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How do you really know if someone is suicidal? LONG!

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Gosh, I never thought I would end up in a suicide forum...I mean not because it is bad but just because I have never dealt with this before.

I have been married for 16 years and I always thought we were happily married but off and on now for a couple years my husband has been talking about ending it all and killing himself. I always thought it was a figment of speech...I think we all have said it jokingly before but this last time he said it was different.

Almost 2 years ago my husband was quite sick. My family told me they all think it was depression. I blew it off and said..No he is really sick. After a year of being off of work on medical leave having every test imaginable and everything came back ok...I began to wonder. My sister who is an RN said if I looked up his symptoms online the results would show depression. I had a talk with my husband and he is convinced his illness is not medical but spiritual. (He is a very spiritual man) I just disagree with him. I try not to push him too much for answers because well I guess I am just afraid. He was finally let go from his job because he has been out of work for a year in a half dealing with all this sickness. The more and more I think about it, the more I think he is deeply depressed and needs medical attention. He got a new job and then after calling in sick for a straight week they called him and told him they could not use him. This is very out of character for my husband because he is the most reliable guy there is.

The more and more I think about it the more I think he needs help. He told me the other night he was so depressed that he wanted to take a bottle of medication just to get it over with but then he thought of me and knew he couldn't do that to me. Lately he as been saying to me that if he ever died I would be better off.

I am really not sure where to even go with all of this. I just am wondering..should I take him serious? What should I do? He is fine most of the time, he just has all these anxieties about going to work and just other everday things and that just isn't him. I am at a loss of what to do.

Thanks for listening to me if you are still with me. Maybe I am just reading WAY more into this than there needs to be
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You didnt mention how youve treated him...not to attack you cause I know nothing about your relationship of course, but do you think he'd be a happier person if you showed him more love? maybe more sexual attention. You've known him for 16 years, you know what makes him happy. Both of my parents take anti-depressants cause there's just something wrong with their heads, they cant control it and im sure your husband doesnt WANT to be depressed he just needs help.

Try talking to him in a playful tone maybe? Like "Oh come on cheer up charlie! wanna go to a doctor see if we can get ya feelin good and maybe go out to eat after? maybe theres something we dont know about cause youve been a little down lately." The worst thing for me is when people talk like its the end of the world when im upset, and that im seriously deranged and helpless. Its just a problem that needs to be addressed and dealt with and shouldnt be blown out of proportion. I found that its easier to talk about things when youre happy and comfortable than stressed out and crying your eyes out. Just my perspective though. Dont ignore him though, thatll for sure only make things build up.
That is a valid question.

My husband is a very easy going guy, very easy to get along with. We don't argue all that often. We get along really well. His umm sex drive just hasn't been there for a really long time. I always question him on it and he assures me it is not me but him. I don't pressure him any though. (And no he is not cheating, lol) I am always with him other than his church services he goes to twice a week. I try and encourage him to get out more and do stuff...but again, I don't want to pressure him.

I try and give him his space and just be as supportive as I can. I don't put him down for going through whatever he is going through and I keep reminding him things will get better and he will feel better too and we should go see the doctor about it and it's nothing to be ashamed about....And I go over all his great qualities and how much I love him and appreciate him. He is good at keeping things bottled up inside so this whole thing gets confusing. I don't want to say too much or too little or the wrong thing.

Sorry for the rambles again. Just at a loss.
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"I don't put him down for going through whatever he is going through and I keep reminding him things will get better and he will feel better too and we should go see the doctor about it and it's nothing to be ashamed about"

well you've never actually gone, what does he say to you when you suggest that? his point of view of the whole situation and what he's feeling is most important here.


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sadwife a low sex drive is a very noteable symptom sadly in depression and I've felt it very much of late,I really wish your husband will see a Doctor or someone about how he's feeling.I guess you can try your best to keep persuading him to go along with you.
then again a high sex drive combined with not having a partner to take it out on is also another big problem that leads to depression...vicious cycle eh?
Hey sadwife!

I'm really glad you posted about your husband. He's lucky to have a wife like you who is so concerned about his well-being.

In response to your question about whether you should take it seriously, yes you definitely should! It's true that sometimes people say things that we know can be taken as a 'joke' but if you have gotten the vibe that he truly intends to act on his thoughts of suicide, it is really imperative that you take it seriously. Most people who committ suicide do reach out to someone before because there is a part of them that really wants help. They might be feeling very ambivalent about their desire to live and even though he may be really strongly thinking about killing himself, he has not made up his mind for certain. This is a good thing because you can work with that ambivalence!!

One of the best things you can do is to express your concerns and ask him directly. Talking about suicide in a direct manner will not make him more suicidal. You can then have an open discussion about the intensity of those thoughts, if he has a plan and timeframe etc... It might also be really helpful to talk to him about his ambivalence - what is the part of him that is keeping him from acting on his thoughts? We know that you are one reason because he has already indicated that...what else though?

You can also let him know that you are there for him 100% - if you can reduce the isolation he may be feeling, he might be more able to seek help from other sources.

Keep doing what you are doing - being a caring and loving wife. I hope that he can seek some help - hopefully you can go together to a doctor or a counsellor or some other trusted person.

Best of luck with the situation. It can be challenging to support someone who is experiencing such intense emotions - I hope that you are taking care of yourself during this difficult time as well!
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