Overcoming suicidal ideation

Written by: Dr Iqbal Mohiuddin
Edited by: Aoife Maguire

Experiencing thoughts of ending your own life can be profoundly distressing and frightening. It's crucial to understand that these thoughts do not define you as a person but indicate that you are enduring significant emotional distress.


The Mental Health Foundation reports that 1 in 5 adults in the UK have had suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2022, the UK suicide rate was 10.5 per 100,000 people, with the rate for men at 16.1 and for women at 5.3, marking a slight increase from 2021. The highest suicide rates are seen in men aged 45-49, followed by those aged 50-54.


Renowned consultant psychiatrist Dr Iqbal Mohiuddin explores effective strategies for managing suicidal thoughts, fostering hope, and preventing suicide.



Recognising the signs of suicidal ideation


If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is crucial to identify the warning signs and seek help immediately. Common signs include feeling hopeless, helpless, trapped, or like a burden to others. You might also withdraw from activities you once enjoyed or engage in risky behaviours. If you notice any of these symptoms, reach out to a mental health professional or a trusted loved one for support.


Seeking professional mental health help for suicidal ideation


One of the most effective ways to manage thoughts of ending your life is to seek professional help from a therapist, counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. These trained professionals can equip you with the tools and support needed to navigate your emotions and develop healthier coping strategies. Mental health therapy can also help identify the root cause of your suicidal thoughts and facilitate healing from past traumas. A psychiatrist can assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions that may lead to suicidal feelings, such as anxiety and depression.


In a life-threatening emergency, such as having an active plan to end your life, call 999 or NHS 111 immediately. Many organisations listed below can also offer support in times of need. It's always best to talk to someone about how you're feeling first.


Building a support system


Alongside seeking professional help, it's crucial to build a supportive network of friends and family who can provide love and encouragement duri ng challenging periods. Openly discussing your feelings with loved ones can help lighten the emotional load you may be carrying. Remember, you're not facing these challenges alone; there are people who care deeply about you and are eager to assist. While feelings of guilt or being a burden are common in depression, it's essential to seek help and support promptly.


Engaging in self-care


Self-care is vital when managing thoughts of suicide. Prioritising your physical and emotional well-being can enhance your mood and perspective. Allocate time for activities that bring you happiness, such as hobbies, physical exercise, or being outdoors. Engage in mindfulness practices and relaxation methods like meditation or deep breathing exercises to promote mental calmness and alleviate stress.


Developing healthy coping mechanisms


When dealing with thoughts of suicide, it's crucial to establish positive coping strategies to manage intense emotions. This could involve journaling, artistic expression, listening to music, or exploring creative activities to articulate your feelings. Discovering constructive ways to handle stress and emotions can offer comfort and a sense of control during tough situations.


Finding hope for the future


It's important to understand that thoughts of suicide are temporary and don't dictate your future. By seeking assistance, building a support network, practising self-care, and developing healthy coping methods, you can cultivate optimism for the future and begin to heal. Remember, you deserve love and support, and brighter days lie ahead.


Managing thoughts of suicide is a difficult path, but with adequate support and resources, you can overcome these emotions and embrace optimism for the future. You are not alone—there are people who care about you and are ready to assist. Stay resilient, seek help when needed, and believe in a better tomorrow.




If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and would like to book a consultation with Mr Mohiuddin, do not hesitate to do so by visiting his Top Doctors profile today.

By Dr Iqbal Mohiuddin

Dr Iqbal Mohiuddin is a highly accomplished consultant psychiatrist who specialises in adult ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, and PTSD. He currently practises at the private IamPsychiatry clinic.
Dr Mohiuddin is also an expert when it comes to insomnia, psychosis and addictions. He successfully completed a BSc at the University of London in 1999, before going on to obtain a PGCME from Cardiff University in 2011. He also undertook further specialist training in Adult ADHD assessment, diagnosis and treatment with UKAAN in 2017.
Dr Mohiuddin offers patients private and high-quality mental health assessments in a calm and comfortable setting, at the IamPsychiatry clinic, where holistic treatment of patients suffering from mental health disorders is the priority.
He is trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and follows a holistic biopsychosocial approach for the recovery of his patients. Dr Mohiuddin assesses patients online throughout the UK as an online psychiatrist, and has successfully helped and treated over a thousand private patients throughout the UK since 2008.

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