In need of advise

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by vivalalizzz, May 4, 2015.

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  1. vivalalizzz

    vivalalizzz New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the correct forum, but I am in need of some helpful advise. A professor, in his late 50's, who I've known for a year told me a few months ago how he struggles with depression, and could easily end his life<mod edit- methods>. He has also talked about simply wanting to die of a stroke or heart attack. He mentioned that a few years ago he experienced a stroke, and hopes that this next one comes soon, and takes his life. He has also mentioned his suicidal thoughts to another classmate and close friend of both mine and the professor.

    A little background information we've talked about in the past: He has struggled throughout his whole life, and I believe his sister committed suicide 3 years ago. He was born in America, but moved to India at a very young age, and experienced what it really means to be famished, living in poverty. At a very young age he was forced by his parents to study medicine or chemistry, even though he was interested in physics. His family, and others, told him that he wasn't smart enough to follow through with physics, so he chose to become a physical chemist. I do know while living in India, at a peaceful protest, he was kidnapped and tortured for a month. I do not know much more about that matter, though I wish I did.

    When I was young I had a close family member successfully commit suicide. It's something I've never been able to fully recover from. I believe if I had known my family member was struggling, I would have talked to them about it. I'm trying to make the right decision now and speak to my professor privately about this matter. I know that I will become emotional, and explain how devastated I would be if anything were to happen to him. I can offer my support, and of course an ear, but what else can I say or do to help him? I would offer to talk outside of classroom/campus setting, but he was my professor and is twice my age and has intelligence that is far beyond mine. I plan on talking with him in the next week, but I need a plan of what I want to ask in order for this to be a productive conversation. He is such a genuine and humble mean, and I look up to him so much. Please help me!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2015
  2. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    It is good that you care so much. I would not try to handle this alone however because if he is reaching out to to students even he is really trying to be heard. I would attempt to get professionals involved by going to the counseling services they have at the Uni and explain the situation to them and trying t get them involved as well. He needs professional help which will be safer and healthier for both him and you or other classmates. As a professor for what sounds like along time he is likely tenured and will not have a adverse effect on him and even if not it is easier to get a job teaching if alive then if dead. Reaching out to students on a matter like this makes clear he wants and needs real help and even if were upset as soon as he broached this sort of topic with a student it was he that surpassed and reasonable excuses from professional conduct so needs assistance before his career as well as his life is ended in a worse way.
  3. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Welcome to the forum. Its a difficult subject to approach to your friend. I would seek organisations who can help. You have to tread carefully as it could cause undue distress or he will distance himself from you.

    My strongest suggestion is that you get him to join the forum and we help him by understanding his issues. You have to remain strong for yourself and him. I know he his hurting but please be careful. Take care as you have a HEART OF GOLD.
  4. vivalalizzz

    vivalalizzz New Member

    I go to a state school, and I don't believe we have our own counseling center. We are neighboring a huge university, and I think that we share there's. I'm not sure that going to a counselor and getting other faculty members involved is the best decision. This might push him away from me and other students to the point that he doesn't share his feelings anymore. I've thought about telling other professors, please don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure I know of anyone who I can confide in. Because we're a small college, the chemistry department only has 12 faculty members. He has talked strongly about each one of them stating that they don't have time to listen to him, or their selfish and only care about themselves. He absolutely hates his place of work, and the only thing that keeps him going are his students. I would hate for him to lose trust and respect in me, and then other students. If that were to happen I don't know if he would think he had much worth living for, since his students keep him going. He has shared this thought with me multiple times. I do like the idea of the forum. He's somewhat of an elder and I'm not sure what I can say to convince him that using the internet as a tool to reach out to people is a great method.
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