What to do if you don't want to live, but you don't want to die either (2023)

The information in this article may be triggering for some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact theNational Suicide Prevention Lifelinein988for the support and assistance of a trained counselor. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, visit ourNational Helpline Database.

What is suicidal ideation?

If you've ever thought, "I don't want to live like this, but I don't want to die like this either," you're not alone. Major life stressors, childhood trauma oruntreated depressionare all the reasons why someone feels this way.

This can be taken into accountsuicidal thoughts, which means thinking about taking your own life. Nine percent of people will have suicidal thoughts at some point in their life.but only 14% of them try.The completed suicide rate is even lower: there is only one completed attempt for every 31 attempts.

The difference between active suicidal thoughts and passive suicidal thoughts

If you've decided you don't want to live like this anymore, but you don't want to die, you're probably having passive suicidal thoughts. It means that you have thought about ceasing to live but do not have an active plan to die.Suicide.

However, passive suicidal thoughts can quickly become active.(ie, have a plan, means and intention).

"It's important to remember that suicidal ideation is a condition that can change rapidly," says licensed therapist and suicide specialist Janel Cubbage, LCPC.

In this way, feelings can also be quickly reduced, also through promising new interventions.asKetamine Infusion TherapyYTranscranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

What does it mean when I feel like this?

Feeling like you don't want to live but you don't want to die means something hurts. "It can convey emotional pain and a desire for change," says Cubbage.

It can mean that you feel like a lot is outsideyour checkpoint, and these feelings of helplessness can also lead to hopelessnessmakes life meaningless. Or maybe you feel a bit like aexistential crisis- wondering what this is all about. You may be wondering why the little things in your life are important and whyOfObject.

Dealing with these big questions in life can be really difficult and it can feel incredibly isolating, so it's easy for you to turn around and believe thatAnythingAffairs. However,existentialQuestions can also open up space to bring more meaning to your life as you reflect on whatdisapproving gestureimportant to you

"What is the meaning of life?": Why you might feel this way

What do I do if I feel like dying?

You may be feeling hopeless right now, but there are a number of things you can do, such as: B. Therapy, reach out to your social support network, andsecurity planning.

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If you're not already in some form of mental health treatment, you should see a therapist who can help you process these feelings and figure out why you feel like you can't live like this.

They can also help you with identification.coping toolsYou can use it to protect yourself and reduce these feelings.

get help now

We have tried, tested, and written unbiased reviews of theThe best online therapy programsincluding Talkspace, Betterhelp and Regain. Find out which is the best option for you.

security planning

"security planningit's an evidence-based way to prevent hospital admissions and lawsuits,” says Cubbage.

In research with suicidal patientsIn the emergency department, safety planning was associated with patients being half as likely to engage in future suicidal behavior and twice as likely to seek psychiatric treatment.

Some important things to include in a safety plan include a list of coping strategies that have worked for you andsources of support. Sources of support can include friends and family, as well as mental health professionals, either your therapist or a local mental health agency you can turn to.

Psychiatrists sometimes use a tool called the Reasons for Living Inventory.to assess suicidality, but you can also see it for yourself to refresh your memory of the reasons you want to live. Or you can make a list yourself, and nothing is too small to include. If you want to live because you love your tomorrowCafé, that counts!

As well asdespairIt can make you feel like you don't want to live, but you don't necessarily want to die. Feelings of hope mean there's a ray of light out there. In one study, those who identified more reasons for living were also more likely to remember those reasons during times of depression.

Seek social support

Depressionor suicidal thoughts may lie to you and tell you that you are a burden, but they lie. Your loved ones care about you and want to help you, and social support is one of the most important protective factors against suicide.

Some advantages offered by social support:

  • Specific resources, such as providing a hotline or counseling center number
  • Physically interrupting a suicide attempt
  • Greater sense of belonging
  • Increased protective factors such as self-esteem
  • feedback from others
  • Troubleshooting Resources
  • Contact with positive events

The feeling of belonging -through social support- increases self-esteem and reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed. A sense of belonging can help reduce suicidal tendencies.

find connection

studies showthat some form of religious practice reduces the risk of depression and suicide because of feelings of meaning, purpose, andgratitudeit is often felt in connection with religious commitment.

If you're not religious, but you arespiritual, so is spirituality in its ability to help you find meaning in life.

7 tips to find your purpose in life

How to help someone else

when you are lovedworried about someonewho said they don't want to live anymore but they don't want to die either, we know this can scare you too.

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janel cubbage

Your natural instinct might be to remind them of the reasons for their lives or to tell them to think about their friends and family and how their death would affect them. Put those instincts aside and listen to them. Listen to her Let her tell you what is contributing to her emotional pain.

— Janel Cubbage

Of course, if someone is in immediate danger, contact emergency services or take them to the nearest emergency room.

A word from Verywell

It's brave of you to realize that you don't want to live like this anymore.Yyou don't want to die A safety plan and asupport networkcan help you through this crisis.

How to enter a psychiatric hospital

12 fuentes

Verywell Mind uses only quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. read ourspublishing processto learn more about how we verify our content and keep it accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Nock MK, Borges G, Bromet EJ, et al.Cross-Country Prevalence and Risk Factors for Suicide Ideation, Planning, and Attempt. Br J Psiquiatría. 2008;192(2):98-105. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.107.040113

  2. Han B., Kott PS, Hughes A., McKeon R., Blanco C., Compton WM.Estimated Suicide Death Rate Among Adult Suicide Attempts in the United States. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2016;77:125-133. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.03.002

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  3. Jyunn Lai Y, Chi Tan H, Ting Wang C, Chi Wu W, Yi Wang L, Chih Shen Y.Difference in cognitive flexibility between passive and active suicidal ideation in patients with depression. Neuropsychiatry. 2018;08(04). doi:10.4172/Neuropsiquiatría.1000446

  4. Ballard ED, Gilbert JR, Wusinich C, Zarate CAJ.New methods to assess rapid changes in suicide risk.frontal psychiatry. 2021;0. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.598434

  5. Ribeiro JD, Huang X, Fox KR, Franklin JC.Depression and hopelessness as risk factors for suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and death: meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Br J Psiquiatría. 2018;212(5):279-286. doi:10.1192/bjp.2018.27

  6. Stanley B, Brown GK.Safety Planning Intervention: A Brief Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk.Cognitive and behavioral practice. 2012;19(2):256-264. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2011.01.001

  7. Linehan MM, Goodstein JL, Nielsen SL, Chiles JA.Reasons to stay alive if you are thinking about committing suicide: The reasons to live inventory. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology. 1983;51(2):276-286. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.51.2.276

  8. Luo X, Wang Q, Wang X, Cai T.Life expectancy and ratios as protective factors against suicidality in Chinese patients with depression: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16(1):252. doi:10.1186/s12888-016-0960-0

  9. Kleiman EM, Liu RT.Social support as a protective factor in suicide: results of two nationally representative samples. Journal of Mood Disorders. 2013;150(2):540-545. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.033

  10. Kleiman EM, Riskind JH.The social support used and self-esteem mediate the relationship between perceived social support and suicidal ideation. A test of a multiple mediator model. Crisis. 2013;34(1):42-49. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000159

  11. rey hgReligious Commitment and Suicide Association. . . . JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(8):775. doi:10.1001/psychiatry.2016.1214

  12. McClintock CH, Worhunsky PD, Xu J, et al.Spiritual experiences are related to the involvement of a functional ventral frontotemporal brain network: implications for the prevention and treatment of behavioral and substance addictions.. J addicted behavior. 2019;8(4):678-691. doi:10.1556/2006.8.2019.71

What to do if you don't want to live, but you don't want to die either (1)

VonTeodora Blanchfield, AMFT
Theodora Blanchfield is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Health Writer.

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Can you call 911 for suicidal thoughts? ›

If you're at risk of harm or think someone else is in danger and you need help right now, call 911. Coping With Suicidal Thoughts is a good resource to help you understand and manage difficult feelings.

What helps suicidal thoughts? ›

Some examples are: having faith and trust that time always helps; reaching out to friends and family; seeing a professional; going to a support group; following a safety plan; doing something you enjoy; not being alone; keeping a journal; or not drinking or using drugs.

Can I call suicide hotline if Im not suicidal? ›

It's important to know that you can, and should, call or text a hotline (formally known in the U.S. as Lifeline) even if you're not suicidal but are experiencing emotional distress.

What is suicidal ideation mean? ›

Suicidal ideations (SI), often called suicidal thoughts or ideas, is a broad term used to describe a range of contemplations, wishes, and preoccupations with death and suicide.

Can someone be depressed and not suicidal? ›

Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) -- or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889. Most people who suffer from clinical depression do not attempt suicide.

What is 988 phone number? ›

Today, “988” is the three-digit, nationwide phone number to connect directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. By calling or texting 988, you'll connect with mental health professionals with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What happens when you text 741741? ›

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform.

What does a suicide line do? ›

A suicide hotline, sometimes referred to as a crisis hotline, is a free service where an individual can reach out for support during a crisis.

Is suicidal thoughts a symptom of anxiety? ›

Anxiety disorders have consistently been associated with an increase in suicidal behavior in cross-sectional community3,17 and clinical studies. There are also, however, high levels of comorbidity found within anxiety disorders.

Is the yellow ribbon for suicide? ›

The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program (YRSPP) is a suicide prevention program based in the United States, and aimed in particular at teenagers. The program is run by the Yellow Ribbon non-profit. YRSPP uses a yellow ribbon with a heart to encourage awareness about suicide / suicide prevention.

Does a yellow ribbon mean suicide? ›

The Light for Life Foundation Int'l/Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program® is dedicated to preventing suicide and attempts by Making Suicide Prevention Accessible to Everyone and Removing Barriers to Help by: Empowering individuals and communities through leadership, awareness and education; and.

How many people does one suicide affect? ›

For each suicide, our data estimate that 135 people are exposed to the death, resulting in 5.5 million U.S. residents exposed to suicide in a given 12-month period. The current study was drawn from a single U.S. state with the fifteenth highest suicide rate in the United States.

What is considered a mental health crisis? ›

A mental health crisis is any situation in which a person's actions, feelings, and behaviors can lead to them hurting themselves or others, and/or put them at risk of being unable to care for themselves or function in the community in a healthy manner.

What to do when you are depressed and suicidal? ›

Call a crisis hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741. If you feel you're at immediate risk, reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or healthcare professional.

What is bark suicide prevention? ›

Bark monitors online activities and alerts parents and guardians to potential issues, including suicidal ideation, depression, self-harm, and more.

Where do you take someone who is suicidal? ›

For immediate help

If someone has attempted suicide: Don't leave the person alone. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room yourself.

What is a hope box? ›

A hope box (or a whatever-you'd-like-to-call-it box) is a place to put special memory items or little trinkets, such as photos of an important day, concert or train tickets, gifts or notes that friends or family have given, or even receipts for things you'd like to remember enjoying.

What to do when someone is suicidal and refuses help? ›

Reach out to your own support system. Talk to another friend or family member. Text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor. These counselors can support you and offer advice on how to help your friend.

What if someone threatens suicide? ›

In all life threatening situations, please call RI Emergency 911 directly. Are you contemplating reporting a suicidal person to the police and have concerns about your safety if you make such a report? Please call 911 or your local municipal police. Share your concerns about safety and ask for guidance.

Is there a text suicide hotline? ›

As someone interested in mental health, you may know the numbers to the Crisis Text Line (text BRAVE to 741741) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) by heart.

What happens when you call 8002738255? ›

After dialing 1-800-273-8255, you will hear the following automated message: "You have reached the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, also servicing the Veterans service line. If you are in emotional distress or suicidal crisis or are concerned about someone who might be, we're here to help.

Does having suicidal thoughts mean you have depression? ›

Suicidal ideation is one of the symptoms of both major depression and the depression found in bipolar disorder, but it may also occur in people with other mental illnesses or no mental illness at all.

Who can be affected by suicide? ›

Who is Most Affected by Suicide? Suicide hurts all of us—parents, children, siblings, friends, lovers and spouses. The loss for society is psychological, spiritual, and financial.

How to talk to a suicide hotline? ›

Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder. You can also start a confidential online chat session at Veterans Crisis Chat.

How to get mental help ASAP? ›

If you are in crisis, please seek help immediately.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org . Text MHA to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor from Crisis Text Line . Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Who to call for mental health emergency? ›

If the situation is potentially life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911, available 24 hours a day.

Is suicide ideation normal? ›

Suicidal ideation is a symptom for many mental disorders and can occur in response to adverse life events without the presence of a mental disorder. There are several psychiatric disorders that appear to be comorbid with suicidal ideation or considerably increase the risk of suicidal ideation.


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