I’m creating this thread because there is entirely too much ignorance regarding depression and suicide.
Suicide- attempting, planning, or thinking about it – is indicative that there is something so painful going on that the person is actually considering death as a better alternative. Think about it for a moment – doing harm to yourself is not something that most people do for fun.
Body piercings and BDSM are one thing, those are a sort of manner of expression. If you want attention and don’t mind pain, you get a whole bunch of piercings, or a tattoo. If you dislike pain (as most people do, I know, weird), you get attention by… Calling someone, updating your Facebook status, complaining on twitter, creating a blog, or sighing really loudly. There are a ton of methods for getting attention that don’t involve hurting yourself. People tend to gravitate toward the easiest thing they can do to solve a problem, and some of those things can be very negative.
For example – low on cash and have a leaky pipe? You’ll google it to find the fastest and cheapest way to fix it “good enough” to not have to hire a plumber. Not really talented at anything, but DESPERATE for attention? Start posting extremely offensive or incendiary things in forums or make a YouTube channel.
If you have never even considered suicide as a solution to your problems, try to imagine what it would take to kill yourself. Besides that, if someone is attempting suicide, there is a pretty good chance that they could die. If they wanted attention so badly, wouldn’t they want to be alive to get it? What sense does that theory make. Flaying yourself like a fine cut of salmon sounds like a self-made solution centered on pain.
“I’m in pain now, so what’s this much more to end it all?” That would be a general thought.
In fact, most people who commit suicide don’t actually WANT to die, they just don’t want to live with the pain anymore. They are basically finding the quickest solution that they have access to resolve the problem of pain. Sometimes cancer patients become suicidal because of the pain they endure.
The point is that for people who say they want to kill themselves, they are reaching out for help and they don’t know how to get it. They don’t want to be in pain anymore, but they don’t know how to make the pain stop. And, since so many people continue to choose ignorance over understanding, mental illness is still something that is stigmatized in mot parts of the country for the pure and simple fact that you can’t “see” it. The person afflicted doesn’t get a runny nose or turn purple to make it obvious to the world that something has happened with the brain’s chemistry that is causing a great deal of pain.
Remember Harry Potter? The 4th movie (sorry book fans) where he comes face to face with Voldemort? Voldemort’s ominous threat that he would torture Harry so much that he “would beg for death”. Yeah, that’s the kind of idea I’m communicating here.
If someone close to you expresses that they want to kill themselves as in “I want to kill myself” not “OMG I’m so embarrassed. I wish I could crawl under a rock and die!” Though either way, you’d still want to make sure they aren’t actually suicidal. Here are the steps you take:
1. Ask them if they have a plan, that is, do they have an idea of how they would kill themselves? If they do, that means that the pain has reached a high enough intensity that they’re actually looking around and seeing what is available to them to use to kill themselves.
2. If they do not have a plan, encourage the, to speak with a counselor at school or with a counselor either provided by the employer via EAP (employee assistance plan) or elsewhere. If they can talk with a professional through these feelings, they can prevent the pain from becoming so bad that death is actually an appealing option.
3. If they do have a plan, try to convince them to go to the hospital. They will be there for a few days (they can expect 3-5 days depending on the severity of their illness and their response to treatment). You can always go online to find out if there’s a hospital better than others for inpatient mental health if that will convince them to go willingly.
4. If they refuse to go to the hospital and you believe they are in immediate danger (especially if they leave – you can’t force them to stay in your house against their will), you need to dial 9-1-1 or whatever your emergency line is if outside of the US. You need to tell the operator that your friend expressed that they wanted to kill themselves and that you clarified and found out that they have a plan. Give as much detail as possible to the operator. If your friend is prone to violence or owns a weapon, let the operator know. When the police pick them up, your friend is NOT under arrest. The police will, however, cuff them, and take them to the nearest hospital. They will be mad as hell at you for doing that for a while, but after a few days when they realized how bad it became, they will come around.