…Five ways to help a suicidal loved one
By David O Royal
It is no longer news that in the present world, suicide has been assumed to be the solution to problems by people who feel there is no other way out.
When the thoughts of suicide cloud one’s mind, every move the person takes makes him or her feel like there’s no other way to solve the problems and to the person, suicide becomes an option to end the pain inflicted by life struggle.
Put succinctly, Suicide means taking your own life, which is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations.
Suicidal thoughts usually crip in through depression, frustration, anger, inferiority complex, low self-esteem, Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation, Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone, Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next, peer pressure, not being able to satisfy your imagination and desires.
Depression is the most common condition linked with suicide, and every day we hear stories of people committing suicide after a long p[eriod of being depressed without finding help.
Most times people with suicidal thoughts do not speak out, they keep mum, so people never observe or know what their thoughts are until they speak up.
To see a loved one commit suicide, or hear anyone say he or she wants to die is one of the most frightening experiences one can ever have.
You hear your friend talk about suicide and at that moment you are frightened, you wonder what you can do to save a life, you are forced to make quick decisions out of anxiety to see how you can help this person you love get out of the devilish thoughts of committing suicide.
Here’s a motivational short film about life struggle, suicide and depression.
Take a moment and think!
There are a number of different things you can do to be a supportive and empathetic friend. But the key is to avoid being judgemental or dismissive of what your friend is feeling.
Here are the five things you can do to help a suicidal loved one.
Show that you care
There are no right or wrong things you can say if you are speaking out of love and concern. Just be yourself. Show that you care by talking to them, holding them while they cry, or whatever else is necessary.
Pay attention to what they have to share with you
A suicidal person usually is carrying around some burden that they feel they just can’t handle anymore. Offer to listen as they vent their feelings of despair, anger, and loneliness. Sometimes this is enough to lighten the load just enough for them to carry on.
Avoid Trying to Solve the Problem
Try not to offer quick solutions or belittle the person’s feelings. How big they perceive the problem to be and how much they are hurting over it is what counts. Rational arguments do little good to persuade a person when they are in this state of mind. Instead, offer your empathy and compassion for what they are feeling without making any judgments about whether they should feel that way.
Call for help when you can’t handle it alone
The person may tell you not to involve a third party and yes, you also may want to keep to your words since he or she confided in you but in a situation where you cannot help alone, call for help immediately.
If the person has already started a suicide attempt, call for help immediately. If they are still conscious, get what information you can about what substances they have ingested, how long ago they took them, how much they took, when they last ate, and their general state of health.
Call an appropriate emergency contact number in your area and explain the situation. Keep calm and follow any steps they may give you to assist your friend.
Take them out to a busy place
If you notice someone around you is depressed and may likely attempt suicide, offer to take them out to a mall, a park, recreational center, Cinema, take a walk to anywhere safe where he or she can see things to uplift the burdens. Never leave the person alone in a room or a lonely place.
And lastly, pray for the person, encourage the person with motivational words.
However, if all attempts fail, don’t blame yourself. You did all that you could. This person ultimately made their own choices, for good or bad. If you were very close to the person, it may be wise to seek out grief counselling and suicide survivor support groups.