Thoughts of suicide can come into our minds for many reasons. These could range from passing thoughts, to making a plan to end your life. The problems you’re facing can be so overwhelming that sometimes it doesn’t feel like life is worth living.

During difficult times, the impact of your problems on others can feel magnified. Needing a great deal of support can then create a feeling of being a burden on family, friends, and other people in your life. This feeling may lead to thinking that others would be better off if you were not around.
If you feel like this, you’re not alone. Many people have, at some point, felt like a burden on those around them. But even if your circumstances can’t change immediately, know that your life matters to your loved ones, and your community.

Phoebe, standing on a bridge, looking contemplative.

It might not feel like it now…but the people in your life are better off with you

Burden is an aspect of suicidal thinking which is not often discussed. This initiative shares stories of people whose suicidal thoughts and actions related to feeling like a burden on others, and reveals how they came to see things differently.

When you’re feeling low, it’s hard to see the positive things you bring to others, now or in the future. Many experiences can lead to people feeling like this. Some examples shared in the stories are:

  • Needing support to manage physical or mental health issues
  • Depending on others for emotional or financial support
  • Being negative or depressed around others
  • Letting people down or bringing shame on others
  • Relapsing into addiction or negative behaviours.

Getting help if you feel like a burden

When you carry these heavy feelings by yourself, it’s easy to lose perspective on the positive things you bring to the lives of others. Talking to someone can be incredibly helpful. Even though it can be challenging to find the words, there are people who can provide support and understanding. This could be someone in your family, a friend, a doctor, or another health professional.

Find support services

Nick smiling, sitting in front of an inspirational quote at the gym: "Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out".

“You start to realise that not only are other people better off that you’re here, you’re better off being here as well.”  

– Nic

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Are you or somebody you know in crisis?

 In an emergency, call 000 immediately

If the situation is urgent, and you or someone else is at immediate risk, call 000 or go to your closest emergency department.  If you are supporting someone who has a plan to harm themselves, do not leave the person alone, unless you are concerned for your own safety.

Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 for support.

Watch these real stories

Watch stories from people who have lived through suicidal thoughts and attempts and learn how they came to see life differently.