LISA is here For You
We have some resources below to help you through this crisis.
We will help you get through this and try to get you to look beyond thoughts of suicide.
The hopelessness you feel as you consider suicide may be the side effect of a difficult situation or an illness that can be treated. This emotion can be so overpowering that it clouds your judgment and leads you to believe that taking your own life is the best, or only, option.
- Recognize that these feelings are temporary and that with appropriate treatment you can learn how to help yourself feel better about life again. Asking others for support can help you see that you have other options and give you hope about the future.
- Create a list of the reasons you have to live. This list can include being alive for your pet, your children, a favorite niece, or something that you enjoy doing at work or at home. It doesn’t matter what the list includes, but finding a sense of purpose in your life can make a difference.
By getting proper treatment and using effective coping strategies, you can learn to manage or eliminate suicidal thoughts and develop a more satisfying life.
What can I do?
Is there something wrong with me? Or do other people feel like this too? What can I do?
Thoughts of suicide can be frightening, confusing and isolating. Suicidal thoughts can occur to anyone at any point in their life. They are more common than you may realize. When life doesn’t seem worth living anymore, it may seem that the only way to find relief is through suicide. When you’re feeling this way, it may be hard to believe, but you do have other options. Take a step back and separate your emotions from your actions for the moment.
- Recognize that depression and hopelessness can distort your perceptions and reduce your ability to make good decisions.
- Realize that suicidal feelings are the result of treatable problems.
- Act as if there are other options instead of suicide, even if you may not see them right now. It may not be easy, and you might not feel better overnight. Eventually, though, the sense of hopelessness — and thoughts of suicide — will lift.
We understand what it’s like to have thoughts about suicide. Sometimes when we’re feeling overwhelmed, our thoughts and feelings can spiral out of control. Grounding techniques that bring our thoughts and attention back to the present moment can help short-circuit unhelpful or distressing thoughts. We have found an effective grounding technique the ‘5 senses’, which uses our 5 senses to focus our attention away from our anxiety, and back to the present.
Please give this a go and really feel and follow this. Try to notice and put a name to:
* Five things you can see
* Four things you can feel
* Three things you can hear
* Two things you can smell
* One thing you can taste
To connect with the present moment, you might prefer trying these other grounding techniques:
- Doing some exercise, maybe go for a walk and appreciate nature
- Meditation, or listening to calming music
- Cook yourself a meal
- Taking a long hot or cold shower.
But what is anxiety? How can I try to be me again?
Anxiety is excessive and uncontrollable anticipation of future perceived threats. Feeling anxious in certain situations can help us avoid danger, triggering our ‘fight or flight’ response. This is how we have evolved to keep ourselves safe. However, when your worries don’t go away, happen for no particular reason, are out of proportion to the situation or get in the way of your daily life, this may indicate that you have an anxiety disorder.
Below are some strategies you may find helpful if you are experiencing anxiety:
- Identify how you are feeling, acknowledge your emotional response and accept your experience.
- Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.
- If this is helpful for you, focus on your breathing. Count to five as you breathe in slowly – then count to five as you breathe out slowly.
- Stay in the present moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a future that hasn’t happened yet, so try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practicing mindfulness can help.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, avoiding alcohol and other drugs (including caffeine), going out into nature, spending time with family and friends, reducing stress and doing the activities you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving your wellbeing.
- Other therapies such as massage, yoga, and meditation may also be something you find helpful in managing symptoms of anxiety.
Is this a thing or is it just me? What can I do to help myself?
When faced with a challenging situations or stressful events our bodies release stress hormones. These create physical changes in the body, which help us cope with the immediate situation. However, if the stress is ongoing and the physical changes do not subside, we may feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Knowing yourself and how you respond to different situations can help you learn what works for you in terms of managing stress. There are some signs to look out for which indicate our stress levels are negatively affecting our mental health and wellbeing: Which include “Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope” and “Feeling ‘on edge’ or unable to stop worrying”
Here are some practical strategies for managing stress when feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to cope:
- Identify the cause of your stress and review your current coping strategies
- Talk to a someone you trust (e.g. friend, family member, religious or community leader, or GP)
- Remind yourself of your skills and strengths, achievements and effort made during this difficult time
- Make a positive plan on how to address the situation
- Eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and other drugs
- Exercise helps release built up tension in your body & releases ‘happy’ hormones and increase feelings of wellbeing
- Find time for activities you enjoy
- Access local supports services (GP, Counselling Services)
Who can help me be heard – is there anything I can do for myself?
If you’re feeling lonely right now, and want to explore some options for what you can do about it, the tips below are here to help. Some might feel more challenging for you than others. It’s important to not push yourself too much, but remember growth comes when you step outside your comfort zone. You might want to get started with something that feels a little tricky, but is still achievable for you. As you build confidence, you can try other options that will take you even further.
It might sound obvious, but the best place to look for a friend is the friend’s you already have, or have had in the past. Reaching out to someone you already know can be intimidating and hard, but is also the shortest route to authentic connection. This can open up your loneliness by connecting to others but keep in mind:
- Most people appreciate when an old friend or former school friend reaches out to say hello. Life gets busy, and just because they haven’t said hello to you, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect.
- Re-establishing a connection is much easier than starting a new one – you’ve already got things to catch up on, shared interests, or old stories to laugh at.
- It can be easier to start a conversation with old school friend, friends of friends, or that interesting person you once met, compared with people you don’t know at all.
Try reaching out to someone you already know. If they don’t reply, or don’t want to connect, don’t be disheartened, it’s likely more of a reflection of their busyness than it is on you.
Suicide can be prevented. Most suicidal persons do not want to die. They are struggling to live with the pain. Openly talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life. It is important for us to know the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. It may help us to help others in order to save a life.
- Verbal threats to hurt or kill themselves
- Researching ways to kill themselves such as finding access to pills and/or weapons
- Talking or writing about topics regarding death, dying, and/or committing suicide
- Sharing feelings of hopelessness
- Physically expressing rage, anger, and/or seeking revenge
- Engaging in reckless behavior
- Feeling trapped and expressing there is no way out
- Increase in alcohol and drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and/or society
- Exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression such as inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Having no sense of purpose in life
- Giving away favorite objects or pets to others
- Apologizing and saying goodbye to others
This issue of depression along with suicide is a lot more common than most people think.
A majority of people who struggle may not want to talk about their mental health or personal feelings in fear of being judged. The first way to help is to listen. Give the gift of your time and presence to your loved ones. Be present to listen without judgment. Although you may not agree with them at that moment, listening without interruption is often the most helpful way to help. Continue to listen and allow them to have an opinion during this time. There is a possibility at a future time, when their mood may be lighter, to revisit and discuss the subject.
If communication is absent or not productive, a suggestion would be to ask questions such as: “Your mood seems heavier than usual, is there anything you would like to share?”; “Perhaps there’s something not right at school or at work you want to share?; “Is there something you want to share about friends or family that is upsetting you?”
To reiterate, it is of utmost importance to listen to your loved ones without interruption. Being heard is very rewarding for someone who is depressed. It is best not to offer unsolicited advice or solutions as this can be seen as judgment.
If it appears like an appropriate time, you could share resources with your loved one(s) by saying, “I heard about a hotline that helps people in challenging and even stressful situations, how would you feel about contacting them?” Anyone could have thoughts of suicide. If you think someone may be having suicidal thoughts, you should ask that person directly. Unless someone tells you, the only way to know if they are thinking about suicide is to ask. For example, you can say, “I have noticed you are often talking about death and I feel worried about you. Is there something you would like to talk about?”
- Be an active listener. Be genuine and caring rather than conscious to say “all the right things”.
- Be supportive and understanding of the suicidal person. Listen to them with your undivided attention.
- Put your phone down or away. Make warm and comfortable gestures, maintain eye contact, and speak in a comfortable space. Suicidal thoughts are often a plea for help and a desperate attempt to escape from problems and distressing feelings.
- Ask the person what they are thinking and feeling. Utilize open-ended questions to find out more details about their suicidal thought and feelings.
- Reassure them that you want to hear what they are saying.
Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings (i.e. cry, scream)
- Show you are actively listening and seek clarification by summarizing what your loved one is saying or important points to make sure they are fully understood.
- Express empathy for your loved one.
- Thank your loved one for sharing their feelings with you and acknowledge the amount of courage this takes.
Countless numbers of suffering people have found the help that they desperately needed from the shared experiences and profound insights available to all of us in loving publications such as these.
Of course we can only list here the very best of those that we know about, but we guarantee that if you seek you shall find!
Michael Singer – The Untethered Soul.
By far the best book to help us understand why the monkey mind does what it does and how to overcome it.
Johann Hari – Lost Connections
This is probably the best, easy to read book on the social science around mental health, along with the reasons why and how to help oneself. We believe that Johann missed out one very valuable connection. See if you can also work out which connection he missed, or connect with us to find out more after reading it.
Johann Hari – Stolen Focus.
In this great book Johann talks about the why so many people are losing focus and how to change.
Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive.
This is one of a great inspiring story of how Matt finds great reasons to stay alive while going through depression.
Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich!
Don’t worry, we’re not trying to help you get monetarily rich. This is not a book about wealth in monetary terms, rather the seminal book on success in living a balanced life. Just about ever great mentor and speaker has read and been inspired by this including the worlds biggest mentor speaker Tony Robbins.
Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
This is probably the best researched and written book on how to transform lives and find value in life. This has been a huge inspiration to many business people, parents, educators, students and many leading motivational speakers too. Recently it was made into a film too.
Eckhart Tolle – Power of Now
World renowned enlightened author Eckhart Tolle shows you how it is possible to awaken from your suffering by living consciously in the present moment and understanding the lingering pain body.
Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth
This for those who read the Power Of Now and want to go deeper. Here Eckhart expands upon his first book and offer insights into how to end suffering. This is also one of Oprah Winfrey’s highly recomended books and authors to follow.
Eckhart Tolle – Oneness With All Life
Eckhart Tolle seems to have picked all the most powerful phrases and paragraphs that are most important and has compiled them in small book so readers can focus on the most powerful concepts about how to live a brighter life. This is an ideal bedside book to reach to and contemplate the wisdom shared within.
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