Suicide and self-injury
What is feeling suicidal?
Usually means thoughts, feelings or actions that involve a wish to die. Why? May seem the only way of 'solving' problems once and for all, and ending the emotional pain of living.
Some people harm themselves by cutting, burning or scratching. Such injuries are not intended as suicide attempts. However people who injure themselves are more likely to kill themselves by accident or intent than general population. Why self injure? Usually to cope with overwhelming emotions and release tension.
What people who feel these ways have in common is a powerful sense of despair that should be taken seriously.
Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people. Study of university students in 1990 found 11% had cut themselves at some point in their lives.
How can you help yourself?
- Talk with a trusted friend or professional such a GP, Counsellor or Student Mental Health Adviser, or ring a helpline if you are in distress (see below).
- You may be suffering with depression which is treatable, so do seek professional help.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Although often used to help cope with painful feelings, they affect thinking and reasoning, and may act as a precipitant to suicide and self-injury by decreasing inhibitions.
- If you self-injure, try to find a supportive GP or nurse who will give advice on caring for injuries.