Desensitization to suicidal plea's?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Zoe, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. Zoe

    Zoe Well-Known Member

    When I found this site, I was struck by two things.

    The first being how fantastic it is that a place exists to enable people to be deeply open and honest about a private and (largely) taboo subject, at their time of desperate need.

    This was followed by being worried about people's safety, coupled with the consideration of perhaps being able to say something to someone that could save their life, and then the impact this has one's own strength and mental well-being, which will already most likely be low.

    So I've been wondering how this community generally deals with this?

    After a time do you become desensitized to the large number of threads of saying 'this is it, my time has come once and for all'. Do you then think 'it's none of my business to step in and try and change their mind'? I find this interesting as I feel this is probably natural human behavior, but it's still fucked up.

    Are you content with offering a smilie and a word of encouragement?
    Do any of you lie awake at night, keeping track of who said what and when and if they've been online since?

    Because if I spent much more time here I feel this is what I might start doing. Maybe I should somehow try to compartmentalise my thinking so that I stay fixed in the knowledge that I can only do so much and if people are set on commiting suicide, they will.

    I believe this is the sort of stance The Samaritans take, that they will never try to talk someone out of suicide; that ultimately it's an individuals right to take their life, and this should be respected.

    As someone who's come back from suicidal depressions a few times, I've learnt that it is only when you get better you realise how skewed your thinking really was, and herein lies the tragedy of suicide - that it's a decision taken at a time when the full magnitude of the decision is not fully appreciated.

    I find suicide deeply tragic and upsetting. I see people on here say things such as 'why should anyone give a shit if I commit suicide, they don't even know me' and to me this is a prime example of the skewed perception that depressive thinking is so skilled at.

    People give a shit because life is a true gift once joy can be appreciated and it's tragic when a person loses the most precious thing that will ever be available to them - their life.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2009
  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I don't respond to suicide threads. Not because I don't care... My ideology has become progressively more jaded as I sink deeper into depression. My ideology does not match SF's at all. I was put on moderation for giving methods advice. I'm technically skilled and logical at the worst of times, and I want to help however I can; however, most agree that that is not helpful. I stay out of suicide threads as a result.

    Virtually everyone on this forum is suffering. A lot. And their lives don't improve when they fail an attempt and are forcibly hospitalised. So I wish to help make it quick and certain.

    So when I find out a friend commited suicide, I do my best to remain quiet about it. It's not that it doesn't hurt - it's painful every time. But my pain pales in comparison to the Hell they were experiencing to force them to do this.

    I feel that the strong anti-suicidal feelings of our society completely disregard the happiness of the suicidal people. I have never heard the Samaritans' policy before, but I like it. Suicide should always be a way out.
  3. season

    season Member

    aeou, what more can u say after that post?
    I understand that no one in this world should suffer but is suicide the only anwser? I disagree, unless some one is terminal then I do believe that might be the only way suicide is somewhat an option
  4. LetItGo

    LetItGo Staff Alumni

    Ive become desensitized. I have no real way of defending that aside from the fact ive been a member here, on and off, for nearly 3 years now. Members ive known to a very minor extent through others have killed themselves, and even though the news saddens me as a human being, its of no surprise. We're just people, you can't force people to continue living if they no longer see that as an option. With time everything passes.
  5. Abacus21

    Abacus21 Staff Alumni

    I think that, in regards to your last paragraph, a simple 'I care' or 'I read your thread, but can't think of anything to say to it at the moment, but know that you've been heard' can do equal wonders to in-depth responses that you see sometimes, to threads. The simple 'I care' etc, can potentially be just as life-saving as a long in-depth response - it depends how close the other person is to attempting suicide (etc).
    Some general advice that was given to me, and I always pass this onto others now, when coming here: "You cannot be of any support to others, if you're not up to supporting yourself at the current time." Wise words indeed.

    I certainly have become desensitised to threads such as those, yes - as MJ says, the amount of time that one's a member (just over 3.5 years for me) certainly does change your viewpoints.. I don't think that it's none of my business, but I'm more likely to gravitate elsewhere, as - rightly or wrongly [I'd imagine 'wrongly, depending on what your POV is] - I think 'Someone else can be there for them in their time of need'. That said, I do post in the Crisis section from time to time, to help folks. I suppose, that one of the reasons I don't post too often, is self preservation - burn-out can come all too quickly, if you're responding to threads (especially those who are suicidal / in crisis), with very little payback / improvement in their condition.... That's how I see it, anyway.

    At times, I'm happy to simply offer a word of encouragement or a hug, but at other times - I'm equally happy to go into a PM / answer a thread, to help someone. It depends on my mood, I guess.

    As for the second point - not particularly, but recently I have been thinking about all the members who I used to speak to, and how they're getting on.

    That, personally speaking, is what I try to do - but I've been in that mindset on here for the past year / 18 months at least. I'm not sure whether that's good, but realism can help I think, especially when it comes to mental health..
    As for Samaritans - they are a pro-choice organisation (as you say - it's up to the caller to decide what to do), yup.

    Agree 100%.

    I think that this forum can be a good starting point, in terms of seeing that life can get better for some folks... One would hope that a suicidal person then thinks (when they're not in the midst of suicidal feelings) 'They're better, so why can't I be?' - positive talk, rather than negative, which can be so very hard to find and do, at times..
  6. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Depends where I am emotionally. If I'm not dying, then all energy goes to myself. Right now, I am dying, so I reply to threads which I can relate to as it helps me feel less alone. There is a degree of severity when people are suicidal. I don't feel obligated to help everyone, no.

    No I'm not content with empty words, empty smiles or 'words of encouragement.' There is no meaning to this. I don't lie awake thinking about people because I'm am struggling to stay alive and am surviving at the moment. I try to reply with empathy and honesty and offer the OP to talk openly and honestly about what is going on for them.

    You're not obligated to anyone here. Your life comes first.

    They are about letting people talk about their suicidal distress, but I've heard the risk, when people experience cold and heartless volunteers who basically urge someone to end their life at their most vulnerable because they are afraid of harsh truths like grotesque pain and take a very laid back attitude that it's in the individuals hands to save their life and they have no responsibility to keep the person safe and to realise that one way of thinking/listening doesn't suit everyone and can trigger the person further to the edge.

    Your experience isn't all experience. My thinking isn't skewed, it stems from horrific abuse all through my life and I'm feeling the extent of wounds that many people with 'depression' might not have. Would you say to someone disfigured from constant war, and was in horrific pain after reaching out and being punished for asking help, screaming "I cannot take this anymore, I'm scared, I am alone, I am in pain, I want to die" that their thinking was 'skewed?'

    How is this skewed? It's a question. Just because you see the person as having the same 'depression' as yourself, doesn't mean that the question and thought doesn't hold validity and truth. There is self destructive, feigned compassion that I've personally experienced, that doesn't listen because many are estranged from their own emotions and not wanting to hear anything other than what they want to hear. You only need to have a voice that challenges treatment and highlights abuse and inappropriate behaviour, that causes healthcare providers who have the duty to care, 'not to give a shit if you died.' I have experienced this. There are those who have life experiences involving grotesque trauma and upheaval who have 'reached out' to strangers as well as professionals, and are met with punishment and cold-heartedness at their most vulnerable because they are conscious of what help they need and what is inappropriate behaviour. Any distrust with the intentions of individuals on this site is completely understandable rather than 'skewed depressive thinking,' and I do not take offense by their questions. I have nearly died looking for help in 2007 and am under no illusion that people care about my life, other than the people who understand my values which is that I fight for my life very hard and that I will not censor myself, (eg. saying I want to die and nobody cares) when I'm suffering because this threatens my life.

    I can vouch that 'people' won't be grieving if die from my injuries. The only 'people' who will know will be my family. Appreciating life might be a choice to you, but not so easy for people who are dying, have been dying and are struggling at rock bottom for their own personal reasons.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2009
  7. Zoe

    Zoe Well-Known Member

    Wow, great replies :)
  8. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    This thread poses many of the same thoughts I had when I came here, which by the way, was a search for methods.

    I found instead, many like myself, hurting and in distress, and decided to give it a chance after reading the ethose, etc...

    I have since been helped out in so many ways. A simple "welcome to the forum" was just as helpful as a long reply to my specific situation and needs.

    I also made a couple of very close contacts and consider some of them friends. I was then able to speak with them about the very issue of desentization and found their insight quite helpful.

    The bottom line is that I recieved help and support and have been told that I have, in turn, been supportive and helpful.

    The fact that some will, in fact, proceed with their plans is very troubling to me as I am very emotional by nature. However, if we could only help even one person gain some insight and prevent such a scenario, it would be worth it, and I hope to contiune in this manner as long as possible.
  9. bladav

    bladav New Member

    Though during my depression period, I have never thought of suicide only because of my family support and the medicine which I use (Xanax). This medicine helps in relieving depression by slowing down the nervous system. This medicine is habit forming and should only be used in accordance with the instruction of a physician as sometimes withdrawal symptoms are even more depressing. So if you think you are having some problem, get to the root of it, talk about it and take medical help rather than going for something stupid. GOD bless
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