National Suicide Prevention Week

With this week being the National Suicide Prevention Week I thought it would be helpful to post some coping skills for those of you struggling with suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can occur when our brain starts engaging in negative thinking. These negative thoughts that our brain comes up with are rarely accurate and typically fall into certain categories. These categories include catastrophic thoughts, such as one bad thing happened today so everything bad is going to happen today or for the rest of my life. Another example may be if you have a break up with a significant other and then believe that you will never be able to fall in love again or that no one will ever love you again. Another category is black and white or all or none thinking. This is when we tell ourselves things like, “because I didn’t get an A on my test I’m a failure”. Mindreading is another category. Mindreading occurs when we think we know what someone else is thinking. For example, if you are walking you dog down the street and someone appears to be giving you a “funny look” you may say to yourself “he thinks I’m stupid” or something else negative about yourself even though you have no idea what this other person is really thinking (he may be just admiring your dog!). Or if you think you know how someone will respond to you so you either avoid asking them or feel anxious about approaching the topic. This may look like you wondering if a friend would do a favor for you, but you are “sure” they will say “no”, so you don’t ask them. This is what happens when we think we know what someone else is thinking. Many times when we have suicidal thoughts it is because our brain is playing these kinds of tricks on us. If you are having suicidal thoughts it is important to talk to someone. Sometimes just having a safe place to talk about your suicidal thoughts can help ease them. Try to do something to distract yourself. If possible, reach out to others and engage in a social activity. If the suicidal thoughts do not decrease you can always go to your nearest emergency room and they will have someone there for you to talk to. Life challenges are temporary, but they can feel permanent in times of crises. It’s important to know that you are not alone. Talk to someone today and let them know how you are feeling. Trusted Therapy, Inc Tonya McFarland, PsyD Licensed Clinical Psychologist 1030 Johnson Rd, # 323 Golden, CO 80401 303-709-5897