Thoughts of Suicide?
Excellent post simon and all others who hve commented .This cant be emphasized enough.
suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When leaving the cult feelings of being overwhelmed, hopeless and despondent are common. I was there. Get help.
Suicide is not the answer.
I've done a lot of reading about this and recommended best practice when someone is talking about committing suicide seems to be to delete their post and block them.
At first that seems like 'uh?!' and you'd imaging it might make things worse but the reasoning seems to be that people who are truly serious rarely talk about it but someone who is and sees other people talking about it may be affected by it (and I've seen a trend - if you have a suicide thread that's left up you often get other copycat ones later) plus there is a risk that people either intentionally or accidentally posts things or send messages that don't help the person involved. They need protection and just leaving the internet trail of their feelings isn't helping them in future.
Unless we're trained, qualified and experienced we shouldn't try to treat people any more than we'd have a go doing surgery on someone if we weren't a surgeon.
Normal forum behavior should hopefully mean people are helpful, kind, polite and respectful generally. If people are in need of real help then they should get it from a proper source and not be relying on 'kind words and good feelings' from anonymous internet users.
There's also the risk that people could seek to take advantage of kind and helpful individuals to defraud them.
My reading into this issue is not to delete their post. Talking about their situation, their feelings may help greatly especially if their issue is partly driven by their JW history.
Every source I checked out, on line, supported having a conversation with a person who may be thinking about suicide. And this may be one of the place's they can find a level of understanding....and be able to engage in a conversation.
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can't see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can't see one.
Myth: People who talk about suicide won't really do it.
Fact: Almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Don’t ignore even indirect references to death or suicide.
Myth: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.
Fact: Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
Myth: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.
Fact: Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die.
Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
Myth: People who die by suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.
Fact: Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.
Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
Fact: You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true—bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
More information is available:
- Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.
That is a more general article about people in direct contact. I was referring to advice specifically related to more anonymous, across-the-internet situations and forums in particular.
We are not trained to help and people who want to get support should post their requests where they can get the appropriate attention.
I think the folks that climb the bridges and tall buildings (and post here) and just sit there for hours and put trained personnel in jeopardy for trying to save them, those folks never to go through with there actions, I think because although they are definitely going through something, they just want some attention, which they do need, but that's not the way to handle the situation.
I was not referring to treatment but to a conversation. Treatment is best handled by people who are trained and monitored on some level. That's understood which is why we always recommend trained therapists.
On the other side of the coin how many times have we heard that this place helped to restore a person's confidence.......that the on line acceptance, care and at times love, made a hugh difference. Helped them to keep on going to find a compatible existence.
How many times do we hear from people who seemed at the end of their ability to cope, who were a coin toss away from making a terrible decision......have them a month or a year later thank this collective body of decent people for their help. That they realized it wasn't all about blackness and pain. That there were good people who cared about them.
That's all I am talking about.
The worst day I ever had on this forum was the day I learned that Oompa had committed suicide. Despite the fact that everyone told him to get help and that he had ex JW friends that were there for him. Some times nothing works. Somethings a brief conversation can be a big step forward.
As a person who has been suicidal I would agree with Simon.
For the most part, people don't talk about it much before hand, they just do it. Even when I did talk about it, talking was not helpful. I needed medication and treatment.
People who do talk about it tend to be seeking attention. It is distracting and upsetting to others on the board, and while it provides people with attention, it doesn't provide them with what they really need which is probably some professional treatment.