Cope with Suicidal Thoughts Using Digital Media
Suicidal thoughts have been a part of most of my young adult life. Learning to cope with these thoughts has been one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced. As a young person, it's natural to seek help from the digital mediums that are such a significant part of my life. I've found support and many resources by searching online, utilizing apps, and using social media. I learned to cope with suicidal thoughts using digital media.
As a teenager, my depression was present, but it didn't truly take over my life until the age of twenty. It grew worse with each passing year, and negative thoughts dominated my mindset. One in particular continuously plagued me.
Everything would be better if I wasn't here ("Depression: Understanding Thoughts of Suicide").
At first, it made sense to me. I agreed with the notion that I was a burden to the people who loved and supported me. When I saw people living their best lives on social media, it reaffirmed for me that my life was not worth living.
When I began to seek help, I turned to the Internet. With the help of my loved ones, I began to develop ways of coping with suicidal thoughts using digital media.
Digital Media that Helps Me Cope with Suicidal Thoughts
Penzu is an online journaling platform. Sometimes, just writing down what you're thinking can make you realize that your negative thoughts are extreme and untrue. If I'm able to make myself journal during a wave of suicidal thoughts, it usually brings me out of the mindset. It's almost like purging the brain. I pull everything out so that it's all in front of me, and then I can get rid of what shouldn't be there. On days when I'm feeling okay, I write entries to encourage myself. When I'm feeling hopeless, I read the encouraging entries to remind myself that my life is special and worth living.
Headspace is a meditation app. I have found that practicing mindfulness helps me collect my negative thoughts and then let them go. It's hard to start a meditation habit, but when you make it a daily practice, there are amazing results. Headspace is easy to use, and you are able to get 10 free guided meditations when you sign up. If you subscribe, you have access to meditations that focus on different topics. There are many options that target mental illnesses and their symptoms. When I take the time to look inward and focus on the here and now, I find that my thinking patterns change for the better.
Reminders on My Phone
When I'm going through a severe bought of depression, I write little messages to myself in my reminders app. They might be as simple as "you're going to beat this" or "you're loved and needed." It sounds silly, but in the moments where I began to doubt my worth, these little reminders can bring me back to reality. It's part of learning to love myself. When I feel okay, it's easier to say positive things to myself. In those times, I write the reminders so that when I'm down, I'll remember that I'm valuable.
Over the last 10 years, I've noticed a spike in the number of people sharing their struggles with mental illness on social media. Recently, Twitter has been my go-to medium for encouragement and support. I follow many mental health bloggers who consistently post about how they're feeling. They share both the good and the bad and it reminds me that I'm not the only one who feels this way. It creates a community for people who feel alone in their struggles. Social media has its faults, but many aspects of it can have such a positive impact on the mental health community.
Learning to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts Has Made Me Stronger
I know that there's a chance I'll be dealing with suicidal thoughts my whole life. When I first started having these thoughts, I didn't know how to handle them, and I wanted to give up. By practicing these different coping methods, I've been able to reduce the amount of time that I dwell on extreme negative thoughts. I'm by no means perfect and I still struggle. However, I know that I'm capable because I've proved it to myself many times. I've found strategies that help me so much and I hope that sharing them will help others find what works for them.
What digital coping methods do you use to deal with suicidal or extreme negative thoughts?
If you feel you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you need help with distressing thoughts (including suicidal thoughts), call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
For more information on suicide, please see our suicide resources here.
Capper, J. (2018, September 25). Cope with Suicidal Thoughts Using Digital Media, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthforthedigitalgeneration/2018/9/cope-with-suicidal-thoughts-using-digital-media