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How to Deal with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

The rate of depression and suicide has been on the rise in Nigeria in the last few years. Suicide has now become a way out of the challenges of life. No one can truly understand the feeling, and for those that have the thoughts, it can be very difficult to deal with.

However, suicide should not be the last resort, even though it could seem like a relief from unbearable pain and misery.

Luckily, there are ways to subdue suicidal thoughts that can move you away from hurting yourself and getting your life back on track. It is not an exact science, but we have spoken to professionals, and these are ten ways to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts.

1. Talk to Someone

Never feel like you are alone. Reach out to friends and family members you trust and tell them exactly how you feel. If you can’t access family members, there are call help centers and organizations like MentallyAwareNG that you can also call and tell your problems, and help will be sent to you.

2. Stay away from any thing that you could use to harm yourself

When you begin to develop these suicidal thoughts try and stay away from any potentially harmful object or substance, whether knife, poison or sniper.

3. Seek help from a counsellor

There are those who are professionally trained to offer help in these type of situations, reach out to one and relay how you feel exactly. These counselors will guide you on how to get rid of the depression and suicidal thoughts.

4. Seek religious help

Churches, mosques, or any religious house often offer counseling and help in these situations. If you are religious, reach out to your pastor, imam, guru, etc., let them help you .

5. Find a distraction

Try as much as possible not to stay idle. Go out as much as much as you can, go out with friends and have a good time. Staying at home alone will definitely rekindle and aggravate those suicidal thoughts. Hence, when your mind is distracted the thoughts of taking your life will gradually fade away.

6. Suicidal thoughts are just thoughts.

Some will argue they’re not just thoughts, but for the purpose of fighting it, convince yourself that they are just thoughts, and you do not have to act on them. Let them continue to remain thoughts and do not let them overshadow you.

7. Get a good amount of sleep

Sleeping and resting regularly is very important in these type of situations. When you begin to feel that all hope is lost and the thought suicide as a last resort begins to creep in, sleep tends to disappear. Try as much as possible to get some sleep; force it if possible, so that your mind can be at rest.

8. Avoid alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs might seem as a quick fix to get your mind off your problems, but they actually do more harm than good. They won’t make your problems go away, and can change the way you feel, think or behave in negative ways. Alcohol and drugs might even drag you deeper into depression.

9. Seek medical help

Seek urgent medical attention, especially with regards your mental state. Sometimes depression and suicidal thoughts might occur as a result of a recurring mental disorder that could be hereditory or caused by trauma from a bad experience. Try and see a psychiatrist/doctor to know your mental state and to get the necessary help. Treat your mental health like your physical health, because it is just as – if not more important.

10. It isn’t the end of the world

No one can truly understand how you feel. As helpless as you may feel, always remember that there is a future ahead filled with possibilities. Draw inspiration from famous people who have failed and still made it. Always remember that suicide is not the best option.

Nigerian Suicide Prevention Initiative hotlines – 08062106493, 08092106493

Written by Emeka Nweze

Content writer and contributor.

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