Possible suicidal friend
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20-01-2016, 01:10 PM
Possible suicidal friend
One of my best friends is hitting a very hard time in life. When I first met him 12 years ago through an ex girlfriend, he was someone I looked up to. He had a good job, making good money, always had nice things, and a good girlfriend. But within a couple years his girlfriend left him and the company he worked for slowed down and ran out of work. His ex was a very structured, smart girl that kept him moving and in line. After losing her and his job he moved into a nice home with his step brother that his family owns at the beach and went on unemployment. He was occasionally working back with the company when they had work but he was still doing fine while his brother was living with him.
Around the same time of moving in with his brother, he started dating my wife's (who was my girlfriend at the time) friend. Now this friend comes from a broken family that lost her dad to drugs and a mother and brother who are alcoholics.
After a couple of years, his brother decides to move out of the house and move in with his girlfriend, leaving the home to my friend. When this happens, my friend starts becoming lazy, stops pursuing work, drinking and smoking a lot more, and somehow keeps unemployment going for years. He's also still dating my wife's friend who does nothing to keep him motivated. They both feed off of each others laziness and alcohol and weed addictions. The only difference between them is that she actually has goals and was attending a UC college to become a lawyer, which was cut short because she got a couple DUI's and almost killed herself during one of them.
Years go on of this drinking and smoking with the drinking becoming worse. The house which is probably valued at close to a million dollars gets trashed over time. It's such a mess that you can't even see most of the floors and there are holes in the walls, bathrooms don't work. The place is disgusting and my friend is a mess. Everytime I see him I try to give him friendly advise about his drinking and may home and sometimes I'm a little blunt about it.
Around 5 years ago my friend's teenage brother, not the one he was living with earlier, was diagnosed with cancer. This really affected my friend as it would affect anyone. He was a really bright kid with a good future ahead of him. After a couple years of fighting cancer he lost his life at 16. This was devastating to my friend and their family and everyone who know him. That was 3 years ago. So depression, more drinking and smoking ensued.
About 6 months ago my friend made a little push to try and get a job after almost 8 years without work. So he quit smoking but the drinking continued. He landed a part time job with a school doing custodial work but im not sure if he's even still doing it. I don't think he would tell me if he quit.
3 months ago my wife's friend decides she's had enough of taking care of him after 10 years of on and off dating she breaks up with him. So what little structure he had left in his life was now gone. At this point he becomes overly depressed and is calling her telling her how he's suicidal and tells her that one morning after a night of heavy drinking he woke up at the bottom of his stairs with a loaded rifle in his hands. This happened a few weeks ago and I didn't find out till the other day. For some reason he has never told me his troubles. I always find out through others.
This past Saturday I went surfing in the morning and when I finished I had seen he messaged me on Facebook, he doesn't have a phone. And I messaged him back to see if he was at home and he was so I stopped by and picked him up to hang out. Later that night we meet a couple friends to watch some bands and have some drinks, nothing out of the ordinary but he did tell one of our friends about how he woke up with his rifle. He stayed at my house for the night. The next day I had a lot of work to do around my home and he woke up around noon and immediately started drinking again. By the late afternoon he was wasted. I got him to take a nap on my couch for about an hour but it didn't really ware off any of his drunkenness. I went to take a shower and after I got dressed I saw him come in from my game room and he had pissed himself and got it all over my carpet. He had no idea. It took a couple of minutes of telling him before he realised what had happened.
After he figured it out, he took a shower and cleaned up and I told him it was time to take him home. I didn't want him to be like that around my wife and 2 year old son. As I was getting ready I saw him walk out the front door and I followed him or a couple minutes later but he was nowhere to be found. After driving around for a little bit I found him wandering down the road and convinced him to get in my truck. He was really upset and crying. I think peeing on my floor made him see how bad he's become. He kept saying sorry and asking for forgiveness while we were driving. I kept assuring him that everything was fine but that he needs to work on not drinking so much. He asked me to take him to another friends house instead of his home, which was probably better than leaving him home alone.
The next day his friend called his ex and I don't know the details but from what she told me, he was really concerned for our friends safety. She still didn't think to call me and tell me what was going on. Never told me weeks ago when he told her he was suicidal.
So yesterday I get a call while I'm at work from his neighbor who is also a good friend of his and I occasionally surf with, telling me that he is really worried about him and that we need to do something very soon or our friend might hurt himself. This was very concerning to me because this was the first time I had heard anyone worried about him and this friend has never called me before.
So I ask my friends ex for his dad's phone number. He really looks up to his dad and is always telling me stories about his dad. The problem is that his dad is in Arkansas and we are in southern California. Well, I talked to his dad and step mom and give them the details of what is going on and give them phone numbers of people around him. They told me they were going to call his brother that use to live with him and send him over.
This is this last that I've heard. In waiting to talk to his neighbor again today to figure out more of the details he knows. Our friend also has some other family members here that we've contacted from his other stepbrother that passed from cancer and they are trying to get a hold of him and drove over to his place yesterday with no luck of finding him.
I've known 3 people over the last 5 years that have committed suicide. None of them gave any mention of being suicidal they all just did it. My friend, even though he hasn't mentioned it to me, has been bringing it up with others which makes me think he's just crying for help. I've never been in a situation like this, and I'm not always the most emotional sympathetic person. But I do care very much about my friend. He's like a brother to me and he knows that. He was my best man at my wedding and he's someone I can always count on and talk to. I don't understand why he never cane to me with his problems and I'm not sure exactly how to help him. Any advice would be appreciated. I've been calling our friends and I'm going to try and get us all together to figure something out.
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20-01-2016, 01:16 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
Call the cops and have him committed on an emergency psychiatric hold.

This is a job for professionals.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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20-01-2016, 02:17 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
It's hard to watch a friend go downhill like that. It sounds to me like at this point, the biggest positive would be for him to go to a residential detox program.

When you hang out with him, it may not be a great idea to do anything involving alcohol, because it sounds like that is a big problem for him. I think it's great that you are trying to give him some emotional support, but your friend's going to have to make some painful changes. Ultimately the responsibility for doing that is up to him.
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20-01-2016, 02:24 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
(20-01-2016 02:17 PM)julep Wrote:  It's hard to watch a friend go downhill like that. It sounds to me like at this point, the biggest positive would be for him to go to a residential detox program.

When you hang out with him, it may not be a great idea to do anything involving alcohol, because it sounds like that is a big problem for him. I think it's great that you are trying to give him some emotional support, but your friend's going to have to make some painful changes. Ultimately the responsibility for doing that is up to him.

Yeah I think whether he really is suicidal or not, he needs to go in to some sort of detox.
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20-01-2016, 02:30 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
no advice, but damn that almost made me cry.

I hate people ruining themselves through substance abuse. Just hate it. I hope for the best for him. He's got to make a decision.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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20-01-2016, 03:13 PM (This post was last modified: 20-01-2016 03:18 PM by Nurse.)
RE: Possible suicidal friend
One option is taking him to an ER for suicidal ideation and threats, getting a court ordered hold if necessary (the healthcare team takes care of that part), and during that hold he will very likely consent to treatment since he's clearly asking for help. This is too much for him to do by himself. Make sure it's a hospital with a detox program or with the ability to send him to a treatment program. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening, so he's going to have to get professional help to quit.


Friendly idea:
I know it's not your place nor your friends, but wouldn't it be nice if he came home and his house was cleaned and the holes in the walls had been fixed? What's wrong with the toilet? Is it something simple like that thingamajig with the chain and plug in the water tank need to be replaced? (Might not know what it's called but I know how to fix it). Does it need to be replaced - they've got toilets you can get for cheap at the habitat for humanity Restores. A group of friends while he's on psychiatric hold getting together with a bunch of trash bags, some mops, vacuums, carpet cleaners (like a Rug Doctor rental from the grocery store), household cleaners, bag up dirty clothes and take them to a laundromat so they can all be washed and dried at the same time - y'all could knock it out pretty quickly.

Then he gets to come home knowing he has people who love him and care. If he comes home right after the hold and doesn't go to detox, then it's perfect timing for the intervention conversation of "please get help, this is a new day, every day is a fresh start." If he goes to detox straight from the hospital, then he gets to come home sober to a clean house. If he refuses detox, you know you've done everything you can do, wash your hands, and go home.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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20-01-2016, 03:28 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
I had a friend that committed suicide when I was younger. In hindsight the sighs were all there but you just don't think about these things when they're going on. He spent all his money, not on himself but on people around him. His little brother mostly. He asked a lot of questions about death. Being a theist at the time I suggested the possibility of heaven. And an idea I was plaing with at the time that it was an elongated dream. The part that is fuzzy for me is if he asked about suicide. I think i responded with as a Catholic committing suicide is a one way ticket to hell. I said I would rather drive away start my life over somewhere else.

I blamed myself a little about putting the idea in his head. He had killed himself on a hill off a highway headed for Chicago. I thought to myself that maybe he was trying to start life somewhere else. But changed his mind once he ran out of gas. I don't know what was going on in his head.

I think you have it right. People that have committed to committing suicide don't talk about it.

The important thing is not to play the blame game. Making him feel that he'll be hurting people if he left it only adds to the self pitty. It will make him them feel that they only hurt people in his life. You just need to be there for him. Show him you that even though he's gone threw great loses your there.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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20-01-2016, 03:48 PM
RE: Possible suicidal friend
(20-01-2016 03:13 PM)Nurse Wrote:  Friendly idea:
I know it's not your place nor your friends, but wouldn't it be nice if he came home and his house was cleaned and the holes in the walls had been fixed? What's wrong with the toilet? Is it something simple like that thingamajig with the chain and plug in the water tank need to be replaced? (Might not know what it's called but I know how to fix it). Does it need to be replaced - they've got toilets you can get for cheap at the habitat for humanity Restores. A group of friends while he's on psychiatric hold getting together with a bunch of trash bags, some mops, vacuums, carpet cleaners (like a Rug Doctor rental from the grocery store), household cleaners, bag up dirty clothes and take them to a laundromat so they can all be washed and dried at the same time - y'all could knock it out pretty quickly.

Then he gets to come home knowing he has people who love him and care. If he comes home right after the hold and doesn't go to detox, then it's perfect timing for the intervention conversation of "please get help, this is a new day, every day is a fresh start." If he goes to detox straight from the hospital, then he gets to come home sober to a clean house. If he refuses detox, you know you've done everything you can do, wash your hands, and go home.

That was definitely something already on my mind.
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