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What do you say to someone who wants to kill themselves


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#1 Zerick

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:24 PM

There is a recurring theme in people I have talked to who I have meet on AVEN. Except for a few exceptions everyone at one point or another has suffered from depression. Does depression cause asexuality in some people or does asexuality cause despression? Are the two linked?

The part recently that is bothering me is when people are so depressed they say they want to kill themselves.

I don’t know what to tell them. How do you tell someone to get over it? Move on! Live changes…it my get worse and it may get better…stick around! Despite what you think and feel right now your not alone in your feelings and others do care about you! What do you say?

I have been suicidal most of live with several failed attempts and fading scars. But it no longer even comes into my thoughts. My life is not great, but I no longer have the feelings of needing to die RIGHT NOW. I don’t know how my thought process changed for when I get down as to no longer have the feelings of needing to die. Maybe it was watching the aftermath of my best friend’s Mother death. How the prolonged misery just went from Mother to daughter. I could never put anyone though that… ever. But even now I don’t know what to say to these strangers who I befriend on AVEN who say they want to die and talk about how they will do it.

Does anyone know what to say?….anyone??? Ideas???

#2 cijay

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:33 PM

There is a recurring theme in people I have talked to who I have meet on AVEN. Except for a few exceptions everyone at one point or another has suffered from depression. Does depression cause asexuality in some people or does asexuality cause despression? Are the two linked?

The part recently that is bothering me is when people are so depressed they say they want to kill themselves.

I don’t know what to tell them. How do you tell someone to get over it? Move on! Live changes…it my get worse and it may get better…stick around! Despite what you think and feel right now your not alone in your feelings and others do care about you! What do you say?

I have been suicidal most of live with several failed attempts and fading scars. But it no longer even comes into my thoughts. My life is not great, but I no longer have the feelings of needing to die RIGHT NOW. I don’t know how my thought process changed for when I get down as to no longer have the feelings of needing to die. Maybe it was watching the aftermath of my best friend’s Mother death. How the prolonged misery just went from Mother to daughter. I could never put anyone though that… ever. But even now I don’t know what to say to these strangers who I befriend on AVEN who say they want to die and talk about how they will do it.

Does anyone know what to say?….anyone??? Ideas???


I imagine depression can cause asexuality in some people. Depression kills off the zest for a lot of things. It'd be more likely to kill off the biological sexual responses and desires than the sexual attraction but it doesn't sound like it'd be out of the question and often it'd be a different reason.

At the height of my depression, I couldn't 'see' anything. It was like there was this grey veil in front of my eyes, I never saw peoples' faces, colours, tv shows...I mean, I was there watching them but I didn't see them. So it could be like that. They don't have the sexual attraction because they're not really seeing each other.

As for what to say to them...I have found very few people who really seriously want to die don't talk about it or refuse to listen anyway. Those who talk a lot about it are often begging to have someone change their mind for them (often it's so they have someone else to blame when their life continues to be shitty.)

I still wouldn't mind dying right now but I'm not going to do it. But if some situation happens (accident, crashed flight, murder, wrong place at the wrong time), I'm ready to go and if I found out I had inoperable cancer I wouldn't seek treatment.

I think once I came to that realisation, that I wouldn't mind dying, it gave me the opportunity to get rid of the veil and look around. But it was very very hard work. Still is because there are tons of people very willing to tell me how shitty everything is.
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#3 Jean Grey

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:40 PM

I have been suicidal most of live with several failed attempts and fading scars.


So what did people say to you back then that you found helpful?

I think that all you can do is listen to the suicidal person's problems and be extremely understanding, except on the one point: their intention to kill themselves.

#4 alucard

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:50 PM

Nothing really... perhaps only point out that the human body is quite resistant to damage at times when you don't need it... :P ... :(

As for telling them to get over it... when was the last time you tried to tell someone, who's madly in love for example, that they're making a mistake doing whatever they do? :twisted: I imagine, if one could pull that off, then telling suicidal people to get over it shouldn't be much of a problem; never mind if you make enemies or not... :x *glare*

#5 Goonie

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:02 PM

it depends on the person and if they are doing it to get attention (like some I know )
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#6 gbrd143

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:19 PM

I honestly don't know the answer to that one, Zerick.
I think that asexuality by itself doesn't cause depression, and it certainly doesn't cause suicidal behavior. The problem is that it CAN cause a lot of broken relationships, and that sort of grief can become a problem, especially if the person is the kind that assumes that they are always to blame for everything.
I don't think that depression causes asexuality, either. It CAN cause a total lack of interest in all human interactions, so lack of interest in sex could be part of the symptoms, but if the depression is cured then the loss of sexual attraction would be cured too, in 99% of people. (Assuming that we are indeed 1%.)

Suicidal behavior is something else again.

In the majority of cases, people who threaten suicide are suffering from low self-esteem and feeling unimportant, so they do it in order to get attention and/or to manipulate others into going along with their wishes. They just don't have enough "people" skills to come up with any other methods.

The problem is that sometimes this is NOT the case and they are completely serious.

Another problem is that people who are already mentally unstable and manipulative enough to threaten suicide are sometimes also histrionic enough to go through with it if the threat doesn't get the results that they want - and out of nothing more than self-pity and misplaced spite! They tend to be focused on themselves and their own feelings more than others (again - lack of "people" skills), so they don't really think about the long-term effects that a suicide has on the survivors - or, if they do think of it, they don't care.

I have lost two important people in my life to suicide. One was my most beloved friend in my entire life, and the other one was my ex brother-in-law.
In both of those cases, the people made no threats at all. They tried to hide both their problems and their preparations.

If you know someone who is threatening suicide, and if you have reason to believe that they are serious, then you need to call the authorities. Get help for them even if they say that they don't want it. It may cost you a friendship, but it could save a life.

I wish I had some sort of definitive answer. One of the long-term effects that my past aquaintances' suicide had on me was that I now tend to see it as natural selection in action. It forced me to learn how to mentally and emotionally distance myself from any people who show signs that they might be prone to such behavior.

I know that isn't the best thing to do, but I don't see any alternative.

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#7 Wolf X Omega

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:35 PM

Ask them why they're doing it and counter point it, if it doesn't work, you can't do much, or that person is doing it for attention or she has a very strong will that what she's doing is better.
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#8 matt1285

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:10 PM

In answer the depression/asexuality link personally I don't see it linked.

When I was at school, I fitted the asexual profile (course then I didn't know it). Depression didn't poo on me until much later.

As for the other bit.....I don't know, I guess when you're a distance away it's difficult to know what to say....and know you can't do anything because you're too far away.

In the situation I know about I'd just recommend you being there when they need you....for some, just to know somebody cares can be enough.
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#9 downpour

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:03 PM

...
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#10 ily

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:44 PM

Aww, Zerick :( It's so hard to be put in that situation-- where someone is kind of making you responsible by confiding in you. I think if someone is threatening suicide, you should take it seriously...then if they're just doing it for attention, hopefully they'll feel stupid enough not to do it again. I guess it also depends on how well you know the people...do you know friends/relatives of the person that you can talk to about it? Because I really think that if they're talking about suicide in a serious way, they probably need professional help. (And I don't mean this in a bad way at all.) I know there are hotlines, like 1-800-suicide. I haven't called them myself, but maybe they could give you some advice on what to do?
As for asexuality and depression...I know my depression is genetic, because everyone in my family's been depressed, but I'm the only asexual. I don't think there's a cause/effect relationship in my case, but does being asexual somehow help...no. :wink:
I think a third factor might be the relatively large numbers of asexuals on the autistic spectrum. I know that being even slightly autistic can cause a lot of stress, in the way our society is formatted. So that can sometimes cause depression as well. :shock:

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#11 Loki

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:53 PM

I just tell my clients sometimes that they're just taking the easiest way out that suicide is not the answer to a tempoary problem as everything does work out in the end, eventually.


For asexuality its how well one accepts it and how ones outlook on life and asexuality is and it might does have some correlation to depression and so on.
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#12 Des

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:41 PM

Since I suspect it may be my thread that kickstarted all this, I'll step up and take responsibility.

I'm not suicidal anymore because I take my medication. But I've attempted suicide, serious attmpts I mean, five times.

Suicidal thoughts are about being in a place so deep and dark that death looks like the only way out. If you've never been there, you can't imagine the emotional pain, but I like to compare it to the pain of childbirth. Of course I'm a guy and I wouldn't know for sure, but it hurts a hell of a lot worse than anything else I've ever felt. A distant second would be the time I fell and hit a rock going about 50 mph and broke seven bones. It's much worse than that.

As to the topic of the thread, I have some experience talking people out of suicide. Now that I'm a bit better I'm a volunteer counselor and I deal with mentally ill kids and teens, particularly those with some form of the same illness I have. I've talked six people down from suicide, most of them more than once. The advice I give to them (and here) comes from doctors and therapists and everybody should know about it.

If someon is truly suicidal, you have to give them an outlet for their pain. At that point any outlet will do, even a harmful one. I have never suggested cutting or drugs to my people, but those are common ways many of them deal with it. Smoking is a relatively safe alternative. That's how I started smoking.

You have to treat anyone who's threatening suicide as if they were really going to do it. Never taunt them or say something like "I know you won't go through with it" because they just might. Instead, give them some coping skills to get through the worst of it.

The number one doctor recommended coping device is exercise. Exercise is proven to reduce all forms of stress, no matter how severe. It can be any form of exercise. If they can't or won't exercise, some form of harmless violence is a good bet: punching a pillow or a wall or something is good. Taking it out in a video game is good too. If the situation still looks bad, harmless forms of self-medication may be tried, like eating and smoking. Masturbating is good too, if they feel they can do it. Under no circumstances should you encourage or allow a suicidal person to drink alcohol or use drugs.

For someone who's emotionally inclined, crying can be the best medicine. Or shouting or swearing to nobody in particular, but it's best to do this when one is truly alone or with very close friends.

If the person is unable to do any of these things, just keep them talking. They will be reaching out to anybody for help, and the more you can talk to them the further from harm they will be. These talks can go on for hours, so if you intend to help somebody like this make sure you have plenty of stamina. If you can't, try to find somebody who can. Suicidal people will usually open up to anybody they don't perceive as part of the problem, so often friends are better than family. Doctors and religious figures are often the best.

That's what I know.
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#13 Damaris

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:29 AM

Get help for them even if they say that they don't want it. It may cost you a friendship, but it could save a life.


But, sometimes, lives aren't worth saving. Shouldn't that be taken into consideration?
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#14 acegal

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:44 AM

You have to live through the "crap" parts of life, to realise and enjoy just how good the "good" parts are of living ;)

#15 FelineFanatic

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:49 AM

I always say, "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

It tends to get one to think that hey the problem willl be over so you need to stick around for that and find a solution for the problem that does not involve demise.

I am not sure that depression causes asexuality, but depressed people seem to have a decreased interest in sex. However, if they were sexual before depression set in, I believe they are sexual again once the depression lifts.

#16 Pobblebonk

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:51 AM

[quote][quote name='"Loki"]I just tell my clients sometimes that they're just taking the easiest way out that suicide is not the answer to a tempoary problem as everything does work out in the end' date=' eventually. [/quote']

But does that help? Most people do tend to take the easy route in life, after all.

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#17 ily

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:44 AM

Get help for them even if they say that they don't want it. It may cost you a friendship, but it could save a life.


But, sometimes, lives aren't worth saving. Shouldn't that be taken into consideration?


Maybe, but when you're depressed, which is a state when you're in an illness and probably not thinking logically, are you really able to make that decision?

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#18 alucard

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 07:31 AM

I just tell my clients sometimes that they're just taking the easiest way out that suicide is not the answer to a tempoary problem as everything does work out in the end, eventually.


But does that help? Most people do tend to take the easy route in life, after all.

Most? Surely, you mean all... :P By default, I'd assume that if something was done, then because it was the easiest thing to do... or otherwise more preferable (which is not very much different), or in any other way the alternatives where not acceptable (same)

Maybe, but when you're depressed, which is a state when you're in an illness and probably not thinking logically, are you really able to make that decision?

Oh? And when is one thinking logically? When one's in love, by any chance?

#19 xBlackxRainx

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:47 PM

Get help for them even if they say that they don't want it. It may cost you a friendship, but it could save a life.


But, sometimes, lives aren't worth saving. Shouldn't that be taken into consideration?


Maybe, but when you're depressed, which is a state when you're in an illness and probably not thinking logically, are you really able to make that decision?


Then when is the cut-off point? At what point do we say that "you are irrational, we need to make your decisions for you from now on until we say you are thinking logically?" If someone wants to off themselves, they should be able to have that option, even if life for them will indefinitely get better. Which doesn't mean we should encourage it, and we can still attempt to defer them, but they have the ultimate control over their lives. If intervention is done, it should be done with consent.

#20 Des

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 03:25 PM

There is such a thing as a right to death. There is such a thing as a terminal mental illness. Not every case is treatable. I know if I as going to have to live the rest of my life with those voices in my head I really woul be better off dead.

That said, those cases are rare. Anyone who's lucid enough to be talked out of suicide should be.
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#21 funaladanaly

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:15 PM

People who say they want to commit suicide are reaching out for help. Those who are really serious about wanting to kill themselves won't tell anyone because they know that person will try to stop them.

If a friend comes to you and says that he or she wants to kill himself, talk to them, see if it is a fleeting thought or one that they have thought seriously about. If it is the latter, call a professional.

#22 Revenge of Rain

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:46 PM

You know, some people just like to talk about things with those they trust. It doesn't have to be a 'cry for help'. Maybe it would be in your case. All that proves is that, in this area, none of you think like me, or like several others here and elsewhere.

It's rather like Freud trying to force his cock-love upon the rest of humanity. It's bothersome and rude.

#23 TheBlueGreenie

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 07:27 PM

I condone suicide so I have never tried to talk anyone out of it. But what I really hate is people who just talk about it to get a little attention. I have seen alot of people incorporate the suicide threat into love letters or propositions of romance because nothing says I love you than the threat of suicide.

I honestly don't see the downside. Someone is miserable and they want to end their suffering so killing themselves solves their problem and it also ensures that all the people around them don't have to listen to them whine and moan anymore.

Didn't Switzerland or Sweden legalize suicide and aren't they they the happiest nation in the world? Hey I got it we could make our country happier as a whole if we let all the unhappy people kill themselves. Plus it would open up more jobs and balance this whole air and food supply thing we have going.

Not the most popular idea in the world but hey aren't we a country based on personal freedom so where is the freedom to die.

#24 funaladanaly

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:20 PM

You know, some people just like to talk about things with those they trust. It doesn't have to be a 'cry for help'. Maybe it would be in your case. All that proves is that, in this area, none of you think like me, or like several others here and elsewhere.



Say what you will, but from what I've read, ranging from books on the subject to news, that is the case more often than not. A lot of people who end up killing themselves gave absolutely no sign something was wrong first. People who tell others that they are considering it, if they actually go through with an attempt, many times it is a failed one. Attempts also are a cry out for help, even if the person doesn't know it him or herself at the time.

As for it is only the business of the person who is kill him or herself, that is BS. If the person wants to delude themselves with that thought to make it easier, fine. Suicide though is one of the most extreme selfish acts. You aren't thinking of anyone but yourself. Its all about you. Don't care about the people who love and want to help you. Don't care that your parents devoted so much of their life (and money) raising you. No, though don't deserve to be considered because it is your life.

Personally, to the whiners on the internet that I don't know, I don't care if they go and kill themselves. I'm sure their family and friends would though.

#25 alucard

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:59 AM

As for it is only the business of the person who is kill him or herself, that is BS. If the person wants to delude themselves with that thought to make it easier, fine. Suicide though is one of the most extreme selfish acts. You aren't thinking of anyone but yourself. Its all about you. Don't care about the people who love and want to help you. Don't care that your parents devoted so much of their life (and money) raising you. No, though don't deserve to be considered because it is your life.

If there's delusion anywhere, it's what you've written here...

#26 gbrd143

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:01 AM

Children are inherently selfish.
It is perfectly normal for them to think only of themselves and their own gratifiction, and to believe that they have no responsibility toward other people.
I think this is why suicide is more common among teenagers and young or not-so-young adults - many of whom may be legally adult, but not yet matured mentally or emotionally. They are still capable of believing that there is no reason to be considerate of others.

A big part of adulthood is realizing that we DO have a responsibility to others. That one trait is the single biggest sign of emotional maturity.
Sometimes it is hard for adults to look back and to remember just how perfectly appropriate it once felt to say "Me first", and to believe that such an idea was justified. That part of childhood, once left behind, is not pleasant to revisit once you realize how wrong it was.

I sometimes wonder if growing up might be even harder for Aspies. Obviously, Aspies CAN become emotionally mature, because I know some who have done so, and they are VERY considerate of others. They somehow managed to do it despite lacking natural empathy, and I wonder if it required in-depth study of human motivations and behavior (which was my method, even though I'm only a borderline Aspie) or if there is some other method?

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I firmly believe that suicide, except in the case of terminal illness, is NOT something that a sane, mature individual would even contemplate.

*ponders a possible idea for a new thread*

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#27 Revenge of Rain

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 05:27 AM

Humans are inherently selfish. It might not appear that way, but you act to please yourself, even if it's called altruism.

Adults are on average more firmly connected to a culture's moral system. If that's right then people like me are indeed wrong.

#28 alucard

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 05:49 AM

A big part of adulthood is realizing that we DO have a responsibility to others. That one trait is the single biggest sign of emotional maturity.
Sometimes it is hard for adults to look back and to remember just how perfectly appropriate it once felt to say "Me first", and to believe that such an idea was justified. That part of childhood, once left behind, is not pleasant to revisit once you realize how wrong it was.

:? I don't think emotional maturity are the right words here.

Unless having responsibility to others equals having responsibility to EVERYONE, I fail to see how not caring about people and believing to have responsibility to no-one is more "mature" as believing to have responsibility to some specific people, I assume, one would care about to being with - which is, in turn, selfishness in a sense similar to "if they're happy - I'm happy"; and that one would consider those people is quite obvious.

#29 funaladanaly

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 03:53 PM

I don't think emotional maturity are the right words here.



I think those were very fitting words. People do have a responsibility to others. That is what being a contributing member of society and a community means. That is why people leave behind wills, so that even when they aren't here, they can still help out their loved ones.

But, then again, if someone is a selfish, self-serving person then he or she won't feel they should think of others. There are those type of people in the world, and where I am sure their family would miss them, personally and honestly, I wouldn't.

#30 alucard

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 05:25 PM

[quote name='funaladanaly][quote=funaladanaly]That is why people leave behind wills' date=' so that even when they aren't here, they can still help out their loved ones. [/quote']
Funny, how this "emotionally maturity" is reserved more for situations with people one cares about...

Is this a "whoever doesn't take my feelings into account is emotionally immature" ? :roll: Reminds me of many scenarios I've heard . About people who wont... confess love to another person, for example, being afraid of possible negative outcomes. Gee, I'm sure they'd love to have some "securities", if you know what I mean :lol:

...pathetic.




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