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Reactions to Suicidial Ideations

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Has anyone ever told friends/family/loved ones that they were suicidal and received a positive reaction (or at least not negative)??? A friend of mine found a suicide note I had written in a desperate moment and decided to hold an informal interventions of sorts where they took my pills and made me promise not to hurt myself. I just wanted them to say it was okay to feel this way and that they would trust me, but they reacted badly. The friend had found the note had someone very dear to him commit suicide recently and so I sure it was not easy and that added an extra layer, but it was so frustrating!! I didn't know what to say or how to discuss this issue with these people who clearly don't see eye to eye with me on the subject. I am just ranting at this point, but it was just so emotional and difficult and I don't know how to deal. I am just extremely uncomfortable over the whole ordeal. Thoughts?

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
i think your friend is frightened that all if he or she sees your thoughts are just that thoughts maybe in time the fear will lessen If friend sees you getting therapy some kind of positive treatment that too will help lessen the tension
You are lucky to have such caring person in your life i hope talking to them reassuring them you will not act on your words will help decrease their fears.


Well-Known Member
It is unfortunately an extremely common myth (including on this forum) that you are required to actively invalidate the suicidal person's feelings and deny them the option of suicide when it has already become something they might choose to do, regardless of whether or not you approve of it. By denying them the only option they feel they have left, you have successfully alienated the person from the start by being unwilling or unable to acknowledge their point of view. Very few people are willing to say, "Yes, suicide is an option among many." But they are much more willing to say, "No, suicide is not an option, and you have to pick something else."

The reality is, it's best to acknowledge to the suicidal person that suicide is in fact an obvious option to solve their problems, and it may be something they ultimately choose to do. But it's also a very extreme measure to deal with a supposedly insurmountable problem, and is for the most part often a result of irrationality because of depression. Personally, I wish this forum would adopt this style of validating, because it seems like we often stop short and are under the assumption that telling a suicidal person that suicide is an option will enable them, but this is not the case, as it often helps them to feel better that someone is willing to see things from their point of view without judgment.

Having said that, many people encounter hostility when their suicidal thoughts are revealed. They are not listened to because they are inherently considered wrong, and even thinking of suicide often allows others to patronize and attack you. I'm sorry you've been forced to experience this. Many people are ignorant of suicide and how to deal with it, and essentially do what they think is the right thing, even if there's no objective reason to believe it's the right thing.

So, to answer your question, yes, I've gone through the same. My two parents in particular become very hostile toward me if I ever mention my present or past suicidality. I have simply been told that I should forget the idea, that it is not an option, and I should ignore my suicidal feelings so I can move on in life. It was particularly problematic when I was a teenager using suicide hotlines, which was very upsetting to my father, who told me I didn't need any help like that, that I was better than that (because feeling suicidal downgrades you as a person, apparently), and he was very angry at me for using a hotline.

Unfortunately, I don't think you can do much to change others' perspectives on your suicidal thinking. You can, however, make the best of the situation by finding some form of counseling or therapy so you can discuss these thoughts with someone, with the goal of lessening the severity of and hopefully completely eliminating the suicidal thoughts. Medication may be of some use if therapy alone is not enough (you said you were on some form of medication, but didn't mention what kind of medication it was). If nothing else, it seems like people care for your life, even if they don't know how to show it. From what you said, it sounds like they would be receptive to your attending some form of counseling or therapy. That's my recommendation, as a first step.
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Well-Known Member
Can I ask, how is saying that the person's feelings are okay supposed to make them reconsider?. If any thing it will seal the deal. Agreement does not help. I constantly seek agreement that I am a disgusting male who will only attract the most desperate of mates. No one on here agrees... I have a hard time with this. I just wish I could get one person to say that I am not attractive.

Anyway my point is, if these people said "it is ok". Would you feel less suicidal?


Well-Known Member
You're not saying suicide is okay. You're acknowledging that it's a real option, one that makes sense considering the suicidal person's circumstances. Just acknowledging this fact helps them feel better.

Read what I typed. It's not "Suicide is okay." It's "Suicide is an option among many." which is a dramatic change from "Suicide is the only option."
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Thank you, that was very helpful to hear. I am glad someone else knows that feeling and understands how frustrating it is to be invalidated.


Active Member
My friends just shake it off, like my feelings aren't real.
Which in turn makes me feel even more worthless.
it makes me feel like they don't really care,
even though I know they do, they just figure they should ignore it,
since they think I act suicidal for attention,
even though attention is the last thing I want from it.
Ignoring it and saying it's nothing is even worse than invalidating it.
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