Finding Yourself in an Impossible Situation

There might come a time when you are faced with an impossible situation, a friend or family member tells you that they are suicidal. Even worse is a situation that I have encountered in my life–a friend, knowing my history, asked me to help them commit suicide. What do you do?

When a person says that they are suicidal take it seriously. Suicide is a serious and what it takes to let your thoughts go down to the darkest places is something that warrants knowing what to do in these situations.

The first thing you can do is to tell that person that it will be okay, that people all over the world have gotten to a place where they believe that suicide is the only answer. Let them know that there are resources right away, and the biggest is the suicide hotline:

The National Suicide Hotline. 1-800-273-8255

If you are outside the United States you can look up international suicide hotlines that can help someone you love. These places are designed to help people who are in emergency situations—I consider suicidal thoughts as one of those emergency situations.

Asking the Right Questions

It is essential to find out the level of suicide your loved one is and if he/she is in a place where they will act on their suicidal feelings. Suicidal thoughts and feelings can quickly move into suicidal action, though you might not be a professional you can ask questions to determine where he/she is at the moment. The following I took from Mayo Clinic Website with questions you should ask:

  • • How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?
  • • Do you ever feel like just giving up?
  • • Are you thinking about dying?
  • • Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
  • • Do you think about suicide?
  • • Have you ever thought about suicide before, or tried to harm yourself before?
  • • Have you thought about how or when you’d do it?
  • • Do you have access to weapons or things that can be used as weapons to harm yourself?

Looking for Warning signs

There are plenty of warning signs that your family member or friend might act on their suicidal thoughts. When someone is talking about suicide saying things like “I want to die” or “I wish I hadn’t been born” are signs that things are bad. A preoccupation with death or suicide is another indicator that I had in my own life. There are many signs, and I implore that you research the critical signs of suicide if you believe a loved one is planning to commit suicide.

Asking them to Seek Help

This where things can get tricky. The first thing I recommend is to ask your family member or friend to seek professional help (this is tricky because seeking help on your own is often impossible.) But, you have to be able to make the hard choice—if he/she is suicidal, you have to call 9-1-1 or immediately take them to the hospital. It is better to be safe than sorry. Your friend or family member may hate you, I know I did when my family called the authorities on me a number of times, but if its life or death– chose life.

Always Keep Fighting

James

unsplash-logoSharon McCutcheon

unsplash-logoeberhard grossgasteiger

29 Replies to “Finding Yourself in an Impossible Situation”

  1. Such an important, useful, and insightful post! Thank you for sharing the information.

    Like

  2. Well said. Suicide is nothing to play around with. I have been suicidal many times and attempted it more than once. I am thankful that I got the help I needed and God got me through it. I also know how it is to lose someone to suicide, as my youngest brother committed suicide back in 2005. It is a bad situation for all involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel like suicide is joked about way too much! You post rings true on many levels! Catching someone contemplating suicide before they actually have a plan is key!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suicide is a desperate plea for help. If someone says that to you they’re begging you help them. This should be taken very seriously!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I had a friend with whom I had been very close many years ago who began calling me talking about suicide. She was well aware of my suicide attempts and the difficulties that I faced. I heard it talk about it and sometimes joked about for a couple of years. I found out that she had talked about it with several friends including family members. One person had a counselor call her to talk. She was mad that the mental health counselor had called and would no longer talk to that friend. She had a rare genetic disease that caused many health and emotional problems. Many of the resulting diseases were also rare. She had breast cancer, heart disease (requiring two heart implants.) She lost half of one foot from diabetes. She had lived 25 years longer than her doctors expected and had endured many surgeries. She had been near death several times from drastic drops in her blood sugar. She grew a beard like a man, was extremely strong, and was not capable of having any fat on her body except for her face and the fat that grew around her liver. She kept her face, arms and legs shaved every day when she had the energy. If she had something to do at night, she would have to shave again. She taught school for a while and the children made fun of her. She had few friends because of her vulgar language and total lack of empathy. She had fairytale love affairs with her doctors, her therapist, her priest, her car mechanic and many others who were not available. She got into all sorts of trouble with hospitals and lawyers because of the letters she wrote to these people. Her apartment was pure filth and she would not pay bills. She lost her drivers license but still drove. I don’t know how she managed to stay out of jail. After decades of dealing with her antics and bizarre behavior, her family would no longer answer her calls or visit her in the hospital. Last year she called me at 2am to tell me about the “romantic” dinner she had with her priest earlier that night and I soon found that she had taken an overdose. I was devastated that she called me as she was dying. She laughed.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would have never known how to respond to someone who came to me and said, “I’m having suicidal thoughts” if I hadn’t experienced these things that I have these past few years. Last weekend, I confessed to a friend that for the first time in my life, my depression was so dark that I was having suicidal thoughts. It scared me!! He held my hand, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Becky, I’ve been there 3 times. I understand what that feels like.” That took all of my fear away and I knew that he was right there. He wouldn’t watch me drown. He would get me help if I needed it. It was a game-changer for me. The next night, I went back home. I started having suicidal thoughts again. I read my kids bedtime stories, pushing away those thoughts as best I could. Then when the kids went to bed, I burst in to tears and told my husband what was going on. I just needed his support! Yes, suicidal thoughts is a HUGE red flag and a true crisis. Crisis lines and hospitals are there when we need them! I’ve relied on several resources in my own area. They helped me get through times of crisis. But I have been learning to manage at home with support from family, and that is empowering!

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    1. This is an amazing story Becky. My ideas come because I could never, well before the last seven years, talk to people about my suicidal thoughts. I am happy to hear that you reached out. I am always here if you need another resource.

      Like

  7. Thankyou for sharing this thought! Really appreciate the way you shared one of the the major concern happening in our surrounding .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This hits very close to home. Lost a dear friend in early Dec to suicide. Then on Jan 19 we lost our 17 yr old nephew to suicide. There were no signs from either of them. She left a note, he did not. Teens and young adults especially need to know they can talk about suicide. They can get help in a way they are okay with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to spread more about suicide so that people know, teens and adults, that suicide is not the answer. Getting help is, I am hoping that one day there will be better options.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! There needs to be more available to help, esp with the younger gen. They may not talk to anyone but their friends about how they truly feel. There has got to stop being bad associated with seeking help, talking to others, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I still don’t like the hotline. Too impersonal. The test one is worse. This country needs better resources. The night I texted you when my son was fighting his battle was very much appreciated and way better. You are a blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing
    I’d be very careful with the questions. I know some questions would just trigger me rather than help and make me feel more alone rather than less.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

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