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Talk of suicide while depressed

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Alister, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Alister

    Alister New Member

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    My friend whom I chat with online when she is dealing with her PTSD has been very depressed the past two days. She says she hasn't eaten or drank very much (hardly anything) and is not sleeping. This is evident in her behavior as she is clearly very low, irritable and feeling entirely overwhelmed/exhausted.

    She asked tonight to promise her that if she messages me before she decides to commit suicide, I will not try to stop her or message anyone else to stop her. I did not immediately respond because that is not easy to hear. I finally said that I cannot lie to you, I would try to stop you because I care. I reiterated that while I understand her pain, she is a good person and many of us care about her quite a bit. She said that she will make sure a message gets to me afterwards.

    This is not the first time she has talked about suicide, and it's always in the abstract (never any clear plans and she herself admits that thinking about this gives her some power of her situation) and she's made it clear this isn't something she's doing soon, just if (or in her words "when") things don't get any better in a couple more months.

    How are you supposed to respond to someone who is depressed and talking of suicide, and also how do you hear that and not lose your own mind in the process?
     
    Sunshine71 likes this.
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Do you know her home address or phone number?
     
    dulcia likes this.
  4. Alister

    Alister New Member

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    No :(
     
  5. Alister

    Alister New Member

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    Like you mean like you'd call someone?
     
  6. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Yes, a telephone number.
     
  7. Sweetpea76

    Sweetpea76 Semper ubi sub ubi. Moderator Donated

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    There's no way not to lose your mind. As a supporter it's a huge mind-screw because it's emotional manipulation. She may not be meaning to, but she's manipulating you. She just made you feel 100% responsible for keeping her alive, made worse because you have no detailed contact information for her IRL. Now if something does happen to her, you'll be devastated and feel guilty for the rest of your life. If she's just having a bout of suicidal ideation, then you're probably sitting over there fretting yourself sick. That's not fair, and it's not good for your mental health. That's her spreading her pain around without actually seeking the help she needs for it.

    It's not your responsibility to keep her alive. You cannot be responsible for somebody else's mental health. You are not a professional, and you are not a suicide hotline.

    If you think she's serious call the police in her hometown and report it. Or a suicide hotline. That's all you can do.

    Being on suicide watch sucks, and it is not fair. I'd rather be lashed out at 200 times than deal with my partner's suicidal ideation. I've had a close family member commit suicide, so I've had to set a firm boundary about that with him. No passive ideation, I love you, but I cannot deal with that shit. If you're very bad off, of course I care, I will listen, and I will seek help, but I am not your therapist. That's who you need to be talking to about this, not me. I'm not trained to handle this, and to expect me to is unfair.

    I've had 3 very scary nights with him in the past and I just cannot mentally do it anymore. That's my limit. I love him too much to think of him committing suicide.
     
  8. Alister

    Alister New Member

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    Thank you. I do care and it's hard to hear things like this. I'm sorry for the pain you've endured as well, that sounds very difficult.
     
  9. Snowflakes

    Snowflakes Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    @Alister From my experiences, sweetpea76 is exactly right. My sufferer would tell me these things and it stressed me terribly. Then one day she did attempt suicide without telling me and thankfully someone else found her. The worry and stress I felt wondering if I was responsible or if I should have done something differently was the worst time of my life. Thankfully, I was in therapy myself to learn coping skills and my therapist told me essentially the same thing sweetpea76 just told you. It's still not easy for me to know I can't help her but I'm learning. I'm sorry you're being put in this spot.
     
  10. Alister

    Alister New Member

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    I told her today that I love her and want nothing more in this world than to help her. I told her that I believe she can improve her situation but only if she wants to. I cannot save her and I cannot want it for her. I will always be there but I'm not a professional and I cannot be irresponsible by acting like I'm certified to handle suicidal thoughts and urges.

    She's agreed to see someone. Any tips of helping to make that easier for her would be appreciated.
     
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