Skip to main content

If You Struggle With Feeling Suicidal, This Article is For You

Are you feeling suicidal? There is hope, and there is help. For anyone struggling with depression or feelings of hopelessness, here's how you can build a crisis plan and get support.


This guest piece was written by Holley Jeppson, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and Clinical Director and Director of Coaching for Fortify. 5-minute read.

This article contains affiliate links. Fight the New Drug may receive financial support from purchases made using affiliate links.

There is hope. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or you can call or text 988.

Suicide Crisis Plans for Fighters

By Holley Jeppson, LMHC

For any person who is struggling with depression or feelings of hopelessness, it is important to build a crisis plan.

Having a plan means you’re not stumbling alone in the dark when a particularly heavy moment threatens to overwhelm you. For individuals working to overcome both sexual compulsivity and suicidality, a crisis plan isn’t just important; it’s essential.

Related: 4 Reasons Why People with Sexual Compulsion Can Also Struggle with Suicidality

The best time to utilize a crisis plan is early on when feelings of despair arise or even during an urge. And the best time to create your crisis plan is long before those darkest feelings come.

If you’re already past that point and you’re already deeply struggling, the next best time is right now.


Two traditional tools for your plan
Seek Support

This may seem to be an obvious one, but it’s always worth mentioning. One of the most common pieces of advice you might hear is to reach out for support by calling a loved one, sponsor, or crisis line like the suicide hotline (988). Write down a few options for seeking support and connection, whether with a trusted ally or a professional. This method is not only wonderful in theory but also very effective in many suicidality safety plans.

Because sexual compulsivity is often accompanied by feelings of isolation, loneliness, and the tendency to hide away in embarrassment, reaching out for support in a moment of crisis is especially challenging. Too many people feel unable to seek help when they need it most.

Sadly, for some, the chance of them actually using these resources is low. Please prioritize finding trusted allies!

Related: Quitting Porn Helped in My Fight Against Depression

In my time providing therapy for people struggling with compulsive porn use, I see a lot of people isolating themselves from others because of deep shame. Working through shame and connecting with others are pivotal steps in healing and navigating a crisis.

However, because many aren’t willing to reach out because of the shame factor, having other tools is critically important.

Write down your “why”

Generally speaking, writing down the reasons you want to live and describing what is worth living for can help people through a suicidal episode. Your “why” might include people in your life, a religious belief, an aspiration for your future, or anything else hopeful you can turn to that you might have forgotten in your despair.

This technique can be very helpful at early choice points, like when you’re feeling an urge, or you’ve had a slip, and you’re feeling hopeless.

Related: Porn Tanked My Mental Health, Here’s How I Got Help (VIDEO)

However, in moments of deep darkness, it can be challenging to feel the importance of your “why,” and it might seem like hollow comfort. Because sexual compulsivity can damage relationships, it sometimes contributes to losing important ones, like that with a partner, which can make doubts about the value of your old “whys” feel loud in our minds. That’s why, when someone hits rock bottom, they can’t always rely on contacting others or focusing on their “why” alone.

That’s where DBT techniques can be very useful.

Dialectical behavior therapy: RESISTT

When the thought of reaching out to someone feels impossible, when you’re truly at the darkest point, and if you’ve lost your “why” or you’re afraid you might—you may need a different type of crisis plan.

One important thing to note is that these are tools for crises, not long-term treatment plans.

Related: What Past Issues Are You Trying to Escape From When You Watch Porn?

Distraction isn’t the same as healing. These crisis tools focus on getting you past a dark moment in time. This won’t do the important work of growth and long-term recovery.

That said, these can be incredibly useful techniques to use as a piece of the puzzle, tools to keep in your back pocket for a difficult moment as part of an overall recovery plan.

Check out this article on Dialectical Behavior Therapy for a deeper dive into DBT.

Reframe the thought

Reshape a black-and-white, negative interpretation of your situation into a more realistic one. If you’re familiar with CBT, this is a similar concept.

When a thought like, “This is hopeless, and I’m never going to be able to get out of this” pops into your head, check the thought and reframe it to something more nuanced: “This is difficult, and it might take me a long time to overcome, but it’s possible.”

Engage in a distracting activity

Mindfully engage in something you enjoy. This is especially helpful for interrupting any “doom spirals” or intrusive thoughts that may be stuck in your head.


Doing something for somebody else can give you perspective and a sense of purpose.

Intense sensations

You can think of this as a form of harm reduction. Rather than self-harm, turn to an intense sensation that is safe, such as holding an ice cube, taking a cold shower, or taking a walk in the sun.

Shut it out

This is not the same as gritting your teeth and trying to ignore something. The most effective way to “shut it out” is to change your environment physically. Go somewhere else and leave the trigger behind physically. Driving to a coffee shop or walking is a great option here.

If that’s not an option, you can also do this mentally as a visualization activity by moving thoughts into boxes and putting them away.

Think neutral thoughts

Count, sing the alphabet song, name objects around the room, or recite a memorized mantra or poem.

Take a break

When emotions are high, to get you through the crisis, you can do progressive relaxation, acupressure tapping EFT, visualizations. Take an extended lunch. Ask somebody to babysit your kids. Do something relaxing for yourself.

Related: Can Watching Porn Negatively Impact Mental Health?

Moving forward

If you’re struggling with thoughts of hurting yourself right now, remember your options:

  1. Reach out to someone you love or to a hotline like 988, and think of your “why.” If those options don’t resonate with you
  2. RESISTT with a healthy distraction or mental interruption.

Remember that once you have opened the door to the dark place of suicidality, it’s easier to find it again in the future. Sexual compulsivity and feelings of suicidality can become wired together so that the dark funnel can suck you in faster the next time.

When the urgency of the suicidal thoughts pass, the aches and challenges will still be there. After the acute feelings of despair have passed, that’s the time to act, not wait for them to appear again.

Related: Watching Porn Might Be Making You More Lonely

If you haven’t checked out the Fortify app before, I highly recommend it as a guide toward finding lasting healing. Metaphorically, it’s better to brush our teeth regularly than to have to get a root canal, so be proactive in your self-care and in implementing key lifestyle factors.

Don’t wait until you reach that dark place again to think about building the kind of life and support system that will make you want to live. None of this is easy. But you’ve got this.

There is hope. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or you can call or text 988.


About the Author

Holley Jeppson is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and has worked supporting people facing depression, addiction, and betrayal trauma for 25+ years. Holley has worked on several teams developing online science-based coaching, education, and training programs used worldwide to help individuals overcome mental health and behavioral challenges. She is currently the Clinical Director and Director of Coaching for Fortify and Impact Suite Holley’s passion is people—especially watching people grow and overcome challenges.

Fight the New Drug collaborates with a variety of qualified organizations and individuals with varying personal beliefs, affiliations, and political persuasions. As FTND is a non-religious and non-legislative organization, the personal beliefs, affiliations, and persuasions of any of our team members or of those we collaborate with do not reflect or impact the mission of Fight the New Drug.

Support this resource

Thanks for reading our article! Fight the New Drug is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which means the educational resources we create are made possible through donations from people like you. Join Fighter Club for as little as $10/month and help us educate on the harms of porn!