Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Don't try to manage suicidal thoughts or behavior entirely on your own. You need professional help and support to overcome the problems linked to suicidal thinking. In addition:

  • Go to your appointments. Don't skip therapy sessions or doctor's appointments, even if you don't want to go or don't feel like you need to.
  • Take medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, don't skip your medications. If you stop, your suicidal feelings may come back. You could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms from abruptly stopping an antidepressant or other medication.
  • Learn about your condition. Learning about your condition can empower and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. If you have depression, for instance, learn about its causes and treatments.
  • Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your suicidal feelings. Learn to spot the danger signs early, and decide what steps to take ahead of time. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in how you feel. Consider involving family members or friends in watching for warning signs.
  • Make a plan so you know what to do if suicidal thoughts return. You may want to make a written agreement with a mental health provider or a loved one to help you anticipate the right steps to take when you don't have the best judgment. Clearly stating your suicidal intention with your therapist makes it possible to anticipate it and address it.
  • Eliminate potential means of killing yourself. If you think you might act on suicidal thoughts, immediately get rid of any potential means of killing yourself, such as firearms, knives or dangerous medications. If you take medications that have a potential for overdose, have a family member or friend give you your medications as prescribed.
  • Seek help from a support group. A number of organizations are available to help you cope with suicidal thinking and recognize that there are many options in your life other than suicide.
Aug. 28, 2015