Resources for Loved Ones of People with BPD Dec 16, 2015 3:57:24 GMT
Post by Mea on Dec 16, 2015 3:57:24 GMT
How Can I Help a Suicidal Loved One?
- Always take any suicidal ideation or threat seriously. Assuming the person is “attention-seeking” can be life-threatening. Always take the situation seriously and be prepared to get them medical attention.
- Try not to act shocked. The person is already in distress, and seeing you in distress could only make matters worse. Stay calm, and speak matter-of-factly while still showing compassion.
- Do not make it about you. The person is probably already fully aware of how their being suicidal is hurting you. You don’t need to remind them. Focus on their pain and how the situation is affecting them.
- Do not handle the situation by yourself. Make sure the suicidal person has resources which are better suited to help them, such as a hotline or a psychiatric professional.
- Listen attentively. Let the person talk as much as they wish, and listen closely so you can be better supportive. See if you can find the cause of the suicidal thoughts.
- Comfort the person and show compassion. There is no script for these situations because everyone is different, and everyone needs to hear something different. Listening can help you understand what words of comfort would be best for the person.
- Let them know you are concerned without making it about your pain. Instead of, “If you died, I would be sad,” say things like, “I am concerned for your safety, and I want you to be okay.”
- Do not leave them alone. If you know someone is suicidal, do NOT leave them alone. Make sure they have someone with them if you can’t be there yourself.
- Talk openly about suicide. Avoiding the subject isn’t good for anyone. Be open about the possibility and ask questions. “Are you planning on killing yourself right now?” “How would you do it?” etc.
- Don’t be judgmental. Do not invalidate anything the person feels.
- Be careful of your word choice. When a person is suicidal, they are hypersensitive. Now is not the time for “tough love” or “brutal honesty.” What they need is your compassion and your support.
- Let the person express themselves. If this means yelling and swearing, let them, as long as their form of expression is not harmful to themselves or others. Allow them to do what is necessary to release their emotions, and encourage it as well. “If you need to scream, scream.”
- Offer to take them to the hospital. Do not simply assume a hospital is what they need. Some people have experienced abuse in psych wards, and hospitals aren’t a safe place for them. Also, they may not have health insurance, and hospitalization could increase their suicidal thoughts. Make the offer, and let them decide what they want to do.
- If they attempt suicide, absolutely call 911. It could save their life. Go with them to the hospital, if you’re able. Make sure they are treated well. A familiar face may help them deal with the experience.
- Offer to help them find a therapist or other psychiatric professional. Make sure they are getting the help they need after the suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts.
- Follow up with them after the incident. Ask how they’re doing. Suicidal thoughts come and go, just because they made it through this time doesn’t mean it will never happen again.