24 Things People Would Say If They Were Honest About Their Suicidal Thoughts
Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
They can be hard to understand, for both people who experience them and for those trying to be supportive. They can be difficult to explain as they come and go, or for some, remain constant. Word of them can cause people to overreact, under-react or even have a reaction that is unhelpful or uncalled for. And being honest about them can be incredibly challenging, because the stigma surrounding mental health, and suicide in particular, can make the topic uncomfortable for anyone.
There are many reasons we might not want to talk about them, but we should. Because by talking about them, we begin to chip away at stigma — spreading more support and more understanding for people who are struggling. That’s why we asked our Mighty mental health community what they would say if they were being honest about their suicidal thoughts. Of course everyone’s experience with suicidal thoughts are different — tell us your own “truth” in the comments below.
Here’s what they told us:
1. “I always think about it. It never goes away. Some days it’s in the far back of my mind, but it’s still there. Other days it’s in the front, screaming at me.”
2. “It’s like my shadow. They’re always with me. Following me. It’s always in my head. Screaming. Whispering. It echoes inside. It’s frustrating because you want to die and live at the same time. You’re dying inside, but have to live on the outside. It’s hell. It hard to open up. What hurts most is that no one would ever believe you are having suicidal thoughts, not until you do something to yourself.”
3. “It’s lingering. Sometimes I will be having the happiest day of my life and I will look around at the people I’m with and think, “They’d be so much better without me”
4. “They consume and take over everything. [I] never have any intent on acting on them, but when they hit, they hit hard and theres no escape. You just have to ride with it.”
5. “Just because I have suicidal thoughts, doesn’t mean I’m imminently going to take my own life. It’s like a black cloud that hangs over me, but it’s also a good indicator of when I need to reach out for help.”
6. “I think about not waking up almost every day, but it doesn’t mean that I want to die. I love being alive but my brain tries to sabotage it against my will.”
7. “I won’t act upon them, and it’s not really thinking of self-harm in any way, but my mind kind of goes blank and I just think how much easier it would be to not be here anymore dealing with the constant pain and struggles.”
8. “I don’t think so much about actively killing myself, but more like a lack of the will to live. Like not wearing a seatbelt, going outside at night alone, hoping for someone to break in and shoot me, etc. Just not trying to be safe in general.”
9. “They are filling all of my waking hours — and some of my dreams as well. No one knows what a giant achievement it is to even exist after six years of this without any break.”
10. “That they don’t define me as suicidal, just that my love of life isn’t as strong as others.”
11. “My suicidal thoughts may pop up out of nowhere. I have to acknowledge them, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to act on them. Just because I think it, doesn’t mean I’ll do it. Stop stigmatizing the thoughts and maybe more people would be open about it!”
12. “I struggle to see hope and reason. I sit there trying to focus on something else and it still attacks. I need someone to sit there and tell me that there’s hope and that I’m safe and everything will be OK.”
13. “I am always hanging on by my fingers, it takes an awful lot of fighting and energy just to remain alive. I love my family and I wish they could see it. I love them and I feel like they would be better off without me and because I love them I keep fighting even though I am exhausted all the time.”
14. “I don’t speak openly about them because people, no matter what the relationship, are so quick to run for the ‘straight jacket’ at one point or another.”
15. “I wish I could talk about them in an open setting without everyone freaking out. Maybe if I was able to get it out, I wouldn’t feel so horrible.. And writing it down doesn’t change the fact it’s there. Sometimes, it’s just there and there’s nothing to be done but sit there with it and hope nothing happens. Otherwise, if I know it’s to the breaking point, that’s when I admit myself into the hospital.”
16. “If I speak up, it’s considered unhealthy and not OK. Suicidal thoughts give a double standard on so many levels. This battle I have within me didn’t just start just because. It’s tough reaching out when I know I need help and our resources are limited. It’s tough giving them a voice, it needs to be heard.”
17. “I don’t like to discuss those feelings because it makes people panic and think I’m going to hurt myself when I just go to sleep at night and hope I don’t wake up again.”
18. “The tiredness just gets to me sometimes and I don’t want to wake up. I don’t actively think about how I’d do it, but I just wish it would somehow happen.”
19. “There is a big difference between suicidal thoughts you know you’ll never act upon, and those where you know that even if you didn’t act today, you will in the future. It becomes as natural as knowing what year it is or who is president — it’s not necessarily something you think about consciously all the time, but the knowledge is there underneath. Even with a big dose of guilt, there is always a way to justify it to yourself.”
20. “I have suicidal thoughts every day, all day. But I don’t have a plan. There is a difference.”
21. “They are constant. Most times they are passive. But then there are times they become active. I am honest about how they are most times, but other times I don’t want to say anything.”
22. “Suicidal thoughts aren’t black or white. They’re not even grey, for that matter. Suicidal thoughts are a color we can’t describe because we don’t know how or why they exist. I go out and blend in every day. I don’t sob. I don’t self-harm. My job is actually healthcare. Ironic? Sometimes I think about the pain that I’d no longer feel if I were gone. I have no one to call, no one to come over and tell me that it’ll be OK — will it be OK? Suicidal thoughts aren’t typically deathly means; sometimes they’re just as simple as wanting to fall asleep and never wake up. If I wasn’t a mom, I wonder if I’d still be here. My little people have given me purpose.”
23. “Having suicidal thoughts is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place: I don’t want to cause my loved ones pain but I want my own pain to end.”
24. “I feel like sometimes the world would be better without me. But then I stop, breathe, and look at all I have accomplished and what I have yet to experience.”
If you experience suicidal thoughts, please know there’s nothing to be ashamed of — and there is help. If you need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text “START” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. If you’re worried about a loved one who might be suicidal, here’s a piece that might help.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Thinkstock photo via Grandfailure