I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
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03-12-2012, 04:07 PM
I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
About a month ago, a friend and I had a long argument about how a person had the right to do what they want to their body; tattoo's, piercings, mutilations like cutting or professional scarring, and even suicide. I was of the position that, no I don't like it, and I don't think that a person SHOULD hurt or kill themselves, but that there shouldn't be anything in place stopping them. It's a grown person's right to do what they want to themselves as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of other people.

I do feel that way. Wholeheartedly, which makes this next bit strange.

He's struggled with suicidal thoughts before, back in grade school. And I'm so glad he never put anything more than thoughts into the idea because he's an awesome dude. But a few hours ago he sent me a message saying that he's been thinking about it again. On the positive side, he says he wants to do it a certain way and will have to order things off the internet, so there's going to be a while for him to change his mind, but I don't know that he will. He's been going through some stuff lately, bringing out old traumas with psychologists and psychiatrists and it's been making him steadily worse in the mental wellness department.

If he does decide to go through with it, he's a 22 year old adult, there's nothing I can do but respect his choice. Things aren't as bad as they were when he was thinking about it the first time, but I think mentally he's in a worse place.

He said that it was hypocritical for him to tell me he was having these thoughts and planning it out. Why was it hypocritical? Does he want me to talk him out of it? Does he want to see if I'll go back on it? Should I try and convince him not to? I mean, I want him to live, I want him to stay alive but is that just selfishness on my part? Wanting him to stick around for me? He often tells me I'm not only his best friend but his only real friend, his family has practically all abandoned him, both physically and mentally, and the number of people he talks to regularly are me and his therapists, equaling three.

I may not need help after all. But if anyone has any advice for me on how to deal with this sort of situation... I'd appreciate it. I've talked a friend out of immediate suicide before, he was having difficulties in his life at that moment, but this situation is long term and completely different.

Thanks for reading,
Rex
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03-12-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
Just my two cents (and don't put too much stock in them), but in my experience, when a person is talking about suicide, they usually want to be talked out of it. It may even be subconscious and is by no means always emotional blackmail. It's just this tiny bit of the will to live and the hope that it might get better, that stops most of us from actually killing ourselves, even if we have considered it, with various degrees of seriousness.

When a person has truly and completely made up their minds, they either do not need to discuss it or would even avoid it for fear of people trying to talk them out of it.

There are situations in which I would never try to discourage someone from committing suicide (e.g. terminally ill people), I can even see myself helping someone, who cannot do it themselves (I do not ever want to be put in such a situation, but I would do it to save someone needless suffering), but from what you've told us, this is probably not the case. And it's not a matter of respecting his choice, because it is a choice arrived at through pain and most probably when he is not thinking straight (sounds like severe depression or other disabling condition) - I know whereof I speak and yes, at such times we are not thinking straight.

But, at the end of the day, everyone is different and I don't really know your friend. What I know, is that no one deserves to feel like they are completely and utterly alone and that no one cares if they live or die. So I say, talk to your friend, if for no other reason, than for this. Not to dissuade him or to preach, but just to be there for him. Sometimes this is all it takes.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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03-12-2012, 05:25 PM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
Can you introduce him to new friends? in my worst times the few friends I had did that for me and it was just the thing I needed to break the vicious cycle and I didn't noticed it until several months after I got better...

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03-12-2012, 06:02 PM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
Chances are, if he's telling you about it he's more looking for help than actually interested in offing himself.

I've gone through many dark, dark periods of life and have thought deeply about the pros and cons of suicide. I would never tell anyone about it if I was actually going to go through with it. Not even one person, even if I was sure they wouldn't blab.
Suicide is fucking permanent and dangerous. Things could go wrong and leave you even worse off. Someone who is actually down with the whole idea will usually think through all possible options.

Of course nothing is true for everyone. Maybe he is willing to do it. But if I were you and I cared about this person I'd try and help them as well as be there for them.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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03-12-2012, 08:33 PM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
(03-12-2012 04:31 PM)Vera Wrote:  Just my two cents (and don't put too much stock in them), but in my experience, when a person is talking about suicide, they usually want to be talked out of it. It may even be subconscious and is by no means always emotional blackmail. It's just this tiny bit of the will to live and the hope that it might get better, that stops most of us from actually killing ourselves, even if we have considered it, with various degrees of seriousness.
This.

When they abruptly stop talking about it; it's time to worry. A mind that is seriously intent on commiting suicide is unlikely to let others know about it, because they know that others are going to try to stop them. What's more, if he were truly set on doing it, he wouldn't be "ordering things from the internet"; he'd be downing a bottle of Drani-O or slitting his wrists with the kitchen knife.

He's taking his time, and he's informing you of his feelings. Subconsciously, he's reaching out for help.

I share the opinion that we should not try to stop others from killing themselves, but if he's subconsciously asking for your help, I say you should feel free to step in.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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03-12-2012, 08:48 PM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
I say, yes, we *do* need to stop people from killing themselves until a complete mental evaluation has been done and shows nothing awry.

You're damn lucky to be near enough to him to be in a position to help. He's lucky to have you.

Please keep talking to, and more importantly, listening to him. Tell him you don't want him to die. Ask if he's willing to sign a no-suicide agreement.

http://www.suicide.org







Fuck. I gotta' stay outta' this thread. Sadcryface

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04-12-2012, 01:10 AM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
(03-12-2012 05:25 PM)nach_in Wrote:  Can you introduce him to new friends? in my worst times the few friends I had did that for me and it was just the thing I needed to break the vicious cycle and I didn't noticed it until several months after I got better...
Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near enough to introduce him to people. Like, on the other side of Canada Sad I was planning on moving nearer to him and trying to get him more out in the world, but I won't be able to do that until autumn. He lives in a small (As in less than 100 ppl) town a few hours away from the nearest city, and lives alone in his mom's house. He's basically house sitting while she's in another province working. Thanks for the advice though Smile
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04-12-2012, 01:11 AM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
Thank you for your words of advice, everyone.
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04-12-2012, 01:54 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2012 01:59 AM by DLJ.)
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
No judgement from me but a little true story.

I found a close (very close) relative who had just taken an overdose of pills.

There was a look of fear in their eyes.

"Do you want to die?" I said.

No answer.

"If you want to die, I'll go," I said and they knew I meant it.

A silence that seemed eternal.

"No," they said.

So I pumped them with water and made them vomit until their ears were ringing.

"You'll think you have the ocean in your head for few days, but you will be alright," I said as I closed the bathroom door.

The episode has not been mentioned in over thirty years (until this post).

Moral to the story... Timing is everything.
Allow them to make the call but be there when you are needed.

If they die, do not regret it. Their choice.

Recommendation: Tell them now that you support their choice and will love them no matter what they choose. You won't stop them but you will be on hand if they change their mind.

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04-12-2012, 05:00 AM
RE: I may need some help (trigger warning: talk of suicide)
Jeez Deej. That's a bit hectic. Don't know if I could be that dispassionate.

He got a right to his own life - to live or to die.

He got a responsibility to fix his own head - 'cos ultimately it belongs to him.

He got a good friend who can maybe help with that.

I'd go with reaching out, see what you can do about talking him out of it. But it's not *your* responsibility to *make* him want to live, so he gotta make the choice too.
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