ARTICLES, DRUG ABUSE & EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL. REHABILITATION, I NEED HELP: TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
5 Ways to Help Someone Who Is Suicidal and Addicted
Addiction and suicide are no laughing matters. The situation of a person who is abusing substances and showing signs of suicidal behavior must be handled immediately and appropriately. As the loved one of a suicidal addict, you have the ability to improve the situation.
Keep the following methods in mind when you take action to help someone who is suicidal and addicted.
Pay attention to suicide warning signs.
Most of the time, people will not outright say they are suicidal. The suicide warning signs are found in a person’s thoughts, behavior, and actions. However, the way they treat themselves and talk about their shortcomings speaks volume. They will criticize their self-worth in every way possible, whether that be seriously or through self-deprecating humor. The future is always said to be hopeless, or that their aspirations ultimately mean nothing in the end. This negative self-talk is destructive to a person’s self-esteem and well-being.
In regards to behavior, you will notice something off about the way they act. Have they started to hint that your future will not include them? What about suddenly being offered their personal belongings, or watching them sell sentimental objects? Look out for an alarmingly calm demeanor, their tendency to withdraw from social situations they once enjoyed, and the act of isolating themselves from friends and family. The act of isolation and separation from meaningful objects and people encourages the development of more suicidal thoughts.
Lastly, there can also be evidence of self-harm on their body. If you recognize these warning signs, don’t hesitate to ask them outright if they feel safe with themselves or suicidal.
Tell them they can trust and open up to you.
Telling a person that you will listen to whatever is on their mind can encourage them to open up to you. When one is suicidal, they feel trapped in their own thoughts. It becomes harder to pull them back to reality or make them understand that there is always something to look forward to in the future. The person expressing all or most of their thoughts can get their feelings out on the table and even lead you to make better choices in how to help them. You cannot exactly give a suicidal person advice, but you can say that you are a trusted individual they can rely on, you care about their life and future, and you are willing to help them. Their life is worth more than they believe, and they need to be consistently reminded of that fact.
Take initiative to help them contact professional help – or contact the professionals yourself, if needed.
Encourage them to contact professional help and seek psychiatric treatment. This means the person can undergo therapy, psychiatric appointments, rehabilitation programs, attend group sessions, and contact 24-hour hotlines. Unsurprisingly, a suicidal addict can outright refuse help for multiple reasons – whether that be because of guilt, denial, or embarrassment. However, through your best judgment call, you can tell when they truly need a professional intervention through their suicide warning signs. The most important thing to consider here is knowing they feel safe and will not hurt themselves. If they are incapable of contacting professional help themselves life, you should take the initiative to call for them.
Inform the person’s loved ones.
Awareness is vital for the people who love a suicidal addict. In some cases, some will never even know their loved one is suicidal or addicted in the first place. Therefore, contact friends, family, and significant figures in the person’s life and inform them of them all about the situation at hand, things you have noticed, and actions you think should be taken. The community of a support system is powerful, and together they can help bring someone out of a dark place.
Accompany the person to their group therapy sessions or simple outings.
Make them feel that they are never alone in this world. When recovering from addiction, the process of rehabilitation is excruciating and difficult for anyone who undergoes it. As the loved one of an addict, you can help make the process easier by accompanying them to group therapy sessions, participating in their hobbies with them, or keep them company while doing mundane tasks such as grocery shopping. With this action, you are establishing yourself to be a source of strength when the suicidal addict needs you.
While it’s vital to handle the dangerous scenarios, such as their suicidal behavior and psychiatric treatment through professional help, sometimes what they need is to be treated like a normal, functioning human being in society, because they are one. To make an outing even better, encourage a group outing with more loved ones in addition to yourself.
Article provided by Trevor McDonald