What to Do If You’ve Just Attempted Suicide
This, honestly, isn’t a topic I thought of myself, but in my search log, it turns out that many people are searching for “what to do if you’ve just attempted suicide” and ending up here. On the one hand it saddens me to think of these people who have attempted suicide reading these words, but on the other hand, it is very positive that someone who has attempted suicide is reaching out in whatever way possible.
So, if you have recently attempted suicide, I welcome you. Thank-you for seeking this out.
If You’ve Just Attempted Suicide and are Injured
If you’re injured or may be injured from a suicide attempt you need to get medical help immediately. Stop reading this, pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1 (or your country’s equivalent emergency number). Do not take a chance with your health. You want to deal with this problem now, before it gets any worse, believe me. Always err on the side of medical attention.
If You’ve Attempted Suicide and are Not Injured
If you’ve attempted suicide and are not in any way injured (maybe you were interrupted, for example) then you have a bit of wiggle room – but you still must contact a medical professional. What you have done, or have attempted to do, is extremely serious. Your health is still in danger even if the danger is not immediate. Your safety is the most important thing.
If you feel you are safe at the moment, you can call and make an appointment with your doctor or therapist. If you feel you might not be safe, call a suicide hotline immediately. The people on a suicide hotline are there to preserve your safety.
Getting Help after a Suicide Attempt
I realize you may not want to get help after a suicide attempt. I realize you might be embarrassed about the suicide attempt. I realize that you might not want to admit to a stranger that you have attempted suicide.
But you shouldn’t. What you’ve done is express your pain and suffering in a physical way and this is a sign of the gravity of your situation. You didn’t do anything wrong. You just manifested pain that you didn’t know how to deal with in any other way. I know it may not look like it, but your suicide attempt made sense to a small part of you at the time. And there is nothing shameful about that.
But now you have to work on dealing with that pain in a way that is more constructive. Now you need to work on reducing the pain that drove you to the suicide attempt. Now you need to work on coping techniques.
And these coping techniques are real and do work. You don’t have to feel the pain that drove you to a suicide attempt. Really. Professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists build their whole careers around alleviating that kind of suffering.
Things to Remember About a Suicide Attempt
- You need to get help as soon as possible. If you are injured – it is an emergency.
- You need to assure your immediate safety.
- You are not alone. Many have attempted suicide and gone on to live full and happy lives.
- What you did is not shameful or embarrassing – it is just a medical situation that needs to be dealt with.
- Your life is worth saving. I know you believe this because you’re reading this article.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.