Do you feel like life isn't worth living? Maybe you go to sleep hoping you don't wake up or perhaps you've even come up with a plan to end your life.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about death, wishing you were dead, or have come up with a plan to kill yourself, these are all examples of suicidal ideation. Normally these feelings come up you're dealing with a lot and just want the stress and the pain to stop. Even when you don't have a plan to go through with it, such intrusive thoughts can still take over your brain throughout the day - regardless of where you are, who you're with, or what you're doing.
The good news is there are many options on the table. What makes suicide dangerous is that it's the only one that flips that table. Let's work to find and try out those other options!
Self-harm can take many forms. You may be cutting, burning, bruising, or hitting yourself, refusing to eat, overeating, or using dangerous drugs.
Self-harm may occur concurrently with, or independently of, suicidal ideation. In either case, however, that does not make self-harm any less serious. Hurting oneself consistently has the potential to lead to purposeful or accidental death by suicide. Additionally, self-harm also has the neuro-chemical potential of developing into an addiction, much like with sex, gambling, and/or shopping.
Self-harm occurs for a variety of reasons. You may be searching to exert some control in your life, punishing yourself for a perceived mistake, or attempting to cover emotional pain with physical pain. Regardless of motivation, the "benefits" associated with self-harm tend to be as fleeting as those with drugs and alcohol. Therapy can help you to identify the triggers leading you to hurt yourself, address the root issue(s) behind them, and find alternatives that are both healthier and longer lasting.