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friend wants to die but won't let me try to help him

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My friend told me today that for the last couple of weeks he's had thoughts of wrapping his car around a tree.. He says he's stuck in a rut with things only getting worse. I live with him and his family so I see the vast majority of what he's talking about and it is a lot for him to deal with.
Normally I'm the one dealing with suicidal thoughts. I'm bipolar and have gone to him multiple times for help and he's always come through for me. I want to be able to help him but I can't find the words that he needs to hear. No matter what I say he has a rebuttal for how his life could be better or how he'd be better off dead.
He had forced me to go to a doctor so I could get back on my meds and they have helped. I want to do the same to him, because I'm sure they could help him too. But he doesn't have insurance and can't afford a doctor. I want to give him money to see one, but one of his problems is he hates having to rely on people [his father-in-law is currently paying the majority of bills in our home because neither he nor his wife are able to find jobs] and I'm scared my offer will just make things worse.
What can I do to help him? I love him to death and, as selfish as this probably sounds, if he were to kill himself I don't know that I'd be able to handle it and would probably follow suit. But that's not why I want to help him.. He's my best friend and I hate seeing him like this.. He's such a hard worker and gives way too much and never asks for anything in return. He deserves a much better hand than what life has dealt him.


Well-Known Member
Hmmm... well I am good at arguing... so maybe if you tell me some of the stuff you are saying and what his rebuttal is... maybe I can help with that.

Otherwise, you should just take him to the doctor. If anything it will help him stick around for a while. After all, that is what he does for you.

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
take him to emerg okay the hospital social worker can help him there to get finances he needs to pay for meds tell him once inpatient he will have support he needs to get stable and well.


Well-Known Member
Try again to offer him the money (And maybe even set a schedule with a doctor before hand? So has more pressure going because if he doesn't, waste of money) and if he refuses... Well, it really is better to try to help than not to help at all.

Also, sometimes words are not entirely needed for these kinds of situations. Actions speek louder than words. Just being there and listening to his frustrations could be helping him more than you think.


Banned Member
I think that although your friend doesn't want any help from you in stopping him, but the fact that he has told you his feelings is his way of seeking help without actually asking for it.
Normally when people are suicidal, the hardest thing is to ask for help from anyone, and because the weight of their problems seems overwhelming to them at the time, if you actively seek out someone that is able to get him the help he needs, be it police or directly calling mental health in your are, the anger and resentment they could display to you is only a product of their feeling of unimportance and not to be taken seriously.
To purposely inform someone of a friend's intentions and get them immediate help might cause guilt and sadness to you, but that far outweighs what could happen if you sit back and let him follow up on his word.


Well-Known Member
There are a few things you can do.

1. Tell him that you care for him and would be extremely hurt if he killed himself. Be honest about your feelings. You can tell him you're scared for his life, and you're scared that there's nothing you can do to stop him, if that's how you feel. Honesty on your end will help him be honest, too.

2. Inform him that he has a better chance of getting seriously injured instead of dying if he drives into a tree. He could be paralyzed, have brain damage, or experience chronic pain. That's the reality of his plan. Suicidal people often are focused on one plan, and if that plan is derailed, they will have to start over and think of another; or, hopefully, give up the plan.

3. Talk with him. Widen the blinders. He doesn't see any other solution than suicide, but he doesn't want to kill himself. It's a simple matter of, "I want to die, I just don't want to kill myself." Try to explain to him that suicide isn't the only thing he can do; there are other options that are readily available. In the most extreme scenario, there's the emergency room, but that's only if you absolutely cannot get through to him and feel strongly that he is an imminent threat to himself. ERs typically are very unpleasant, so they're best avoided if possible.

4. Find allies. Do not agree to secrecy. Inform anyone close to him about what you've heard from him, and your own opinions on the situation. Others may be in a better position to help him than just you alone.

5. Remember that you are not God and so not all-powerful, and you are not responsible for his actions, nor will you necessarily be listened to if he is truly desperate. I'm talking with the assumption that you two are close enough to feel okay in talking about suicidal thoughts with each other. That being said, you can do all of the above, but unless he is a clearly dangerous and immediate threat to himself, you can't force him to seek other help.

Whatever happens, good luck.
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions... I was able to sit down and talk with him tonight. I did offer him the money, but he refused to take it. I told him that even though he feels like this is something he has to fight on his own, there's people here that love him enough that they want to help him through it. And I think when I said that, it really struck a chord with him, he opened up a lot more after that. We talked for over half an hour. He still refused the money, but I made him promise to see a doctor. I told him if he doesn't make an appointment in the next few days I would make one for him.


Well-Known Member
Wow, can't say I expected that. You must have really, as you said, hit a chord. Well done.

I think I have to warn you that the risk isn't totally gone quite yet. He still has his own issues that will continue to cause him stress until he finds consistent solutions to deal with everything. Hopefully the doctor is competent enough to address these issues quickly, or refer him to someone who can.

But things definitely look up so far. Keep us posted.
I know it's not, for lack of a better term, over yet.. But he is on the right track. I told him I was proud of him for taking this first step and that things will keep getting better. He knows I'm here for him no matter what happens. I have to say I was a little surprised when he told me about the appointment too, but nonetheless I was happy for him.
Thanks everyone for your support. I'll definitely keep ya'll posted! *group hug* :)
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