Understanding suicidal feelings

 Content Editor

​What are suicidal feelings?
Suicidal feelings can range from being preoccupied by general thoughts about ending your life, or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide, or making clear plans to take your own life.

If you are feeling suicidal, you might be scared or confused by these feelings.
But you are not alone. Many people think about suicide at some point in their lifetime.
What does it feel like to be suicidal?
Everyone's experience of suicidal feelings is unique to them. You might feel unable to cope with the enduring difficult feelings you are experiencing. You may feel less like you want to die and more like you cannot go on living the life you have.

These feelings may build over time or might fluctuate from moment to moment. It's common to not understand why you feel this way.
How long will I feel suicidal?
Suicidal feelings can be overwhelming. How long these feelings last differs for everyone.
It is common to feel as if you'll never be happy or hopeful again.
With support and self-help, the majority of people who have felt suicidal go on to live fulfilling lives.
The earlier you let someone know how you're feeling, the quicker you'll be able to get support to overcome these feelings.

It can feel difficult to open up to people. You may want others to understand what you're going through, but you might feel:
  • unable to tell someone
  • unsure of who to tell
  • worried they won't understand
  • fearful of being judged
  • worried you'll upset them
It's important to remember you deserve support, you are not alone and there is support out there.

Why do I feel suicidal?
Suicidal feelings can affect anyone, of any age, gender or background, and at any time.
If you are feeling suicidal it is likely that you have been experiencing a growing sense of hopelessness and worthlessness for some time.

You may not know what has caused you to feel this way but it is often a combination of factors.
Struggling to cope with certain difficulties in your life can cause you to feel suicidal, such as:
  • mental health problems
  • bullying or discrimination
  • domestic abuse
  • bereavement
  • the end of a relationship
  • long-term physical pain or illness
  • adjusting to a big change, such as retirement or redundancy
  • money problems or homelessness
  • isolation or loneliness
  • being in prison
  • feeling inadequate or a failure
  • losing a loved one to suicide
  • addiction or substance abuse
  • pregnancy, childbirth or postnatal depression
  • cultural pressure, such as forced marriage
  • doubts about your sexual or gender identity
  • sexual or physical abuse
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.