What do I do if I am having suicidal thoughts or intentions?
July 12th, 2020
Someone who is having suicidal thoughts and intentions is usually in the grip of very deep negative emotions. There is no possibility to reason with someone who is going through that. One could try to share ones own journey through that same terrain and try to let the suffering person feel connected and cared for in some way.
It’s a very difficult situation. I myself was saved from suicide by the grace and love of my Guru. So I truly don’t know how to respond to the question other than to say that we are all in the same boat... no one in this world is free of suffering and it is only our selfish, self-centered, pleasure cling and pain-avoiding way of going through life that is the cause of it all.
July 21st, 2020
It can be unsettling for anyone when you begin to experience feelings of hopelessness. Suicidal feelings are painful but normal responses to deep pain and deep trouble — and people survive their suicidal urges every day and go on to live and thrive. Suicidal feelings can affect anyone, from kids to elders.
The first thing to do when you are feeling suicidal thoughts for feelings is to make sure that you are safe. If you’re ever thinking of harming yourself or suicide, please reach out to someone. It can be anyone. You won’t be seen as a burden or thought of as a bad person. People will be happy to help support you. If you or anyone you know feels suicidal, there are some excellent free resources that can help.
First, here in the US, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Suicidal feelings can be very isolating, and this lifeline exists to give people the support they need to make it through the dark periods in their lives. If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, please let them know that help is available. The TALK lifeline is available in the US; if you’re in another country, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has a list of crisis centers and suicide prevention centers throughout the world.
If you don’t know what to do when someone you care about is feeling suicidal, you can call the Lifeline suicide hotline as a concerned friend (1-800-273-TALK (8255)), and they’ll help you understand what to do.
Here are some ideas from the Lifeline website: “Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide. Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings. Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life. Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support. Don’t dare him or her to do it. Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you. Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support. Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance. Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills. Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
August 16th, 2020
Feel the feelings and reach out for help. Most people I know have had those thoughts and feelings and I think there's something important about normalizing it. How do we have a community around that?
Is there someone to reach out to, and if there isn't someone, there are amazing resources. For example, one of the biggest groups who contemplate suicide are GLBT+ teens. There's this amazing place called The Trevor Project. It's a national hotline of loving people who are available to talk with people who don't have someone they feel like they can trust to talk to. All the people I know who are connected to those kinds of supports are deeply connected to suicide in their own lives. So they will understand.
It is REALLY important to learn how to reach out. Even when we feel like no one cares. That is also just a feeling. It's so important to learn how to have our feelings without becoming our feelings. Not easy, and when things aren't easy, it's good to have a companion.
Mariangela AbeoOctober 1st, 2020
First, get yourself out of that headspace before you call for help. I always tell people get a cold glass of water. Take your shoes off, take your socks off, stand by a window. Hold the water in your hand with both hands, close your eyes and feel your hand. Your hands change temperature slowly. And then, slowly, it's going to move to your arms. Feel the hairs on your arm stand up. Take a deep breath. Take a glass, take a drink from the water. Feel it go down your chest, feel your legs start to change temperature. Wiggle your toes until you can start feeling that coolness into your toes.
Usually after about seven to 10 minutes of that you're in a place where you can call a hotline and get help or reach out to a family member or friend. If you’re in the headspace to call a family member immediately, you should.
We can tell people to call for help, but I just think that's ironic. People are not usually going to call for help when they’re in that place. My husband asked me when I was having a little breakdown, he was like, “What do you need?” And I said, “If I knew, I would do it.” But you don't know and you're not going to call somebody. You're not going to want help.
So what I shared before is what you can do for yourself in that moment. It’s a hail mary to get yourself out of it. Do that first because then at least you will be like, I made it through that five minutes. Celebrate your little wins: 10 seconds, 30 seconds, two minutes. Celebrate getting past those little timestamps. Once you can do that, then you can process talking somebody on the phone.