On the Flip Side: When Someone You Love Could Be Suicidal

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Image via Wikipedia

What to do when you can’t talk to anyone about your troubles and struggles? You tell the world, uh hm, I mean, your blog. But the bigger question facing me tonight is “What do you do when you can’t help … when someone you love won’t help themselves?”

I find myself feeling so helpless, frustrated and angry, too. I feel almost as if I have nothing left to give. A loved one is suffering from what I believe to be severe depression and I can’t help them at all. ( I know it is ironic.) I have offered all of the customary kinds of help that one who knows about these things would offer. I have practically forced them to go to the ER for a psych evaluation in the past, only to leave with a promise that they will call the doctor “tomorrow” and seek help. Promises still unfulfilled. Somehow it is a couple of years later and we’re still in the same boat. Promises made again, to make phone calls tomorrow…

I wait and wonder, is this the night that they will break? Is this the night that those feelings of misery and hopelessness (that I know too well myself) will become too overwhelming for them to handle any more? How will I know when the breaking point comes? I know all of the signs, the things to watch for when you believe someone could be suicidal, and so many of them are there… so I wait and hope and pray that they grab on to the resources available and the hands outstretched to them before anything too awful to mention happens.

I’ve been on all sides of this coin. I’ve lost loved ones to suicide, I’ve made suicide attempts myself in the past, and now I sit and wonder how to help someone I love who is walking the thin line of suicidal ideation despite all of my knowledge about the topic.

I am reviewing my words, my actions, my behaviors… Have I said the right things? Have I been too harsh? Have I been understanding enough? Don’t they know I understand?

I go to sleep tonight without knowing the answers, but knowing that I’m not alone. There are others going through something similar tonight, wondering about their loved ones, too. And then, there are far too many don’t even have a clue…

If you are worried that someone you care about could be suicidal please read about the signs and symptoms on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website. Also on their site, is a comprehensive and helpful resource for “What to Do When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life“.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, do not hesitate to call Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (U.S.)

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