What are suicidal feelings?

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking your own life.

Suicidal feelings can range from being preoccupied by abstract thoughts about ending your life, or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide, or making clear plans to take your own life.

If you are feeling suicidal, you might be scared or confused by these feelings.

But you are not alone. Suicidal thoughts are actually very common, and many people think about suicide at some point in their lifetime.

What do suicidal feelings feel like?

Everyone’s experience of suicidal feelings is unique to them. You might feel unable to cope with the enduring difficult feelings you are experiencing. You may feel less like you want to die and more like you cannot go on living the life you have.

These feelings may build over time or might fluctuate from moment to moment. And it’s common to not understand why you feel this way.

You might think or feel:

  • hopeless, like there is no point in living
  • tearful and overwhelmed by negative thoughts
  • unbearable pain that you can’t imagine ending
  • useless, unwanted or unneeded by others
  • desperate, as if you have no other choice
  • like everyone would be better off without you
  • cut off from your body or physically numb

You might experience:

  • poor sleep with early waking
  • change in appetite, weight gain or loss
  • no desire to take care of yourself, for example neglecting your physical appearance
  • wanting to avoid others
  • self-loathing and low self-esteem
  • urges to self-harm

How long will I feel suicidal?

Suicidal feelings can be overwhelming. How long these feelings last differs for everyone.

It is common to feel as if you’ll never be happy or hopeful again.

But with support and self-help, the majority of people who have felt suicidal go on to live fulfilling lives.

The earlier you let someone know how you’re feeling, the quicker you’ll be able to get support to overcome these feelings.

However, it can feel difficult to open up to people.

You may want others to understand what you’re going through, but you might feel:

  • unable to tell someone
  • unsure of who to tell
  • concerned that they won’t understand
  • fearful of being judged
  • worried you’ll upset them

If this is the case, you might find it helpful to show our pages on supporting someone else with suicidal feelings to someone you trust. This can be a good way of starting the conversation and can give them suggestions of how they can help you.

It’s important to remember that you deserve support, you are not alone and there is support out there.

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