Suicidal.com | Helping a Suicidal Person

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Helping a Suicidal Person

General Advice / Not Situation or Age Specific

 

Helping 1 - Understand and Believe

  • Attitude Overview
  • "Love Notes" - Use Your Printer As A Life-Saving Tool
  • End Depression with Treatment

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To Help is to Understand.

A depressed and suicidal person should be treated like someone who is experiencing a health crisis or personal tragedy - such as a heart attack, a car accident, a divorce, or the death of a loved one.

Genuine concern and compassion must be at the forefront of your mind and heart.

  • If you do not understand depression and suicidal thoughts
  • If you are among those who think it's all in their head
  • If you think people who talk about it won't do it
  • If you think they are being overly dramatic and can just snap out of it, get a life, get a grip, etc.

...You are not going to be very helpful and may only hurt them.

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You must approach them with the utmost of depth and sincerity.  You must believe that they could die before you see them again.

It doesn't mean that you alone can stop them. It does not mean that you alone are responsible for their life, their illness, or their death.  But if you love them, true concern and empathy are crucial.

Listening and letting them talk, can help them drain off some of the immediate suicidal pressure. 

Sometimes there are ways you can suggest help.  At other times, offering a solution to each problem is not what is needed.

If you are very close to this person - showing that you truly care about their life will be your point of strength.

It's okay to let them see your emotions of sympathy and sorrow and your tears - for them, for yourself.  It's okay to tell them or show them how you will grieve if they die.

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Love Notes - Use the copier or printer as a life saving tool.

So often we can't find the words of love we want to express to those we love and care about, and want to understand.

Sometimes "I Love You" isn't enough to reach inside an angry or suicidal mind.

Sometimes nothing you can say will reach the person you'd like to help, but you have to try.

Sometimes the words and the meaning will slip into their heart or mind later on.

If you have trouble saying things and the moment passes - you can leave a note where they will find it, a voice mail or email if you are sure they will get it.

Your message must say:

  • I love you, I care about you, I don't want you to die.
  • I believe your pain, I believe how badly you hurt, I believe your sorrow.
  • I know you are hurting so much more than you can tell me.

Or you might say:

  • I don't understand but I want to understand.
  • Please help me understand what you are feeling.

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You may feel frustrated, you may be thinking things you must not say out loud.

If words cross your mind like "stupid", get a grip, snap out of it, grow up, go ahead - then you need to have a reality check.

  • Visit some suicide survivor sites.
  • Would you say this to someone in the hospital who just had a heart attack ?
  • Would you say, "idiot, you ate too many donuts" - or "snap out of it !?"
  • Sure maybe they did, but would you even think that at a time when the person could be dying ?

You must find a way to validate their emotions in your mind.

If you were ever broken hearted from a lost love, ever divorced, had a loved one die or killed - think of how bad you felt.

  • Were those feelings real ?
  • Were they valid ?
  • Did you deserve empathy ? Sympathy ?

Of course you did - and most people will be very understanding and compassionate with those kinds of emotional traumas.

But sadly, "depression" doesn't evoke this same compassion.

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Imagine if you felt this way all the time, and often for no real good reason. Or what if any little off comment or minor disagreement made you feel like dying. Would that be real ? could that be real ?

Think about it.

If you could see what a suicidal person could be feeling like, you might imagine your compassion and concern if they had a huge bleeding gash in their head.

I used to feel that I should be wearing a T-shirt with a vivid photo of a bloody open heart surgery on it. Then people might understand how bad I was feeling, how I looked normal on the outside but I was just standing there dying.  Here's more about my own terrible suicidal thoughts & feelings - How I Felt.

Visit suicide survivor sites and feel the grief of those who have already lost someone to suicide.  It's real.  Don't let it be you.

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Read everything they might read on my site or other depression sites - print some of them out.

Go to depression books and sites - copy or print out SMALL paragraphs or sections which will inspire a feeling that you understand, inspire treatment, and show that others have gotten well with treatment.  Don't be afraid to print out suicide type pages like - right to suicide etc.

Leave them as "love notes" in a back pack or brief case, purse - where no one else will find it of course.

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If You Are An Adult and Blood Family or Legal Guardian, Make A "Life Pact" - "Promise me, you will not hurt yourself until we at least try some treatments..." - that sort of thing.

Ask them - "Would you want me to kill myself without giving you a chance to help me ? "

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How will it ever stop !?

Treatment !!

Now - getting them to actively pursue treatment can be a big hurdle.  Believing that nothing will help is very common.  I certainly felt that way.  But depression is very treatable !!

Overcoming Obstacles to Treating Depression

 

What is Help ?  We shouldn't look at help as being one big help - it is a lot of little helps along the way, until the salvation of successful treatment.

Author's Treatment Page

 

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Helping 1 - Understand and Believe

  • Attitude Overview
  • "Love Notes" - Use Your Printer As A Life-Saving Tool
  • End Depression with Treatment

Helping 2 - Understanding Depression

  • If you don't have it
  • If you want to help
  • If you want to be helped

Helping 3 - Stigma

  • A Cold Heart for Depression ?
  • Don't "Believe in" Depression ?
  • Heredity - Are Your Kids At Risk ?

Helping 4

  • When People Try to Help You
    or When they don't...

Helping 5 - Misc.

  • Difficulties of Helping and Being Helped
  • Adult Family /Relative, Friend or Acquaintance
  • Don't Swear to Secrecy
  • Letter | HelpCards

Helping 6 - from DepressionFAQ

  • How Can You Help People Who Want To Commit Suicide ?

Helping 7 - Links

  • Other Sites to Visit

 

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How I Felt | What is Help ? | The Right to Commit Suicide

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Is Suicide A Choice ? | Suicide Myths

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Overcoming Obstacles to Treating Depression

Author's Treatment Page

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Suicide Is Not Justified | Suicidal Brain Repair

I Feel Cured Every Day | About My Treatment 

The Right to Commit Suicide | Author's Treatment Page

Suicide Prevention In Your Area - What You Can Do

 

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Suicide.com | Suicidal.com | SuicideCrisisCenter | SuicideHotlines.com

SuicidalTeens | DepressionFAQ | DepressionandSuicide | DepressionBookstore.com

Solemn Poetry | DepressionLinks | DepressionLife.com

 

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