Often, crises happen without warning, and the best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to make a safety plan for yourself, a friend, or a family member. This plan should be shared with everyone you choose. Briefly describe the kind of help you (or your loved one) would like to receive if you experience severe symptoms.
Some people also find it helpful to develop a plan for life. This plan lists warning signs you should watch for and actions to take if you feel that you’re slipping into suicidal thoughts. Here are some things you may want to include in your plan for life.
What if I’m Having Suicidal Thoughts?
The feelings that cause a person to think about suicide are caused by the person’s condition. Suicide is a permanent solution to a problem that is temporary. Don’t be afraid to talk about these feelings. They are real, not a sign of weakness. With the right help, you can begin to feel better. Some things you can do if you’re thinking about suicide include
- tell someone right away;
- develop a plan to make sure you’re not by yourself, with the help of your family and/or friends;
- don’t use alcohol and/or drugs;
- ask your parents to lock up any dangerous items in the house, and dispose of all medications you are no longer taking;
- depression and bipolar disorder can cause your mind to focus only on the bad things, remember that this is part of your condition—it’s not who you are and it’s not the way things will always be;
- schedule and attend regularly scheduled health care appointments;
- keep pictures of your favorite people with you or where you can see them at all times to remind you they are there for you.
- if you can, get involved in things you like to do; if you can’t, then just spend time with family and friends, even if you are only doing something like watching TV, going to a movie or reading with someone else in the room;
- if you drive, be sure a friend or family member knows to take away your car keys when you are feeling suicidal;
- talk about how you’re feeling; consider attending DBSA support group, where you can meet other people who may have been through some of the same things you have; and
- call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected with your local crisis hotline.