How do you return to life/get better after a suicide attempt?



To have attempted a suicide, you must have that the day was the hardest in your entire life. You maybe feeling really exhausted, be it physically or emotionally. A common feeling or experience after surviving a suicide attempt is intense tiredness. You may be angry with yourself, you maybe embarrassed or ashamed of what you have done to yourself and the people around you. The attempt in itself, the treatment in the hospitals etc, can be overwhelming to you at that moment in time. But I want to assure you that recovery is possible and all the feelings you are feeling right now, will be better when you give it some time and effort.

After you have been treated for a suicide attempt at the hospitals, you will either be allowed to go home but come back for follow ups, or remain hospitalized to seek treatment.

Once you have a suitable plan for follow-up care, one which you are comfortable with, following every step of the plan is important for your recovery.

Next Step: Moving ahead with your life and coping with recurring thoughts of suicide

Recovering from recurring thoughts of suicide is possible. You may choose to place yourself at a place where thoughts of suicide don't come so intensely, a place where you can lead a different lifestyle, a happier lifestyle. Importantly, you may also want to learn to handle these thoughts in a healthy way which keeps you safe.

After the failed attempt, there are things you can do to aid with your recovery. It may feel really hard and too much to take for now, but for the next few days, following these tips which I'm going to suggest to you, hopefully will help with things a little.

Come up with a safety plan:

You and the professional that you are working with can come up with a safety plan to help decrease the risk of future attempts. This can be done with your family members as well.

When creating the plan, you have to be honest with yourself, make sure the plan meet your needs and you have to feel comfortable adhering to it. Everyone's safety plan is different, but there are some common things which you might want to include: the signs that might trigger another attempt and what you can do to deal with them; when to seek extra treatment; a list of contact of your doctor/therapist, family members and even close friends. Keep your safety plan at an accessible place where you can refer to it as and when it's needed.

Build a support system:

This is very important for the recovery of a suicide attempt and preventing a recurrence. Having at least one person who you trust and can be honest with plays an important part, especially when times you feel suicidal again. Family members or close friends can play this role. However, having more than one person whom you can turn to in times of need is even better.

Keeping these people (Ally) informed about how you are doing and how you are feeling can enable them to assist you in the best way they can. To make this work, you have to be honest with yourself, and be honest with them. Even when you feel alone, always remember that there are people who cares about you a lot and are always willing to lend a hand.

Learn to build your life back again:

In the process of recovery, life may seem very unwelcoming. It may take awhile before you can pick yourself up again. What I suggest is that you put a routine into your life. For example, eat at the same time each day, sleep and wake up at a designated time, do exercises etc. Make it an everyday thing. This enables you to feel that you are in control of some aspect of your life.

If you are still having thoughts of suicide, contact your ally immediately. Listen to what they have to say and consider those advise. At times when you are under pressure with all these thoughts and you need to make certain decisions, people around you may have more sensible and down-to-earth views than you do. They can help you work through these scary thoughts and help you through this time.

Everyone's recovery phase is different. For some, they might have constant thoughts of suicide. For others, these thoughts may come with negative situations of moods.

Here are some suggestions on how you can prevent destructive thoughts:

Remove anything which you can use to harm yourself – work with your ally on methods of doing that. For example if you have medications, allow yourself to keep only a up to 3 days supply of the pills. Have someone keep the rest. For other means of harm, keep them in someone else's care for awhile. When you feel more settled, you can have them back.

Identify the triggers:

It may be thoughts of an event or a death anniversary of someone dear, or even seeing things that you can hurt yourself with. Plan with your therapist or ally how to reduce the triggers of these situations. You can even train yourself to handle the situation differently when it occurs. Life events do not cause a suicide, it increases the risk of another attempt.

Get hold of numbers of crisis hotlines. They provide you with trained professionals whom you can talk to in times of needs when you couldn't find anyone around. Keep in mind that when people aren't around, it doesn't means that they don't care. It just happens that there's no one person that can be around for us all the time. This professional on the other side will listen to you and assist you to choose another route.

Participate in group therapy:

People with similar experiences come together and share about issues. You will feel that you aren't alone and there are people around who understands. People will share about workable solutions with each other and you can even use these solutions in your life. Learning from others and sharing your experiences can make a big difference in the way you view life. It may also help to save someone else.

Get involved in life:

Find yourself a new hobby or get involved in activities outside. Hobbies are activities you can find opportunity to interact with others. When thoughts of suicide come back, you can at least turn to something that brings you comfort and enjoyment when doing it.

Remember – there are always reasons to live and make things better. No matter how bad things are, recovery is possible. Suicide affects everyone around you, especially the people left behind. We wish that you will get the help you need to face life challenges. Life is worth living.

Angela