Guest Blogger, Melissa Howard:
How to Combat Suicidal Thoughts
through Emotional Wellness

If you or a loved one suffer from suicidal thoughts or attempts in the past, it is important to know the signs and how to take appropriate action. If you are actively having thoughts of suicide, the only thing to do is to get immediate help. However, if you are suffering from ideation, there are ways to build up your emotional wellness.

Warning Signs to Know
There is no comprehensive list of signs that every single person who suffers from suicidal ideation will definitely have. That is why it is imperative to be aware of many of the signs, as you may not experience every one. If you begin speaking of wanting to die, feeling hopeless or confined, it’s time to take action. Don’t wait until you are desperate. If you notice you feel like a burden, have a change in sleep patterns, have withdrawn from loved ones, experience violent mood swings, or have the desire to begin using substances to numb pain, then put your pre-made plan into action. You may be at greater risk of suffering from these thoughts if you have a mental disorder, a history of trauma, or have suffered from alcohol or substance abuse in the past. Drug addiction may increase your likelihood of suicide by up to six times.

Self-Care Plans
You should create a plan before you begin feeling the effects of depression or have suicidal thoughts. Creating an emergency self-care plan or routine may help prevent spiraling. Decide what works best to make you feel emotionally well. There is an infinite number of healthy activities you can do to boost your mood. It is important that your list is a practical guide. Rather than putting down “attend a yoga class,” it might be a good idea to simply write down “yoga.” You may not be up for interaction, but you might still benefit from the activity. Include things that will get you outside, such as going for a walk while listening to upbeat music. To further ensure your safety, make sure you have a list of phone numbers of people or services you can call. Add more than one person in case your primary selection is unable to assist you in the moment.

Treatment Options
We all need help in life. Sometimes, that help is professional. There are two kinds of professional help, each with their merits. Outpatient treatment is where you receive support outside of a treatment center. You may attend therapy, have medication, or go to various groups. At the end of the day, you go home. Inpatient treatment is a program where you live in a center for a specific period of time. Often, inpatient treatment is the better option of the two. The environment is curtailed to be warm, supportive, and provides specific assistance for what you need. If you have had issues with addiction, it offers a safe place to work through your issues with the help of trained professionals and others experiencing similar things. You receive individual and group treatment and support, and you are allowed to have family and friends as involved as you choose for them to be. Fortunately, there are numerous facilities throughout Los Angeles for those who are serious about seeking treatment, and this comprehensive list can help you find one in your area/neighborhood that suits your needs.

Plan for the Future
Find any reason at all to keep going on, even for one more day. Planning for the future by creating goals is an excellent way to keep yourself focused beyond today. It’s good to have long-term goals, but don’t discount the power of smaller ones as well. If you can incorporate short-term objectives into an overarching plan, even better. If you want to run a marathon by next summer, your first priority isn’t going to be completing the marathon. That’s the end goal. The first goal might be something simple like being able to run for one minute without stopping. Try to involve loved ones into your goals as a way to keep yourself motivated and supported.

It’s important to act quickly when you notice signs of trouble. Know how to support yourself, but also to whom you can go for help. Seeking help can be difficult, but you deserve a happy life.

Guest Blogger, Melissa Howard

Share this Post