Recovering from a suicide attempt

A man watches the city at dawnIf you or your loved one is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Service at Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

The survival of a suicide attempt can lead to a series of intense emotions and emotions. Many people report that they feel a new sense of hope or believe they survived for some reason. Others may feel renewed desperation or start thinking about making another effort. Some people feel love and compassion from friends and family. Others may feel more and more alone.

Other feelings may include:

  • Relief or happiness the effort failed
  • Frustration or confusion
  • Embarrassment and shame
  • Fatigue, lethargy or generalized crash
  • Anger

Whatever feelings you are experiencing, it is necessary to work with a counselor trained to help people recover from suicide attempts. Treatment from a suicide attempt is possible, although the recovery time may vary depending on various factors. According to Tamara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC, "Recovery is possible with scheduling, but recovery must be multidimensional."

Help after an attempted suicide

One of the first steps in recovery from a suicide attempt seeks medical attention. It is important to receive medical care for any physical injury or illness associated with the attempt. A mental health professional will talk to you in the hospital to see how you feel and if you are still at risk of suicide. If you are already working with a therapist, the hospital can contact you.

If you are still experiencing a crisis or your doctor or consultant is worried about your safety, they may recommend that you stay in the hospital as a patient until the risk of suicide is reduced. People who are at high risk of suicide and do not want to be admitted to the hospital can be inadvertently hospitalized for a few days. This is not common. It is likely to happen only if your care providers believe that you are likely to be suicide again very soon. You may not want to stay in the hospital, but if you are going to make another effort, staying safe somewhere is a good idea.

It is important to prioritize your treatment and spend time with people who can offer support. Some of your loved ones may need time to work on their own feelings, but you can only be responsible for your own recovery. Once you are at home, your friends and family can ask questions that you are unsure about how to answer. Suicide is a subject that is still surrounded by stigma, so it can be difficult to talk about what you have experienced.

Remember that you do not have to share anything you do not want. If you want to talk to your loved ones but you need more time, let them know that you still choose your feelings. Your counselor can help you work through what to say if you are struggling to find the right words.

You've just experienced something very traumatic. Your family and friends may be affected by your decision to commit suicide. Some people may say that courage or sad things from sadness or fear. It is important to prioritize your treatment and spend time with people who can offer support. Some of your loved ones may need time to work on their own feelings, but you can only be responsible for your own recovery.

How long does it take to recover from a suicide attempt?

Restoring from a suicide attempt can take time. Time may depend on a number of factors, including the level of social / emotional support you have and the way you continue to work through the challenges that affect your mental health.

Recovery usually happens gradually. A study published in Journal of Clinical Nursing lists five common stages of recovery:

  1. A person realizes that they still have business in life and / or that they do not want to die.
  2. A person understands that they need to seek help from others, such as professionals or loved ones.
  3. A person returns to the stress and difficulties in his life.
  4. A person adjusts his behavior to better address the challenges of life.
  5. An individual accepts that there are good and bad places in life and begins to invest in his own well-being.

The same study shows that recovery is often non-linear. People often move between the stages of self-awareness, adaptation and acceptance. A person may feel waist a day, stress the next, and then hopes the third.

Self-service is an important part of the recovery.

  • You can take care of yourself physically, with enough sleep, taking any medications prescribed by your doctor or psychiatrist, taking time for physical exercise and eating nutritious foods.
  • Activities such as music, writing in a magazine or working with your hands or body can help you feel better emotionally.
  • Many people find yoga and meditation to be both emotionally and physically beneficial.

All of this can have a positive impact on the recovery.

Treatment for suicide rehabilitation

In many cases, the causes that lead to a suicide attempt do not leave after the effort. If you work with a therapist before attempting to commit suicide, but the treatment does not help, think about trying a new approach to treatment. Not every approach is working for each individual. Talk to your therapist about what works and what is not. If there is a new worry in your life that adds stress, try to cope with it so you can develop ways to deal with it.

You often check with your therapist and you are honest about what you feel. Your therapist's job is to help you, and are trained to do it with compassion and judgment.Another important element of treatment after an attempted suicide is the development of the crisis / security plan. According to Hill, this plan may include "scandals, warning signs of apparent health regression, and a specific skills plan to avoid suicide or suicide attempts." Hill continues to emphasize the importance of social support, including "addresses in local groups, registration information in training sessions, and sites in local organizations supporting the rehabilitation of suicide."

Your therapist can help you develop a security plan. You often check with your therapist and you are honest about what you feel. Your therapist's job is to help you, and are trained to do it with compassion and judgment.

If you have family support (or support from your partner or close friends), consider including them in your rehabilitation plan and treatment, if possible. Suicide is a difficult issue and your family and friends may not know how to talk to you about what happened. They can work through their feelings about the attempt. Treatment can provide a safe place for you and your loved ones to share your thoughts – when you are ready to do it.

Prevent future suicide attempts

Doing a suicide attempt is a risk factor for future suicide attempts. An article review of 2014 articles on suicide found that one in 25 people who suicide suicide suicide suicide within five years. A 2016 study, which looked at 1,490 people who attempted to commit suicide, found that nearly 82% of those who did not complete their first attempt completed a second attempt within a year.

It is important to have a crisis plan when you recover from a suicide attempt. This is something you can talk to your therapist. Your draft plan may include:

  • A list of what causes suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • A list of things that will help you cope with the mechanisms they activate.
  • A list (or photos) of your loved ones, pets and other things that are important to you. These can help you deal with a crisis.
  • Names and numbers of people you can reach, such as friends, family, therapists and doctors, or others you trust.
  • Immediate care numbers, such as the nearest emergency room, suicide helpline, or other emergency services.
  • A list of steps to be safe if you are in crisis. For example, you can design how you could avoid or get rid of objects in your home that could harm yourself.

It's also important to look for support from others. Restoring links to people you care about can have a significant impact on your recovery. Different people in your life can help in different ways, so do not be afraid to address the people you care about.

It helps to be clear about what you need. For example, if you do not feel like talking, you can ask family members or close friends if they can keep you company when you struggle to cope with difficult feelings. You could say something like, "I do not want to talk, but I want to get myself away from thinking about hurting myself. Can we go for a walk?"

After surviving a suicide attempt, you may feel lost and uncertain about the next steps. The way forward can seem great and difficult. But recovery is possible! Take the time you need to heal and make sure you have social and professional support as you work towards rehabilitation. Remember, you are not alone. There is hope for the future.

Bibliographical references:

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  3. Carrigan, C.G., & Lynch, D.J. (2003). Managing suicide attempts: Guidelines for primary care physician. Primary Care Partner in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 5(4) 169-174. Retrieved from
  4. Carroll, R., Metcalfe, C., & Gunnell, D. (2014, February 28). Hospital showing self-harm and risk of fatal and non-fatal recurrence: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 9(2). Retrieved from
  5. Chi, M. T., Long, A., Jeang, S. R., Ku, Y. C., Lu, T., & Sun, F. K. (2014). Treatment and recovery after suicide attempt: A documented theoretical study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(11-12), 1751-1759. Retrieved from
  6. Retrieval after suicide attempt. (n.d.). SuicideLine Victoria. Retrieved from
  7. Sellin, L., Asp, M., Kumlin, T., Wallsen, T., & Gustin, L.W. (2017, February 28). Be present, share and cultivate: A phenomenological study of the participants' lives about the recovery of the suicide person. International Journal of Quality Studies for Health and Welfare, 12(1). Retrieved from
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