Finding the Light in the Dark Night of the Soul

Tips for Suicide Prevention in People with Social Anxiety

Sometimes, the hardest part of life is just living it. When you’re living with social anxiety, however, it can seem like it’s too much to bear.

Dark moments can appear when you least expect them and you never know how long they’re going to last. During the darkest, you may even consider trying to take an easier way out just to get the pain to stop.

Thoughts about suicide can be terrifying, especially when they seem so overwhelming … it may seem like you simply have no other choice. There are ways to find help. Whatever you’re facing you can dealt with.

Treating Your Anxiety

A study reviewing data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions found that 70 percent of respondents who reported a suicide attempt at some point in their life also suffered from an anxiety disorder. Treating your social anxiety can be a major step in preventing suicide.

There are several treatments available for social anxiety. Deciding which one is right for you is up to you and your doctor or mental health professional. The important thing is that you take that first step and seek treatment, then stick with the treatment you choose. Be honest with your doctor, since it can take some time to find the best treatment for your specific case; if something doesn’t seem to be working, let him or her know so that the two of you can make adjustments to your treatment regimen.

Someone to Confide In

When having suicidal thoughts, many believe it’s best not to talk about them because it will make others worry. You may think it’s a problem you can overcome on your own or that no one would understand the thoughts you’re having. You might be surprised at how understanding others can be, however. Talking about your feelings with someone else may reduce the likelihood of suicide.

Finding a friend to confide in can be difficult, especially if you have social anxiety; it’s hard enough to open up under normal circumstances. Make a list of people you trust and narrow that list down until you find the perfect candidate. If you have trouble discussing it in person, write it down in a letter, text or email.

Let the person know how important it is to you that you can trust them and tell them exactly what’s happening. If you’ve planned to kill yourself or have the means to do so, tell them this as well. It’s hard, but doing so might just save your life.

Call for Help

If you have no one to reach out to, there are suicide prevention hotlines that you can call 24 hours a day, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and several state, federal and organizational hotlines.

It can be very difficult to call and talk to a stranger, but if everything else has failed, it’s a very important call to make. Nobody on any of the hotlines is going to judge you – they’ll be glad you called and will offer you all the help possible. Allow them to talk you through it and don’t be afraid to mention your social anxiety if you feel overwhelmed by the conversation.

Take it one breath at a time and trust that someone who may have been in the same position can offer you whatever help you might need. You can do this.

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