ARTICLES, I NEED HELP: TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
Someone You Know Is Suicidal. What Now?
Suicide is scary! It’s scary for the person who is thinking deep, depressive, suicidal thoughts, and it’s scary for the friends and relatives who don’t want to lose this person.
Suicidal thoughts happen when a person’s depression leads him to a place so dark that no light can enter. He believes there is no way anyone or anything could make life better because no one can possibly understand what is going on. It’s just so dark in the brain. The thoughts are overwhelming, and the feelings are either so numbing or so strong that they’re impossible to ignore. There is no way to get away from the darkness inside.
Depression makes him believe that the only way out is to end it all. No one can possibly understand or help. One decision will make this all go away. It’s that simple. It has to be done because no one can make it go away.
But what this person has to realize is that he is so stuck in his thoughts that his reality isn’t the one outside him. All the people that love him and care about his life are no longer in his reality. He is the only one in this lonely and scary world.
This is when his mindset has to change in order to save his life. So how does this begin? He needs help. He cannot do it alone. No one is able to have productive, positive thoughts from this stage of hopelessness.
You can be the one to reach out and be the change he needs. How do you help him to realize that his life is worth living, and that having friendships can help? What can you do to understand his mindset so you are able to get into his world? Understanding him is the only way to remove him from his reality.
Here are five places to start:
- Understand his past. Think about situations he has been through that have dug him deeply into depression.
- Understand his united past and present. Analyze what choices he has made and how he has handled his emotions. Know that they have influenced his present.
- Understand that none of this is his fault. Depression is like a person who has complete control over his every move. He obeys whatever depression tells him.
- Understand he won’t want help. He won’t think he is worth it. He believes that removing himself from the life equation makes it easier for others because he is toxic.
- Reflect on this information, because this is what drives him. All of this sadness and darkness has taken over and has led him to suicide.
Begin to shed light and build him up. Be empathetic with what decisions he has made. Tell him you understand why he feels like this. Prove that you will support him, not judge him. The only way for him to open up is to know that you truly care about him and understand his depression. You have to know how dark it is and know that suicide makes sense to him.
Now you need to convince him that he is valid in feeling this way. Although you empathize with him, he still needs to be removed from the dark place. Talk about happy memories and times that he can connect with. Use emotions and show him how different his view on the world was. He has to relate to a happier time in his life; even the smallest happy moment. Revolve the conversation around him.
How did he feel? What made him enjoy life during those moments? Who was with him during these memories? Connect with him on all levels and shed the light back on him. Engage in an activity he enjoys and make him smile again. Share some laughs! I once heard that a person is unable to remain in a suicidal moment for more than 72 hours. Make your time count and offer advice and coaching.
Suicide is the mind consuming a person and making him believe that everyone is better without him. Your job is to battle those negative thoughts and remember the good times with him. Use empathy and know that his depression will fight back against you. Always reach out to professionals, and if you are scared for his life, know who to call. You are his first step to happiness, though, so be there for him along the path to happiness. Force the positive into his mindset and connect on a deeper level. Be the reason his life is saved!
I’ve been there, have saved a life and would do it again. It isn’t easy. Fighting the demon depression is nonstop and it doesn’t want to give up. But I am stronger and always will be. It’s a mindset and I have changed it. The many depressive episodes that lead to thoughts and threats of suicide take a toll. But being able to reverse it is worth it.
There had been many scares but the one that took the biggest toll was when I had to call 9-1-1. All of the common “lasts” were completed. Nice social media posts were made thanking everyone, trying to get me to say my final “I love you,” turning off phone location information, texting me about the choice of weapon that would be used and then no further responses… it was all too much!
I called the police and stated I wasn’t sure of the status of the situation, but the signs were there. I sent a text stating that I had made the call and immediately got a reply on the other end. What a relief! It hadn’t been done. Communication began again and it was promised if the officer was to leave and no “pink slip” was made, no further attempts of suicide would occur.
It has worked and that was the last time any suicidal issue arose. I was lucky and knew that changing the mindset was the first step for a life worth living. So that is exactly where I started.
Article written by Stacy Ingersoll