Suicide Prevention: Supporting Someone With Suicidal Thoughts

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 15, 2020

Many people in the US who are suffering from suicidal thoughts often do not get the right kind of help they need. Even when they get some, it does not come at the right time. In this situation, there is a need to understand such tendencies so that you can save the life of a friend or a family member in times of crisis.

Suicide prevention: Supporting someone with suicidal thoughts

Noted clinical social workers who deal with people having suicidal tendencies say that such people feel that there is no space for them to process their thoughts. They do not usually find someone with whom they can share their feelings as there is a sense of stigma associated with such thoughts. They say that it is important to sit with them and understand the suffering they are going through to help them deal with the situation. Suicide prevention experts also say that what you say to such people with suicidal tendencies can save their lives at a crucial moment. In many cases, all they need is someone who can listen to their pain and empathize with them for the moment. Be onsiderate with them and let them pour their heart out during the conversation. This will make them feel secure. They may even come out of the feeling after a short while.

In the same manner, experts also say that what you don’t say at those times is also important, and you should learn how to handle such situations. As this can happen to any person in your group or anyone in your office, it makes sense to understand what they go through during such times. Clinical social workers say that they have seen patients who feel chronically suicidal at some crucial moments, and their feelings become unbearable at that point. However, it may not sustain throughout the day, and they may get some hope at some point and delay the attempt. In most cases, they will be left distracting themselves from the thought so that it does not go to an extreme level. When you are dealing with people who have such suicidal thoughts, even you can get burned out if it drags on for many years. In such a situation, even you need some support, and you can easily turn to a therapist during those times.

They can guide you on how to deal with your loved ones who are going through such trouble, and this will help you to handle them in a better way in the long run. It is important that you keep yourself protected in the larger interest, as this will allow you to care for your loved ones when they need your support. People dealing with such problems also have other issues to face, and sometimes they deal with professionals who are not so caring towards the patients. In other instances, the price factor may stop them from seeing a very good therapist. In extreme cases, even therapists do not prefer to treat people who do not show any improvement for many years and also those who have extreme issues with suicidal thoughts. There are many people who develop such thoughts when some loved one dies all of a sudden.

The trauma can lead them to such circumstances, and they may behave in that manner. If you are staying close to such people, you need to be aware of any drastic changes in their behavior. Try to notice if they are collecting harmful things like weapons that they want to use to harm themselves. You can keep a close watch on their eating and other habits and get to know how normal they are behaving daily. Such simple things can help you prevent many suicides, and you will be happy to save someone’s life in this manner. Always try to keep them occupied and do not let them be alone for a long period. Even though it is important to provide them their space to let their feelings out, it is important that they also engage in social activities in an active manner to keep the suicidal thoughts at bay.

One thing you need to understand about people dealing with suicidal tendencies is that they do not have such feelings throughout the day. In most cases, they may be dealing with everyone around them in a happy way, and you may be surprised one day when they are gone. For this reason, it is important to let people around you know that you are there to help them in any circumstance. Such assurance from loved ones will help them communicate their thoughts, and you may be able to prevent suicides in many cases. Honesty is yet another important point when you are supporting someone with suicidal thoughts. Do not promise them something that is not possible and keep them close to reality so that they can understand what to expect from you when they are in trouble.

You need to understand that as they are already in a depressed state of mind, they will get hurt easily when you are not able to offer them the support that you guaranteed them in the first place. For this reason, try to be reasonable and practical with them while offering support and make it clear that you are willing to go all the way in their effort to come out of the situation. Finally, you should never give up easily on such people as they may need your support for a very long period in some cases. Many people go through such phases for an extended period, and it can even span many years. You need to understand where to draw the line as even your life is important and you cannot spend all your time with such people. For this reason, you need to understand that it can happen to anyone around you and keep open communication with them whenever possible so that they can let their feelings out and relax. In this way, you can save a life and help them lead a normal life.


Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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