Coping Strategies: When Solutions Become The Problem

Studies have consistently found an association between child sexual assault and suicide attempts among men (Cutajar, Mullen, Ogloff, Thomas, Wells & Spataro, 2010). O’Leary and Gould (2009) found that men who reported child sexual assault were 10 times more likely to report suicidal thoughts. Men who have been sexually assaulted as children are also 14 times more likely to commit suicide (Cutajar et al, 2010).

Thinking about suicide is a strategy for trying to avoid present pain. It can be a fantasy or daydream about being free from terrible feelings. But it is a fantasy which carries a great risk.

Suicidal thoughts can range from fantasies about dying as a way to be free of the present pain, to detailed plans to kill yourself. Even if your thoughts seems like they are ‘just’ passing ideas or fantasies, it is still important to find someone to talk to. The more detailed your thoughts and plans are about suicide, the more important it is to get help.

If you think you might harm or attempt to kill yourself call for help immediately. Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. Tell them honestly how you feel, including your thoughts of suicide.

  • Call Lifeline 13 11 14; or
  • Call 000 (emergency services); or
  • Go, or have someone take you, to your local hospital emergency department.

It is important to remember you do not have to go through this alone. We urge you to try talking to people about your thoughts. If you can’t or don’t want to talk to your friends and/ or family, you can contact one of the services mentioned in the back of this book.

Try and share your thoughts with someone you trust or a professional who understands the impacts of trauma. We encourage you to get rid of anything you have obtained to hurt yourself with. You can call our crisis line between 7am and 11pm 7 days a week on 6247 2525.