Things to consider

If one is intent on committing suicide, there are a few practical matters that need to be considered before making that attempt. This section aims to briefly outline those in a factual way, with no comment or opinion.

  1. Be sure, be really, really sure, that there is no other way to get over the pain you are experiencing, other than suicide. You are recommended to read the section Help me.

  2. Consider the likely responses of those you leave behind i.e. how family and friends will react to the news of your choice to end your life, what impact it will have on them; what impact it may have on your work, business, clients. According to the US Suicide & Crisis Centre, each suicide intimately affects at least six other people, so consider carefully the impact on them. Read more in Help me.

    Be wary if what is driving you to consider suicide is sending a message to others (which it is in many cases, often on a sub-conscious level). Your actions might be driven from anger, hurt or revenge, rather than a true desire to end your life.

  3. Select a method of suicide. There is plenty of information on this website, and recommended further reading. Consider carefully how painful the selected method is, and whether your desire to die exceeds the likely pain, and risk of a failed attempt.

  4. Prepare the means. Most suicide methods require some preparation.

  5. If required, find someone to assist getting the means for the selected method, or help with the method itself. This may be particularly relevant for the infirm or terminally ill, and working out who can assist without judging you is key. Take great care that any assistance will not run foul of euthanasia laws in your country, as assisting people in their own suicide is generally illegal. See the law sections under Euthanasia & assisted suicide for more information.

  6. Decide who you tell. Many people will not tell anyone for fear of being judged, or attempts to be talked out of it. It could be argued that if being talked out of it is a fear, then that is a reason for telling someone, as the chances are you have some doubts that it is the right thing to do.

  7. Have an up to date will. For anyone in the UK who has not yet written a will, or needs to replace their current will, quality, reasonably priced do-it-yourself wills (that can also be reviewed by a lawyer) are available online at www.desktoplawyer.co.uk, and in the US from www.smartlegalforms.com.

  8. Create a living will. This could be handy in the event your attempt is not successful and significant physical or mental damage results. A living will sets out your wishes regarding healthcare and how you would like to be treated in the event you are seriously ill and unable to make or communicate your own choices. See websites above for how to create one.

  9. Financial affairs. It makes sense to have all your financial affairs in order. It is also extremely helpful to whoever will be left to deal with your financial affairs, generally the executors of your will, to have a letter detailing bank accounts, life insurance policies, pension funds and details of any other assets that may be subject of your will.

  10. Funeral. Consider whether you wish to be buried, cremated, or leave your body to be donated to medical science. Put this instruction in your will. Try and make sure someone else knows.

  11. Follow the three day rule. If you are ready to commit suicide, like really, really ready, wait three days, or better still a week, until you actually go through with it. If you are going to be dead for the rest of time, what's another few days wait? It may be that in a few days your enthusiasm to go through with it might not be the same, which will suggest that maybe suicide is not the only answer, but possibly something could change in your life circumstances, or how you view/feel about your life, that will change your decision. After all, something changed to get you to this place - maybe it will change again? Read Help me.

Many suicides and attempted suicides are done on impulse, but this suggests that the same people would not have tried to kill themselves either days before, or days after, had they thought about their actions for longer. Suicide is a permanent condition. It is not a decision that should be rushed.