Category Archives: Suicide

If thinking about Suicide please read first

If thinking about Suicide please read first
If  you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It  will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your  bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional –  only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.

I don’t know who you are, or why you are reading this page. I only  know that for the moment, you’re reading it, and that is good. I can  assume that you are here because you are troubled and considering ending  your life. If it were possible, I would prefer to be there with you at  this moment, to sit with you and talk, face to face and heart to heart.  But since that is not possible, we will have to make do with this.

I have known a lot of people who have wanted to kill themselves, so I  have some small idea of what you might be feeling.  I know that you  might not be up to reading a long book, so I am going to keep this  short.  While we are together here for the next five minutes, I have  five simple, practical things I would like to share with you. I won’t  argue with you about whether you should kill yourself. But I assume that  if you are thinking about it, you feel pretty bad.

Well, you’re still reading, and that’s very good. I’d like to ask you  to stay with me for the rest of this page.  I hope it means that you’re  at least a tiny bit unsure, somewhere deep inside, about  whether or not you really will end your life. Often people feel that,  even in the deepest darkness of despair. Being unsure about dying is  okay and normal. The fact that you are still alive at this minute means  you are still a little bit unsure. It means that even while you want to  die, at the same time some part of you still wants to live.  So let’s  hang on to that, and keep going for a few more minutes.
Start by considering this statement:
Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.
That’s all it’s about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak,  or flawed, because you feel suicidal. It doesn’t even mean that you  really want to die – it only means that you have more pain than  you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your  shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weights… no  matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do  with it. Of course you would cheer yourself up, if you could.
Don’t accept it if someone tells you, “That’s not enough to be  suicidal about.” There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide.  Whether or not the pain is bearable may differ from person to person.  What might be bearable to someone else, may not be bearable to you. The  point at which the pain becomes unbearable depends on what kinds of  coping resources you have. Individuals vary greatly in their capacity to  withstand pain.

When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the  result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of  character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain  versus coping resources.

You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of two things: (1)  find a way to reduce your pain, or (2) find a way to increase your  coping resources. Both are possible.
Now I want to tell you five things to think about.
1 You need to hear that people do get through this — even  people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is  a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this  information gives you some sense of hope.

2 Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours  before I do anything.” Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are  two different things – just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings  and suicidal action. Even if it’s just 24 hours.  You have already done  it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page.  You can do it for another 5  minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that  while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on  it.  That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.

3 People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.

4 Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings,  either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase  your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying  or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad  reactions are about their fears, not about you.
But there are people out there who can be with you in this  horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to  a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will  simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your  week, and tell someone what’s going on with you. It is okay to ask for  help. Try:

Send an anonymous e-mail to The Samaritans

Call the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255  (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)
(In Australia, call Lifeline Australia at telephone:  13 11 14
Teenagers, call Covenant House NineLine, 1-800-999-9999

Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line

Call a psychotherapist

Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen
But don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal  with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are,  releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the  additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.

5 Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they  subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really  good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your  community and on the Internet.
copywrite 2011 Julie Fair Pryor (permission approved to repost)


The warning signs of suicide

Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs.

The strongest and most disturbing signs are verbal – “I can’t go on,” “Nothing matters any more” or even “I’m thinking of ending it all.” Such remarks should always be taken seriously.

Other common warning signs include:
  • Becoming depressed or withdrawn
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Getting affairs in order and giving away valued possessions
  • Showing a marked change in behavior, attitudes or appearance
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Suffering a major loss or life change

The following list gives more examples, all of which can be signs that somebody is contemplating suicide. Of course, in most cases these situations do not lead to suicide. But, generally, the more signs a person displays, the higher the risk of suicide.

  • Family history of suicide or violence
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Death of a close friend or family member
  • Divorce or separation, ending a relationship
  • Failing academic performance, impending exams, exam results
  • Job loss, problems at work
  • Impending legal action
  • Recent imprisonment or upcoming release
  • Crying
  • Fighting
  • Breaking the law
  • Impulsiveness
  • Self-mutilation
  • Writing about death and suicide
  • Previous suicidal behavior
  • Extremes of behavior
  • Changes in behavior
Physical Changes
  • Lack of energy
  • Disturbed sleep patterns – sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Increase in minor illnesses
  • Change of sexual interest
  • Sudden change in appearance
  • Lack of interest in appearance
Thoughts and Emotions
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Loneliness – lack of support from family and friends
  • Rejection, feeling marginalized
  • Deep sadness or guilt
  • Unable to see beyond a narrow focus
  • Daydreaming
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Helplessness
  • Loss of self-worth

Helping a suicidal friend or relative

Be quiet and listen!

If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, our first response is to try to help. We offer advice, share our own experiences, try to find solutions.

We’d do better to be quiet and listen. People who feel suicidal don’t want answers or solutions. They want a safe place to express their fears and anxieties, to be themselves.

Listening – really listening – is not easy. We must control the urge to say something – to make a comment, add to a story or offer advice. We need to listen not just to the facts that the person is telling us but to the feelings that lie behind them. We need to understand things from their perspective, not ours.

Here are some points to remember if you are helping a person who feels suicidal.

What do people who feel suicidal want?
  • Someone to listen. Someone who will take time to really listen to them. Someone who won’t judge, or give advice or opinions, but will give their undivided attention.
  • Someone to trust. Someone who will respect them and won’t try to take charge. Someone who will treat everything in complete confidence.
  • Someone to care. Someone who will make themselves available, put the person at ease and speak calmly. Someone who will reassure, accept and believe. Someone who will say, “I care.”
What do people who feel suicidal not want?
  • To be alone. Rejection can make the problem seem ten times worse. Having someone to turn to makes all the difference. Just listen.
  • To be advised. Lectures don’t help. Nor does a suggestion to “cheer up”, or an easy assurance that “everything will be okay.” Don’t analyze, compare, categorize or criticize. Just listen.
  • To be interrogated. Don’t change the subject, don’t pity or patronize. Talking about feelings is difficult. People who feel suicidal don’t want to be rushed or put on the defensive. Just listen.

International Suicide Prevention

Isp w.jpg

The International Suicide Prevention Wiki (ISP Wiki) is a worldwide directory of suicide prevention hotlines, online chat, text-lines, and resources. The ISP Wiki is open source to be used by any individual or organization. This directory was created for the PostSecret App and may be used freely in other apps to instantly connect people in need to crisis centers near them.

Special thanks to the Founding Sponsors of the ISP Wiki and to the PostSecret Community, who assembled, edited, and continually update this database.

— Frank Warren, Founder, PostSecret

Click on the link to be taken to the corresponding website