Help Yourself When You’re Feeling Suicidal

The following are some ways to help you cope with suicidal feelings: Tell your therapist, a friend, a family member, or someone else who can help.

Distance yourself from any means of suicide. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can give them to you one day at a time. Remove any dangerous objects or weapons from your home.

Avoid alcohol and other drugs of abuse.

Avoid doing things you're likely to fail at or find difficult until you're feeling better. Know what your present limits are and don't try to go beyond them until you feel better. Set realistic goals for yourself and work at them slowly, one step at a time.

Make a written schedule for yourself every day and stick to it no matter what. Set priorities for the things that need to be done first. Cross things out on your schedule as you finish them. A written schedule gives you a sense of predictability and control. Crossing out tasks as you complete them gives a feeling of accomplishment.

In your daily schedule don't forget to schedule at least two 30-minute periods for activities which in the past have given you some pleasure such as: listening to music, playing a musical instrument, meditating doing relaxation exercises, doing needlework, reading a book or magazine, taking a warm bath, sewing, writing, shopping, playing games, watching your favorite DVD or video, gardening, playing with your pet, participating in a hobby, taking a drive or a walk.

Take care of your physical health. Eat a well-balanced diet. Don't skip meals. Get as much sleep as you need, and go out for one or two 30-minute walks each day..

Make sure you spend at least 30-minutes a day in the sun. Bright light is good for everyone with depression, not just people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

You may not feel very social but make yourself talk to other people. Whether you talk about your feelings or about any other topic, reducing your social isolation is likely to be helpful.

Remember that while it may feel as if it will never end, depression is not a permanent condition.

Go to Dr. Ivan's Depression Central

Revised 3/24/02