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Helping A Suicidal Stranger


Michelle38

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I have come across someone online on another site who is planning a suicide. I am not a mental health professional so I am really just going by my own experience with my own depression to try and help this person but I am not sure I am getting through. They seem pretty set in their decision though they do show concern for their cat as well they intend to leave a message for their family but see themselves as quite mean and depraved, They think life isn't working out so the solution is to leave. I have asked them why they feel they need to end their life as well what other options they have looked at without a response. I have encouraged them to checkout some books, call suicide hotlines and seek professional help but I get the sense they are pretty defeated to the point of acceptance. I have encouraged them to try and look at all angles and options and even what will transpire after their death spiritually for him and physically for his family but I really am not totally sure what else I could ask. I am getting very little from him and wanted to know if anyone had any ideas of questions that seem to help spark a deeper conversation with someone planning their suicide. I do realize that it is ultimately his responsibility if he goes through with it but just wanted to make sure I did everything I could to maybe change his mind. Thanks.

Edited by Michelle38
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One of the things that happens if someone is bent on suicide is that the actual decision-making sort of makes one feel better. Made a decision, that felt good...

I think keep asking, "are you sure you made the right decision?" because that can get them thinking and delay. But also say life is full of crap and we stick it out. And if they go through with it, they'll never know if it was the right decision after all..

You are a good friend Michelle38.

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Thanks. I think you make a good point. I think the decision gave him some relief or out. Hopefully when the time comes he thinks twice. He didn't say why he planned a specific date but maybe that is a good sign he is contemplating. I appreciate your reply.

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Wholly support what Lauryn says! I have my husband and son to anchor me (including our kitty) and don't want to leave them grieving. Our kitty is especially attached to me. He watches over me when I have a migraine. He kept me from harming myself when we first got him, because he was a stray and needed me. Husband at work, son at school, me home mostly with the cat.

whew.

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He wanted to take the cat with him but I convinced him that wasn't a good idea and then I asked him what his plans were to see to it that the cat was cared for when he left and wasn't left to fend for itself too long. He never responded to the question. I am hoping when his planned date comes seeing the cat will change his mind. I guess I partly wonder about being overly pushy. We don't know each other so I am trying to not be too demanding but more an open platform for him to talk but he isn't saying much but I do see he stops by a couple of times a day to the site so that is a good sign I think. I will ask again if he made any plans for the cat.

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I am just wondering if it would be possible to inject some other topic into the conversation...something that you were thinking about, some question that he might be able to discuss with you. My reasoning is that he may feel that he's talked about it for so long that he has to go through with it, or look bad. I know, strange reasoning, but we build all kinds of stories and then live in the world's we've constructed. In his closed world system it may seem that he must follow through with his plans.

I think you've already received some good responses above...

You are a very, very good person.

Nopawn

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Thank you Nopawn. That is kind of you to say. I sent him a message trying to give him a chance to just talk about anything else but will also send him a note that he need not see this as his only option. He can change his mind at any moment and no one has to be the wiser. I appreciate all the advice everyone has given.

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