On the Couch

Suicide Survivors

For Suicide Attempt Survivors.

After a suicide attempt, you may feel lost or unsure about the future. The information below is not medical advice and should only be used as a starting point on your path to recovering from a suicide attempt. Use the resources at the bottom of the page for more helpful information.

After An Attempt

You've Attempted Suicide. Now What?

See A Medical Professional

It’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible after a suicide attempt. First the doctor will want to test your physical health. Then, a mental health worker or specialist will want to do an assessment.

Acknowledge Your Current Thoughts & Feelings

Common thoughts and feelings after a suicide attempt include:

  • “Why am I still here? I wish I were dead. I couldn’t even do this right.”
  • “I don’t know if I can get through this. I don’t even have the energy to try.”
  • “I can’t do this alone.”
  • “How do I tell anyone about this? What do I say to them? What will they think of me?”
  • “Maybe someone will pay attention to me now; maybe someone will help me.”
  • “Maybe there is a reason I survived. How do I figure out what that reason is?”
Know that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings, that others have been there, and recovery is possible. Although in the short-term you may still be experiencing the pain that led to the attempt, know that there are healthier ways to cope with the stressors negatively affecting your life. It can and WILL get better. Be sure to share your honest thoughts and feelings with your medical doctor or mental health worker, especially if you are still feeling suicidal. This will help doctors make the best decisions about your care and safety.

Plan How You Will Explain What Happened To Minimize Stress

Your friends, family, or coworkers may be surprised, scared for or worried about you after a suicide attempt. They may be curious, want to ask questions, and/or provide comments. To help relieve the stress of explaining to others what happened, come up with the details that you feel comfortable sharing and how you will respond to common questions people may have.

Re-Establish Connections

Personal relationships and doing the things you once enjoyed can help you feel better. Try taking up some of the activities you enjoyed doing and reconnecting with people you may have lost touch with before your attempt.

Have A Plan To Stay Safe

Although you may be feeling exhausted, distraught, embarrassed, or a number of other unpleasant feelings, it’s best to focus what energy you can on creating a safety plan to prevent another attempt.