Psycho-Babble Social Thread 232914

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by judy1 on June 10, 2003, at 13:38:17

I was just reading admin about the recent suicide posts and I hope this hasn't been discussed too much in the past- but I was wondering what kind of support people expect when posting here with suicidal feelings? I think all we can do is be supportive of that person with words and sometimes those limitations can be frustrating- how do others feel? having been in similar situations in the past, I've found that type of support helps me hang on until I can get real help. thanks, judy

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation judy1

Posted by Miller on June 10, 2003, at 15:01:52

In reply to Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by judy1 on June 10, 2003, at 13:38:17

I have mixed feelings. I know I tend to panic if someone else sounds desperate. So, if I feel they are in danger, it hurts me very much to see the continued suffering. On the other hand, having been suicidal many times, I feel as if this may be the only remaining place for support. I am not sure there is a "right" answer. It is human nature (mine anyway) to want to help others. The problem is, on a forum such as this, are there more people being hurt by the stress of such a panic and our "WE" qualified to give such help?

Just my opinion. :)

-Miller

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by whiterabbit on June 10, 2003, at 15:53:45

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation judy1, posted by Miller on June 10, 2003, at 15:01:52

I can only speak for myself, but my suicide attempt was very impulsive. I had been thinking about it forever but the only time I acted upon it (overdose) was very fast, because I knew if I sat down and wrote letters and actually thought about what I was doing, I'd probably back out. And I just wanted to get it over with. I believe it's more common than we think to not leave a suicide note, although of course many people do.

Also, even if I did consider leaving suicide notes, it would not be in my nature to post a
"good-bye letter" to Psycho-Babble, I think that would be a horrible thing to do. I believe it would leave the other posters feeling shocked and guilty (even though they would have no reason to be)and I just wouldn't do it.

Only my thoughts...
Gracie

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by paxvox on June 10, 2003, at 18:44:28

In reply to Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by judy1 on June 10, 2003, at 13:38:17

Mixed bag, I'm afraid. Many will actually be crying out for attention while others are crying wolf. It's hard to tell the differnce sometimes, and there lies the rub. When do WE take it SERIOUSLY enough to act upon someone's statements? I have seen it go both ways. Personally, I would err on the side of caution, and would reach out to someone with suicidal ideations posted (even in veiled terms) on this board. Most of us get to "know" the major players here, so we know when to worry. However, there have been several "falling outs" when "friends" have called the 5-O when they think someone is in danger of a snuff, which, of course, resulted in MUCH embarrassment and anger for that person. No way to win, just be consistent.

PAX

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by noa on June 10, 2003, at 19:27:51

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by paxvox on June 10, 2003, at 18:44:28

I feel like all I CAN say to support someone here who is suicidal is "Go get help." I don't think this board is equipped to do more than that.

Mostly, I think people can share their struggles with suicidal feelings and get a lot of support here, but it will never be the kind of support that will keep them safe when they cannot keep themselves safe.

Mostly, I think people do share their struggles and get support. And give support too.

But I think sometimes the crying out process can be very frustrating to others if the person rejects help, or "dumps and runs" or 'dumps' and then rejects help and then returns in a better mood as though nothing happened. And, of course, we recently had a situation where I think a person was truthfully suicidally agitated but not truthful with us about their subsequent safety, etc., and people felt very manipulated.

All of which can cause serious compassion fatigue, I think. And I don't necessarily judge any one who does any of those things as a bad person or anything, and I tend to see this kind of behavior as a symptom of how distressed they really must be, which breaks my heart! But the behavior also does have the potential to anger me, maybe because it seriously pushes my own helplessness buttons. And break my heart though it might, I might have to withdraw from a discussion if this happens because I can't let my own inner resources be depleted.

I can participate in support discussions about our struggles with suicidal feelings, but with messages that are imminently suicidal, I feel all I can do is urge the person to get "bricks and mortar" help immediately. If they refuse to, it can really press my own helplessness buttons, and then I might feel like I have to take care of myself and withdraw from the discussion.

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by mmcasey on June 10, 2003, at 19:46:47

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by noa on June 10, 2003, at 19:27:51

I think that crying wolf IS crying out for attention, and that's not a bad thing. I mean, isn't that really what we all want in life - the attention from others, knowing that people actually care? But it does obviously present a problem here if the suicidal ideation is more than ideation and is actually impending, and I don't think that there is much of a way to know what's really going on for the person. It's unfortunate, but as my former therapist said once "if someone really wants to kill themself, they will". I wonder about people posting suicide notes, because it seems like they are reaching out and in some ways must want an intervention of some sort.

Anyway. I feel the same as Gracie - that I would not go so far as to post a suicide note here, although I have in the past discussed my "ideation" and chronic struggle with suicidal thoughts.

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation judy1

Posted by Dinah on June 10, 2003, at 20:49:47

In reply to Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by judy1 on June 10, 2003, at 13:38:17

I thought of posting something at the time this was being discussed. But I felt and feel uncomfortable, because I understand the differing views of it.

It is true that this is a vulnerable population. Many of us do have hot button issues with suicide or self injury. But I guess I've always thought, if not here then where? Obviously if someone is in imminent danger, they should seek real life help. But sometimes maybe they need a bit of a reality check, or validation, or something that they should do that. I know that I would be hesitant to present myself at my emergency room door, no matter what my condition, because I would have this desire not to make a big fuss. Weird I know, and something that people could probably talk me out of. But something I would probably need talking out of.

Then of course, many of us struggle with ideation and need a place to discuss it among those who realize that ideation is not intent.

I see you guys as my friends, and the sort of friends that I can say the things I might not be able to say to face to face friends. Or even close online friends who might feel a responsibility to intervene. So if I'm struggling with suicidal ideation, I'd be inclined to talk about it here. Same with self injury urges. I think I'd be really careful to spell out what state I'm in. Am I obsessing about it, do I feel like I'm in danger of acting on it, etc. I know that there are very few if any of you who could do anything concrete to help me in real life, but in many ways that would make it easier to discuss. I wouldn't be afraid of being locked up somewhere.

I don't think that I would post a statement that I was about to kill myself, then disappear. But I find myself worrying about people who are regular participants and disappear without word, especially if they were noticeably distraught before disappearing. And of course, there are less direct ways of expressing intent that a suicidal person might not even recognize as such. Like if I came here and wailed that my therapist had terminated me.

As far as cries for attention are concerned, I agree with mmcasey. They're part of the illness just as much as suicide attempts are. Just because something feels manipulative doesn't mean the attempt is to manipulate. Or rather, I accept Marsha Linehan's view of suicidal behaviors. It may be the only way a person knows of asking for what they want or need.

My own decision about what to do to protect myself is to realize my limitations. There are only a very few people here who I have any possibility of physically helping. And on a forum like this, suicidal crises will occur from time to time. It's scary because I would hate to say anything that might make matters worse. But I have absolutely no expectations that anything I say could make matters better. I just don't have that power. And not saying anything is an action as well. So, since I wish to participate here, I just have to hope for the best, but remove myself from it a bit emotionally. Accept my impotence. Even find safety in my impotence. Extend a hand, maybe, but feel no responsibility if it isn't taken. That's my own way of making it possible to participate here. Others have their own ways.

But I would really really hate to discourage people from expressing suicidal ideation, or urges, or intent. Expressing those things is such a valuable thing to do. And there aren't many places you can do it.

But agreed. People should also seek real life face to face help if they are in physical danger from themselves or anyone else.

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by shar on June 11, 2003, at 5:38:10

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation judy1, posted by Dinah on June 10, 2003, at 20:49:47

Speaking from my own experience of chronic suicidal ideation, and the times I've posted here about wanting to die, what I want back is an acknowledgement that other people feel that way too and have survived, and reminders that it is probably a temporary situation (that it feels so intense). And, some people express caring thoughts and wishes, and that helps too.

If it came down to the deed, I wouldn't be posting on PSB. If I had decided to do it, I'd do it. If I was really in trouble and had the impulse and did not want to go thru with it, I'd call my therapist or pdoc.

As someone else said, one gets a feel on the board for the real deal sometimes. And at that time the only thing I'd say is "go get help in real time."

I also like the term 'compassion fatigue' because that is a real phenomenon that makes me look at suicidal messages very cautiously.

Shar

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by zenhussy on June 11, 2003, at 13:00:41

In reply to Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by judy1 on June 10, 2003, at 13:38:17

Damn this is a toughie. Everyone has weighed in with quite thoughtful responses.

I agree with those that state this IS NOT the place for 'brick and mortar' help. However, we must recognize that not everyone who is posting to this board has access to a support network, suicide hotline, hospital, medical attention, etc.

For some this is it. This is their last cry for help and for those posters who are mentally and emotionally up to supporting a suicidal poster then great---Dr. Bob's theory of support works. But to expect miracles to occur if someone is intent on killing themselves is just draining to the entire community.

Those that are not up to supporting suicidal posters need to recogize their own needs and take care of themselves. Yes it can bring up feelings of helplessness, anger or resentment but those feelings can be dealt with in another thread or with a friend in e-mail or through another avenue of support. How helpful in the past if you have been suicidal has anger been in that situation? I know if I posted here in the darkest funk suicidal and was met with an angry response I would be devestated at that person's lack of support or empathy. Why direct that anger at one who is already in so much pain?

Yes there are those who cry wolf as part of their illness. Not many of us try to be manipulative when we are out of our right minds but the disease has a weird way of creating absolute chaos in the brain and the thought process. Suicidal posters for the most part are not thinking rationally---and not of their own choosing! We are a board of people with mental illnesses that manifest in many different ways.

No one is forced to read any threads on this board. And if suicidal posters are too triggering then avoid those posts at all costs.

If one is in the position to offer up support to a suicidal poster then they can only type in information. Many here have been suicidal just once and others have suicidal thoughts daily but just have learned not to act on them. There is a plethora of sympathy and empathy for being in that horrible place where death seems like the correct and only answer. The people who post to suicidal posters are trying to bring a glimmer of light back into the darkness that has closed in on one of us.

I am not aware of anyone going through Dr. Bob to get an ISP address to contact police or appropriate authorities about any suicidal posters.

I had more to say but again lost that train of thought and now must get out the door.

zenhussy

 

prevalence of suicide notes

Posted by mmcasey on June 11, 2003, at 13:17:53

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by whiterabbit on June 10, 2003, at 15:53:45

I read a book about suicide (Night Falls Fast by Kay Jamison - maybe some of you have read it). I think that the statistic that she gave for how many people actually leave suicide notes was 1/4 of suicide attempts (or maybe it was 1/4 of successful suicides - I can't exactly remember). Just some extra info in case anyone is interested. Of course, who's to say what to really take from statistics?

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation

Posted by noa on June 11, 2003, at 17:12:13

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by zenhussy on June 11, 2003, at 13:00:41

Zenny, I totally agree about not responding with anger--that is not helpful for anyone, imho. I hope you didn't read my words as meaning that I would condone replying in anger to a suicidal poster.

For myself, I might just not reply. Especially if I see others who are replying supportively. I just bow myself out of it because that might be what I need to do. But I agree, it would not, imho, be appropriate to reply angrily, even if this is how I felt. I have seen people, a couple of times, however, once the crisis seemed over, post frankly, but supportively, with people about the frustration of wanting to help but feeling like they are both asking for help and pushing it away, and that other people weren't sure what to do about that. But that is different than reacting angrily to posts.

There was one time when a few of us were up late at night and one of the members of the board posted a suicide message. As it happened, one of the other members had had direct contact with that person, so, if my memory is holding up here, she tried to contact him, and ended up calling the police. It was scary and a couple of people ended up leaving PB because it was traumatic for them. Especially since afterwards, it felt like the person who had posted the suicide message had ended up rejecting the help offered him, both here and locally. I recall that it was kind of a pattern. It was very upsetting. I myself believed this person to be very at risk, but it felt like there was very little we could do to be helpful.

 

Re: double double quotes mmcasey

Posted by Dr. Bob on June 11, 2003, at 20:49:15

In reply to prevalence of suicide notes, posted by mmcasey on June 11, 2003, at 13:17:53

> I read a book about suicide (Night Falls Fast by Kay Jamison - maybe some of you have read it).

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation noa

Posted by zenhussy on June 11, 2003, at 21:14:35

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation, posted by noa on June 11, 2003, at 17:12:13

> Zenny, I totally agree about not responding with anger--that is not helpful for anyone, imho. I hope you didn't read my words as meaning that I would condone replying in anger to a suicidal poster.

Noa,

Didn't read it in that way at all. No worries. I'm not saying that everyone needs to have the same feelings regarding suicidal posters.

We all are entitled to feel as we feel. Some people get angry--rightfully so, some get reminded of previous losses we have endured and get very sad, other still when faced with a truly pained suicidal post are forced to face that darkness within themselves.

Some of us have attempted suicide and when reading about another in that deep dark hopeless crushing place it can be too triggering to one's own memories of their experiences.

We're all going to feel as we do. The only thing I was trying to get across about anger is that I fully support the expression of anger regarding a suicidal poster but personally feel that it belongs in a separate thread as it is about the person with the anger and their issues and not about the suicidal poster. The suicidal post being the trigger of anger for some.

I just hate to see such nastiness directed at a mentally ill person in pain as I am also a mentally ill person who lives in pain most of the time.

Hope that makes sense.

zenh.

 

Thank you all...

Posted by judy1 on June 11, 2003, at 22:47:55

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation noa, posted by zenhussy on June 11, 2003, at 21:14:35

for your thoughtful replies. Noa, I remember the incident you were writing about, and how emotionally spent many of us felt. I guess I just wanted to see how people feel now- and I see overwhelming support. It's good to know if someone is in such pain that there are people who understand. take care, judy

 

Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation zenhussy

Posted by shar on June 12, 2003, at 17:23:35

In reply to Re: Expectations of the board with suicidal ideation noa, posted by zenhussy on June 11, 2003, at 21:14:35

> I just hate to see such nastiness directed at a mentally ill person in pain as I am also a mentally ill person who lives in pain most of the time.

As are the majority of us, I believe. Except for those blessed few who have come out the other side.

I am not aware of nastiness being directed toward a suicidal post, except in cases where somebody said "why don't you go ahead and do it" which raised a great hue and cry from almost everyone of us, who were horrified! Perhaps my mind has left me for the moment and I've forgotten nastiness directed at people in terrible pain.

I think, at worst, people who suspect someone is not in trouble, will refrain from responding. If someone appears to be in trouble, I believe the majority of the posts are sympathetic and urge the poster to 'get help!' asap.

The real world does not allow us, without a certain amount of invasion of privacy, to contact or make sure a presumably suicidal poster is ok. And, that has been done (contact) with disastrous results, which, imho, should not be repeated. This thread may help clarify for some what they can and cannot expect here.

And, while it is a sad comment on life, it may be that one has nowhere else to turn...but I have a hard time believing that unless they are in the bush in Austrailia or wilds of Africa, or some places in Texas. There is almost without exception an emergency room somewhere. And, for folks who *don't* need an ER, there is us.

Shar


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