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how to help suicidal friends?





myrevolt
Anyway, I have this friend that is suicidal, and I'd like to obviously get her away from that. I don't want to share too many details, this being the internet after all.

I'd like some suggestions.

Thanks, much.
n0obie4life
How smart. I corrected it to the Relationships forum.
ChrisCh
usually when people are suicidal, they are focusing all their attention on the negative parts n their life, not the positives! my advice would be to remind her of all the positives in their life, and go into detail. you could also tell them how upset and/or hurt you would be if they actually committed suicide.

best of luck Smile
sour_lemon_1k
Kill her first.

JKJKKJK!! Laughing

Sorry...bad time for a joke.

Anyway, just tell her that she has stuff to live for.

If she asks what, tell her, "ME! ME!! You need to live for me!! Remember? We're best friends! Peas in a pod!!"

Then pretend to look hurt.

Gets them every time.
LostOverThere
Tell someone else, just so they know about it...
And remind her of all the positives in life.
input
You'd be better off seeking professional help than on a forum. Ask a psychologist or a doctor even. All anyone could do here is give their own personal ecperiences of themselves or others. But sometimes just being a friend can help which I'm sure you are anyway
PimpinFish
Try to involve them more, make them feel comfortable and cared for, perhaps loved.
Make them feel all the good things in life.
Not the negetive.
Gieter
Lots of people here respond with a cliché: "remind her of the positive things in life." Well, I can assure you, you won't help her with that! You should ask her why she is suicidal (mostly a bad image of him/herself), and talk with her, a lot. Help her to believe that she is a wonderful person. Anyway, I agree with LostOverThere, it would be better to seek professional help.
DJGuardy
I myself have had a few suicidal tendencies through life, one almost went through. If it's about her image, then let her know that there are probably people who are worse off, it will always be that you're better off than someone or something, so tell her to keep that in mind. It made a big impact on me.
cveloso
better understanding and much care must be given to her... but do not tolerate her bad habits ...like being negative....

cheer her up always and boost her confidence by telling her how cute, smart she is and all.

do not crack bad jokes... go shopping!
famarama
I'm dealing with the same problem myself right now. My friends life is really screwed up and she's having a hard time finding anything good about herself.

I talked to a professional counselor who gave me some good advice.

I bring my friend little presents. Nothing elaborate or expensive - a flower from the back yard (violets, no less), a little chocolate heart on Valentine's day, a gourmet cookie from Whole Foods, a salsa CD, etc.

I tell how beautiful she is, how much I like her outfits, how good she smells.

I get her out of the house. I'm a male, so we aren't going shopping. We take long walks. We go to art galleries. We listen to a lot of music.

But mostly, we just talk. I hope it will, in the long run, work.[/url]
Runrgrl
Gieter wrote:
Lots of people here respond with a cliché: "remind her of the positive things in life." Well, I can assure you, you won't help her with that! You should ask her why she is suicidal (mostly a bad image of him/herself), and talk with her, a lot. Help her to believe that she is a wonderful person. Anyway, I agree with LostOverThere, it would be better to seek professional help.


That is an excellent answer!! Personally, I am not ashamed to say I went through a period in my life where I was suicidal and had to seek professional care. Being supportive is probably the best thing you can do. Maybe suggest that she go to a therapist and offer to go with her. Like Gieter said, ask her why she is suicidal because the answer can give you a clue to whether this is something she has been battling for a while or feelings triggered by something that recently happened in her life. Good luck!
famarama
I note that a couple of responders have mentioned getting professional help. I didn't mean to ignore that necessity in my replies. Mine were intended to be supplementary and personal.

I taught college English for 15 years at a community college. During that time I received many suicide notes disguised as English essays. The first one sent me into a state of panic. But I was able to get good advice from our best psychology instructor and our best student counselor. From then on when I received one of those kind of essays, I took the student straight to Peggy, the counselor who seemed to have a knack for "saving" suicidal students.

Over the years I referred perhaps 18-20 students to her. All but four are still alive. We mourn those four, but Peggy says that nothing we could have done could have saved them.

In most cases, the biggest problem is getting them to accept professional help in the first place. Many people fear exposing their problems to a stranger.

In my current case, my friend is already seeing a psychologist. But I don't think he's aware of her suicidal thoughts, beause I know that she has lied to him about a number of other things. And although they discuss me in their sessions, when I offered to attend one with her, she said "No way."
sangharsha
Be patient enough to spill him/her out.


Let the pain go out. You hardly find solutions to their questions, but try to be with him/her. Listen carefully. Try to show the way it is.



Rest.

Give it to his hand.

Keep it cool.
shmirlywhirl
well this is going to be awkward for me, but here goes.

at one point in my life, i was suicidal. i really only talked to my friends about it because i didnt want my parents to know. but luckily one of my friends told my dad, and he decided to intervene.

i went to a therapist and now im on anti depressents, which really really help.

get your friends parents to work with you. its the easiest way.
windrei
if she really want to commit suicide, then she will do, no matter what you say... ...

if not, maybe she only wants some comforts. Talk to him/her more.
ouiliam
do what you can within your capacity, but beware not to be emotionally blackmailed
Sabz
One obvious answer is to try and get some professional help for her, and I think that should be one of your first priorities. But as a friend you can help a lot too, and plus I understand that sometimes it can be hard and take time to convince some people to seek professional help/ or she might already be receiving professional help...

As a friend you can do the following:

1- Try to find her a good counselor
2- Take her to a psychiatrist to find out if she needs anti-depressants. They can really help
3- Work on her general health. Most people may not realise that your physical health is so closely linked to your mental health. For example problems with your thyroids, as well as most other horomones, or anemia, can all cause depression.
4- As a friend talk to her about what is causing depression. Be non-judgemental and stay away from giving advice! Just let her talk and try to find a solution together. Telling her where you think she is wrong or what you think she should change may not be the best idea. I bet she gets heaps of people trying to convince her that she should not be depressed or suicidal. What she really needs is someone who can listen, think on her level and work together with her to find solutions to her problems.

Good luck! And please don't hesitate to ask me questions. I'm a psychologist myself. It would help if I can have more details so I know the situation a bit better.
mrbofh
myrevolt wrote:
Anyway, I have this friend that is suicidal, and I'd like to obviously get her away from that. I don't want to share too many details, this being the internet after all.

I'd like some suggestions.

Thanks, much.


I've had that kind of case, too. Wana know how?

Be very nice to her, call her often, do that kind of stuff that she likes...

Then she will comes to point: "Thers no reason to suicide, i like this life!"

If that doesn't work, yes as someone was saying, get some profesional help!
sorry for my english.
Citizen Kane
mrbofh wrote:
I've had that kind of case, too. Wana know how?

Be very nice to her, call her often, do that kind of stuff that she likes...

Then she will comes to point: "Thers no reason to suicide, i like this life!"


I'd like to comment on that: I've done that before and people who are suicidal tend to claim you in a manner that's litterally choking. Taking the very breath of life away from yourself.

it takes a LOT of energy to help a suicidal friend. As odd as it may seem, DON"T do it, Stay a friend and guide your friend to personal coaching or a counselor or a shrink. And keep the good friendship. the last thing you wanna do is get involved in the problems of the suicidal person. They need you as a friend.

The thing is this: if you start helping your friend in the way suggested above and start calling your friend, you'll run the risk of getting too close. you get sucked in in the vortex of negative thoughts and energy. the moment you try to escape that, your suicidal friend will often feel abandoned en left behind. wich in turn will lead them even closer to suicide.

There's even more to this, too much to explain (probably a whole new post) but I ABSOLUTElY disagree with the quoted and agree with the shrink aproach!
xorcist
Tell her that she means alot to you, talk to her alot and and her be wanted and get her to meat to new people.
osbits
Get her out of city and get a walk in the real nature.Let her know that how beatiful the world is.Pick up a telescope and let her know how vast the world is and the world is not just the things in her mind.To see the sea,the nature things that make us feel small.World are not just human things.
myrevolt
Thank you all for replying. I have thought a lot about your advise, especially from famarama and sour_lemon_1k. I don't have the opportunity to do things with her in person; in fact I attempted to do so but due to security issues was unable to, although I left her some flowers.

Moreover, I spoke to her today on the phone and seems far better than the stage were she was freaking me out (sending me camerapics of her deep cuts). She seemed to be convinced that the pain is the answer and the one thing she can control is her body. Tonight she still seemed depressed and somewhat annoyed at me for trying to help. More so than in the past I'm relient on her word, and she has slowly shut me off from her life, by taking away all forms of communication: phone, then IM, then mail, then texting, then myspace, and now nothing.

Once again I don't know what to do with her, but I don't want to push her to do anything she doesn't want, if she is going to continue to push me away.

Another of her friends, tried to get her to go to counseling, he was suicidal as well; however, she refused, saying that she didn't need to go because she didn't have a problem. And she thought her friends were turning against her because they wanted her to go seek help.
imera
I have, or had suicidal thoughts. I had spent most of my life alone (I am only 18, but having social angst has made it longer than it is). For three years ago I got a boyfriend, love him so much. He made me happy and my suicidal thoughts faded away. I get them sometimes now, when I think too much of my past or am alone and get sad because of that.

What I think is important is that she finds someone that will love her and not hurt her feelings in the end. You should try to get her to open up, not all the time because it is painfully to think about the past. And do stuff for her to show her that she is special, not if she does not like that (I would rather make people happy than them trying to make me). Follow what she wants. Take a weekend together somewhere nice, it does not need to be expensive, I enjoy hanging out in the forest, which does not cost anything.

I wish you good luck and hope she will be better after a while.
RhysAndrews
A lot of us have had suicidal thoughts.
The best thing to do is one one of their down nights, seriously show them how awesome they are. List what's good about them, small or big, and tell them all of that. They may usually try and say something like "But what is that worth" and flatter them with why you'd do anything for those talents. They need to feel appreciated, respected. Whenever they're feeling down, make your first priority to look after them; give up whatever you can to be able to spend time with them. And most importantly, do not absorb their problems. That can lead to yourself getting depressed, as you feel the "weight of the world" on your shoulders, as people say. Make sure it stays your friends problem, and that you're helping them; not making them part of your problems. Take your friend out places, if (s)he doesn't feel like talking about their problems, don't talk about it; just make them laugh, feel happy, and so on. Make sure they see a doctor or counsellor if they don't know why they're depressed, or they have mood swings; In case the depression is clinical. Make sure they understand that no matter what you're just a phone call away.

-Rhys
Sabz
myrevolt wrote:
Tonight she still seemed depressed and somewhat annoyed at me for trying to help. More so than in the past I'm relient on her word, and she has slowly shut me off from her life, by taking away all forms of communication: phone, then IM, then mail, then texting, then myspace, and now nothing.

Once again I don't know what to do with her, but I don't want to push her to do anything she doesn't want, if she is going to continue to push me away.

Another of her friends, tried to get her to go to counseling, he was suicidal as well; however, she refused, saying that she didn't need to go because she didn't have a problem. And she thought her friends were turning against her because they wanted her to go seek help.


Every human being is different and there is never one rule that is true about every person who is depressed or suicidal. Your friend seems to dislike it if people think she is unhealthy or unstable or needs help. If she is sensitive to these things, she would hate any behavior from her friends that indicates that they think she has a problem. That is a good thing to know, and you need to start here by showing her that you are not there trying to change her or tell her that she has problems. Even if necessary you might have to stop trying for a while and wait for her to talk to you again. Either with words or your actions (whichever you find more appropriate) let her know that you are ok with her just the way she is and don't think she has problems (depressed people tend to see things in the worst possible way. She might feel very embarressed thinking that people look down at her or see her as abnormal or crazy).

I think your aim should be to give her the chance to eventually open up to you herself, without you pushing it. If she wants you to act indifferent or not concerned, then maybe thats how you need to act to start with. And getting her to see a shrink may not be the best idea at this stage. Help her to arrive at that conclusion, because offcourse you can't force her!
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