Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US. It affects all age groups and demographics. In 2019, 12 million individuals seriously considered making a suicide plan, and 1.4 million Americans attempted suicide. Fortunately, the majority of suicide attempts are unsuccessful.
The emotions following a suicide attempt can be difficult to deal with on your own. On top of any lingering physical injuries, survivors might feel exhaustion, disappointment, shame, grief, and occasionally even develop post traumatic stress disorder. Because of this, it’s essential that suicide attempt survivors receive the support they need to achieve a full recovery.
Many people who survive a suicide attempt go on to live healthy and happy lives. Overcoming mental health issues after a suicide attempt can be challenging. Luckily, there are many ways suicide attempt survivors can receive the help they need to move forward and find fulfillment and peace in their lives. Each of the following strategies can help a suicide attempt survivor move forward.
No one should have to deal with the aftermath of a suicide attempt alone. However, friends and family are usually not equipped with the knowledge or expertise to fully support you in your recovery. That’s why it’s essential to work with a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist to receive the help you need.
A trained mental health professional can help you make a plan that’s specifically suited to your needs. They’ll discuss short-term strategies for recovery as well as long-term strategies to avoid future mental health crises. They can help you understand how to cope with your mental illness through healthy methods.
Following a suicide attempt, it’s essential to prioritize self-care. Self-care includes things like staying active, participating in hobbies, and eating foods that make you feel strong and healthy. However, it also includes learning to understand yourself and your needs. This requires paying attention to the way you feel while participating in a variety of activities.
If going out with friends makes you feel happy and fulfilled, you should make time for it. If going out with friends is exhausting for you, though, self-care includes communicating your needs to your friends and finding activities that make you feel uplifted rather than exhausted.
When you develop a routine of self-care, it means you take care of your needs and prioritize activities that are good for you. Learning about self-care and making it a priority is a life-long process.
Part of self-care is taking care of your body. Some suicide survivors are used to coping through the use of drugs or alcohol, but these substances actually make mental illness worse. Breaking the habit of substance abuse is an important step in healing. If you need help breaking this habit, there are medical professionals who can help you. With the support of a medical provider, you’ll soon be able to make choices that help your body and mind flourish.
Many people find peer support groups helpful in making them feel less alone. Discussing your experience is an essential part of recovering from mental illness and trauma, however, some suicide attempt survivors find that their friends and family can’t relate as deeply as a peer support group.
There are peer support groups that have specific focuses, so you can find one that best fits your needs. There are groups that focus on depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, and everything in between. Many people like to try out a few different support groups to find the one that’s right for them.
Following a suicide attempt, your friends and family are likely wondering how they can best support you. Communicate with them about what kind of support you need, and how they can help. It’s especially important to keep your friends and family informed about your mental health because they can be there for you to support you if you experience any suicidal thoughts in the future.
It’s common for survivors of suicide attempts to deal with ongoing mental illness. It’s important to create a safety plan to manage any suicidal thoughts in the future. Becoming familiar with mental health resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Line, will allow you to know where to turn when you’re experiencing suicidal behavior.
Your safety plan can also include friends or family. Discuss with your loved ones to find a strategy together that will help you reach out and get help when you need it. You can also inform them of triggers, so they can help you avoid or cope with those triggers. Making sure your loved ones are aware of any warning signs of declining mental health can also ensure that they’ll reach out to you to offer support when they notice you’re struggling.
It’s also essential to find coping strategies that don’t rely on others. This will help you if you ever find yourself in a mental health crisis when others aren’t nearby or available. If you’re unsure how to find coping mechanisms that don’t require others, talk to your mental health provider to come up with some ideas.
During your healing process, the most important thing is having compassion for yourself. You might not be fully recovered in a week, and that’s okay. It’s important to remember you’re on a journey toward healing and every step forward is an accomplishment.
Sometimes you might take steps backward with your mental health, and that’s also okay. Learning to cope with mental illness is a lifelong process, and the important thing is that you’re heading in the right direction, and you know how to get help when you need it.
After a suicide attempt, it can seem impossible to ever move forward, but there are so many resources, people, and strategies that can help you live a fulfilling and happy life. Many people have successfully moved forward after experiencing a period of suicidal thoughts or a suicide attempt, and you can too. Reaching out to a facility like the Jackson House Recovery Center can provide you the support group and professional resources you require to get your life back on track. Their treatment programs facilitate numerous addiction and mental health illnesses, ensuring your care is tailored to the personalized attention it deserves.