So Someone’s Suicidal And You Want To Help:
- don’t guilt them into something, whether it be not killing themselves or not going silent or not cutting or not purging or anything else. yes, “it hurts me when you hurt yourself” is guilting someone.
- don’t tell them it gets better, 1) because Dan Savage (and the IGB movement) is a giant asshole and 2) what do you know?
- don’t tell them to get over it. just don’t.
- don’t tell them to stop talking about it. seriously. talking about suicidal or self-harm urges is good. trust me, you don’t want the person not to talk about it.
- don’t make it about you, don’t tell them about how it hurts you to see them like that, or that you’ll hurt yourself if they do, or that you love them, or that they need to live for you. you don’t want someone to live for you.
- don’t dismiss them by telling them they don’t really want to die and just have some problems at the moment. shut the fuck up. even if it’s true, it says something huge about the person if they’re going to such lengths to gather attention. (attention is good!)
- don’t call the police to send them to their place, or their parents, especially if you don’t know the person very well. JUST. DON’T. in some families, it would make things much worse if family heard of it all. you never know all about someone’s situation. also? might make the person rush into killing themselves out of panic.
- don’t make it your goal to save or fix them. ”saving” people is gross. “fixing” people is gross. people are not objects. the only help someone suicidal or depressed or mentally ill needs is medical help.
- don’t ignore it because you don’t know what to say. even a simple “i’m here” can help sometimes.
what you can do:
- try to calm the person down if they’re having an anxiety/panic attack. if you can’t, it’s okay. just stay by their side and make sure it doesn’t change into an asthma attack or a seizure or else.
- remind them to care for themselves if they’re planning on cutting/purging/etc. to be safe, clean any wound, drink water, etc.
- keep an eye on them. don’t overwhelm them. don’t baby them. don’t ignore them, but don’t stay strained on them. let them know you’re here if they need anything, even if you don’t talk.
- ask them to think it through.
you can’t convince someone not to kill themselves, or hurt themselves. it’s not your life. it’s not your decision. you want someone not to kill themselves? listen to what they say. see the signs. help before it’s too late. and sometimes you can’t help, because it’s not your fault. it’s not you. nobody’s living for you and nobody should because that’s as unhealthy as a relationship can get.
if it’s the situation surrounding, help the person get out of it if you can do it and if it’s safe for them to do so. don’t get them out of it yourself - it’s not your job, no matter who you are.
in any case, encourage medical help, look up free centers and offer the info. don’t guilt the person into going because not everyone can. it might be easy for you to call a dozen places in a day, but for some, it triggers anxiety attacks to make one phone call.
and remember: it’s sweet and all that you want to help, but seriously? in these situations, sometimes, nothing helps. nothing can help. and it’s not your fault. it has nothing to do with you. it’s not about you.