Guest author: Maria Miguel from BetterHelp
Coping with Suicidal Thoughts
First of all, if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you need to talk to someone. Either a family member, friend, or a professional such as your doctor or therapist. If you do not have a therapist, you can find one online at BetterHelp.com. If you prefer to see a therapist in person, they can help you find someone close by your that you can talk to. Now, there must be something going on that is causing you to have suicidal thoughts such as depression or an anxiety disorder. The fact that you are reading this means that you realize that you need help so that is good. Read on for more helpful information.
You Are Not Alone
Having suicidal thoughts can feel terrifying and overwhelming; you may not know where to turn or what to do. One thing you need to know is that you are not the only one to feel this way and there are people who can help you out there. Do not ignore it and hope it goes away. As easy as it sounds to just stay in bed and cover your head, that is not the answer. To get rid of these feelings and thoughts, you need to change them. Here are some steps you can take:
Write it Down
Journaling or writing down your feelings is one of the most easy therapeutic tools that you can do on your own. Start by just writing down what you are feeling right now. Be as specific as you can and take your time. Do that every day for about a week and then go back and read over these feelings. Try to figure out what caused you to have these feelings and come up with a plan to change them.
Make a Plan
Use your plans from your journal to schedule how you will go about doing these things to change how you have been feeling. For example, if you figured out that you seem to get more depressed on Mondays after talking or hanging out with a certain person, consider that maybe this person is not good for you. There are toxic relationships that either need to be addressed and changed or eliminated. Certain people just tend to make people feel worse because it makes them feel better. Another scenario may be that you may be having more suicidal thoughts after spending time on a social media site such as Facebook. It may be time to stop spending so much time on Facebook.
Take a Walk
Any kind of physical activity such as walking, jogging, riding a bike, whatever you want to do, is good for you. Not just physically but also mentally. Exercise boosts the feel-good chemicals in your brain such as serotonin and endorphins. The more you exercise, the better you will feel. If you are not used to physical activity, take it slow and build up to it. Do not push yourself too hard because you can become discouraged. You know what your body can handle.
Talk to Someone
The most important thing to do is to talk to someone. You can speak to your doctor and get a
referral for a therapist or you can go online and find a therapist you can talk to without even leaving your house. That is good for people who are depressed or have severe anxiety disorders. You do not need an appointment so you can do it right now. What are you waiting for?
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
“Guwapo,” she texted.
“Maganda,” I replied.
I’m a socially needy person. I know this. When I think about my years abroad, the happiest moments are the ones full of friends and laughter. Living far from all things familiar, however, can be peppered with loneliness too.
It was Christmas morning. I was in bed. Most of my friends had skipped town for the holiday. There would be no potluck parties that year. I half-expected to get some work done. It had been a quiet Christmas Eve the night before. I had walked Gangnam drinking a beer after some piping hot dakgalbi. The pavement was wet and maybe there were flurries. I took the elevator up to my apartment. I called my parents and we talked for a bit. Then I watched a certain yuletide flick containing Muppets on my laptop before drifting off to the land of the sugar plums.
Daylight came in the window. I laid in bed, unsure of what to do with myself. It would be a lonely holiday, I thought. Several intense minutes of loneliness spurred me to do what all men do in these situations. I texted a woman.
A year or so prior, a good friend and I had drunkenly haunted the streets of Daegu after a comedy show. We eventually found ourselves spending the entire night and following morning with a dwindling group of Filipino ladies. It was a fun night of dancing, late night Korean food, and noraebanging. All the hallmarks.
I’ve given up pretending to know what normal, functional human relationships look like, but I never pretended the girl from that night and I were anything more than a one-time nocturnal excursion with the occasional squirrelly Kakao message exchanged afterwards. Every so often after that night, either she or I would initiate a cyber conversation that would ultimately go nowhere. And that was fine.
Now, alone on Christmas day, I found myself thinking of her and wondering what she might be doing. Perhaps not in any romantic sense. Perhaps a twinge. I sent a Christmas tree emoji accompanied with a brief message conveying tidings of comfort and joy.
It was not a markedly different conversation from any of our previous chats. She had already known I was an ESL teacher and I had already known she worked in a factory. She didn’t really like Korea and she missed her daughter and mother in the Philippines. She was a cool person. I quite liked her and I felt bad and guilty and all sorts of emotions when she told me about her troubles.
We talked about wishing we could be in our own countries and see our families. We talked about the cold weather in Seoul and Daegu. We talked about going dancing again one day and she would call me the Filipino word for handsome (guwapo) and I would call her the Filipino word for beautiful (maganda). And emoji after fruity emoji volleyed.
I still don’t really know if one of us was leading the other on. We often talked but we never saw each other again. I think we both knew we were just two silly people in a strange place that wanted someone to listen to us and say pretty things.
Whatever our motives, for a little while on a cold Korean Christmas morning, cities apart, we were humans sharing the warmth of a weird friendship…which, in my experience, are the only sort of friendships you ever really remember.
Originally published for 10 Magazine December, 2015.