Opinion: the best way to support someone contemplating or the verge of suicide
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Opinion: the best way to support someone contemplating or the verge of suicide

This is a discussion on Opinion: the best way to support someone contemplating or the verge of suicide within the Suicide Prevention forums, part of the Resources category; I am really not sure if this thread should be here or in the lost someone due to suicide. To ...

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Old 06-13-15, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default Opinion: the best way to support someone contemplating or the verge of suicide

I am really not sure if this thread should be here or in the lost someone due to suicide. To be honest I was very nervous posting this but will as even though other people think it has no significance whatsoever especially coming from me. However, I feel it does have importance but definitely much more for people who have, are or will end up suffering and feel alone, rejected, dejected, or in the dark.

No need to answer but would be very appreciative of and definitely open to any answers especially if there are new perspectives, insights, reminders to be shared and found, more so if there are better ways to help others going through those undeniably rough times. More crucial when you or someone else will need to set aside everything at the moment to be even more strong than you ever have thought before for that person or people (on a informal, professional etc. setting). Sometimes the usual ways are not always the best or the execution of them must be done much better especially if thought it was done well but not perceived or well received by the other.

People who are truly hurting really need hope, a sense of purpose, anyway to cope, to process and move on at their own pace and choice of possible solutions/alternative/process, and not to be stigmatized, judged or trivialized by others (please indeed correct me if I am wrong here).

So again for yourselves, loved ones or whomever what do you think is the best way to support someone with regards to suicide?
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Old 06-13-15, 04:57 PM   #2
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Hmmm... I don't know if there a new or alternative ways to advise someone contemplating suicide... maybe others know of some. But maybe you can direct us toward want you need/want about suicide.
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Old 06-13-15, 07:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8PPLNDGS View Post
People who are truly hurting really need hope, a sense of purpose, anyway to cope, to process and move on at their own pace and choice of possible solutions/alternative/process, and not to be stigmatized, judged or trivialized by others (please indeed correct me if I am wrong here).

So again for yourselves, loved ones or whomever what do you think is the best way to support someone with regards to suicide?
Hi there. I appreciate the courage you took to post this, despite your feelings of nervousness for doing so. This is such a sensitive topic - meaning, most of us really care about being cautious and respectful because people who are truly hurting, as you say, can be so vulnerable to the least possibility of being shamed or judged.

For me, I know I appreciate the following when I have contemplated suicide:
* knowing that so many others feel the same way - so it's not me being a "fuck-up"
* knowing that I'm allowed to feel what I'm feeling in the moment, every moment; that there is no bad or wrong feeling amidst the intense storm of suicidal thoughts
* being acknowledged that life as a human is hard; we have so much to work through (and get tangled up in) with our dreams, fears, hang-ups, hopes, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses
* that I actually have courage and strength to have survived this thing called life. If a person reflects my stengths back to me in a genuine way, I actually start believing in myself and my capability a bit more again and I can start digging myself out of the pit I've fallen into (with a hand up)

I know that I tend to feel offended or misunderstood if anyone tries to:
* make me feel guilty, as in: "don't you realize your mom/husband/family will be hurt if you kill yourself?" That just deepens the already shitty feeling I have about myself
* minimize what I'm going through: as in: "you don't have it that bad. You don't have cancer; you're not poor; you're not disabled" etc. My pain is what I'm feeling; others' pain does not lessen mine.
* offer cheesy uber-optimism, like "tomorrow will be better. The sun will come out tomorrow. All you need is some rest and you'll feel better." Again, it minimizes what I'm feeling and that makes me feel really angry and un-heard.

How's that? Does that help? But of course, if anyone is acting caring and respectful in a genuine way, and really appears like they are listening without judging, I think that's the most important help I could ever get.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8PPLNDGS View Post

People who are truly hurting really need hope, a sense of purpose, anyway to cope, to process and move on at their own pace and choice of possible solutions/alternative/process, and not to be stigmatized, judged or trivialized by others (please indeed correct me if I am wrong here).
What you wrote above is the way to help people who are contemplating suicide. And I agree with everything RavenDarkLight said. For me, I just need someone to be there and listen and support me unconditionally. People give up so easily when we don't respond to their help like they think it is a quick and easy fix. And what you wrote about moving on at their own pace would really help. So often, I feel judged and get told, you don't want to help yourself or my feelings are minimized. I'm given advice to do this and that. If those things had worked for me, would I be contemplating suicide right now? If I could get over it that quickly, would I be in this place? And if I can't get over it quickly, I'm told that I don't want to do anything to help myself.
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Old 06-14-15, 05:37 AM   #5
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All responses are truly appreciated.

It just seems that even though there are resources out there they don't always answer what is the best way to support except those cookie cutter responses etc. The helplines are usually with volunteers that sometimes have to stick to script with time limits from what some people tell me. Many people seem to feel unhappy with their counselors, therapists etc. Then some people are afraid to talk about it because then they may be forced into a ward.

So again definitely appreciate the responses so far. I may check from time to time if there others or just reference what is here.
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Old 06-15-15, 09:07 AM   #6
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In response to your comment about how some people are afraid to talk about it because they may be forced into a ward. When I first go see a therapist, I make it very clear to him/her that putting me in a hospital would be the worst thing that you could do to me. I've been hospitalized several times before and they were all very traumatic experiences. I tell the therapist that my suicidal ideations are just thoughts and they actually help to keep me alive as strange as that sounds. I tell my friends who know about it the same thing so they don't call the cops where the same result would happen. Those who know me for a long time aren't scared anymore because they know that they're just thoughts and I have to express them. Of course, you shouldn't tell your therapists these things if you really intend on doing it just to avoid being in a ward. But there's a difference between having thoughts and actually having a plan to carry it out. The past few therapists that I've seen have understood that. If they didn't understand that and wanted to send me into a ward everytime I mention it, I wouldn't be able to trust them enough to tell them when I'm suicidal.
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Old 06-16-15, 11:48 PM   #7
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Well, I can't answer for anybody else other than myself and a few others that I knew in person, but here are my two cents:

When I was depressed, for better or worse, I just wanted someone who would listen to me and understand what I was saying. I was a very technical minded person and very thorough, so finding someone who could follow along with my speech was quite a challenge, . My absolute favorite thing to do was go to a "suicide forum" like we are on now (TTL) and just vent or talk to others and try to help them through their night, like I always struggled to do. Forums gave people the opportunity to read the depth I'd put into posts over and over, if needed, to respond. All-in-all, forums were probably the best thing that could have happened to me while I was depressed.

RavenDarkLight above me said many good pointers, the most important thing to do is to listen and personalize though; not to sound obvious. All the negatives, the "to avoids," that were mentioned; absolutely avoid them. I felt the same thing. It annoyed me so bad to hear those. It was the quickest way for me to shut you out and then I just felt worse about myself wondering, "why am I so different?"

Try not to leave on a bad note, or even something remotely negative. If you're frustrated or you aren't getting through to them, that is the worst time to leave. I always had a good sense on someone else when they were talking to me [when I was depressed]. If we left in a negative part, I got mad at you then I felt worse about myself for not connecting to someone else. If you cannot find any type of common ground what-so-ever, do your best to stay and just listen; be careful not to "play-down" their feelings; if you have to, imagine the same feelings in yourself and make up some scenario that would make you feel the way they are describing to you. I never felt like a ray of sunshine when I did that, but when I couldn't feel the pain that they were trying to describe to me, we never really connected and I couldn't help them as much as I may have wanted to, which would almost always result in a stumped phrase they would throw at me and I'd have no clue what to say or they would feel I wasn't authentic and just there because I felt I had to. I don't know how many think the way I do, but when I was depressed, if I could stump someone with one of my problems, I would think to myself, "aha! See? Even you now realize how bad my life is? I'm stuck, right?" Then they would typically default to, well "at least you weren't killed," or "you'll feel better when you wake up tomorrow." Hogwash!

Those are the few I could add to Raven's list:
1. Don't leave on a negative [topic or feeling].
2. Be absolutely careful you are not playing-down their feelings. If you have to, create a scenario in your head that would make you feel the pain they are trying to describe to you. That may help you connect to them emotionally.

Just realize that not everyone is actively seeking answers, just like someone would go to a teacher or fellow student and ask how to solve some complex physics equations. I, almost always wanted to be listened to more then preached to.
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Old 06-20-15, 12:45 AM   #8
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I just returned to reference again posted responses and saw new ones. This is excellent actually to reread and read honest answers from your own inferences, references, experiences etc. Hopefully, other people may read this and relate to your thoughts especially anyone who definitely feels alone, not listened to, sidetracked, undermined or even made fun of or chastised and anything else as a result of discussing suicidal tendencies/feelings.

Also anyone can take it any direction one wishes. Being technical, using creative writing or any form is fine to express your opinion(s). Of course the floor is definitely yours at any given time.
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