Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
Suicide—ending your life on purpose—is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of hopelessness and isolation, a suicidal person is unable see any way of finding relief except through death. Most people who attempt or complete suicide don’t necessarily want to die—they want to escape the pain of a difficult situation.
Suicide is preventable. It may seem like there's no way to solve your problems and that suicide is the only way to end the pain. But you can take steps to stay safe, and start enjoying your life again.
What is normal?
No one feels good all the time. At times, any of us can feel upset, grief-stricken, or despairing. But if you feel like you have no options or no way out, or feel you can’t live life like this anymore, or feel that dying may be your only option, you need to know help is available.
What are common signs and symptoms?
Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:
- Talking about suicide, saying things like, "I wish I was dead"
- Having access to means or ways to take your own life.
- Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
- Mood swings
- Being preoccupied with death, dying, or violence
- Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
- Doing risky or self-destructive things
- Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order
- Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again
- Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated
Should I seek help?
If you're feeling suicidal, but you aren't immediately thinking of hurting yourself, reach out to a close friend or loved one for support, and make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, seek emergency treatment immediately—call 911 or the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis line at 1-888-429-8167.
If you’re worried that someone you care about is thinking about suicide, talk to them about it directly. Being able to talk about it honestly may provide a sense of relief that they can be open about it. If the person has a plan to attempt suicide, you need to connect them with emergency services (police, hospital, or crisis line) immediately.
If you have been affected by the suicide of someone you care about, there's support available in the community. Reach out to you doctor or a mental health professional.
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