, childbirth or postnatal depression
- Doubts about your sexual or gender identity
- Cultural pressure, such as forced marriage
- Society's expectations, for example to act a certain way or achieve certain things
- Other forms of trauma
If you are unsure of why you feel suicidal, you may find it even harder to believe that there could be a solution. But whatever the reason, there is support available to help you cope and overcome these feelings.
Whenever I feel suicidal thoughts starting to engulf me I keep reminding myself that feelings can change in an instant. Perhaps I'll wake up tomorrow and will no longer feel like I want to die – because that has happened many times before.
Some medications, such as antidepressants, can cause some people to experience suicidal feelings. This side effect is often associated with a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). But all antidepressants have this as a possible risk.
Some research shows that young people under the age of 25 are more likely to experience suicidal feelings when taking these medications.
If you experience suicidal feelings while taking psychiatric medication, you should talk to your GP as soon as possible about this.
In this video Lee, Rohan and Graham talk about their experiences of masculinity and feeling suicidal.
This information was published in April 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
References and bibliography available on request.
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