Thursday, 10 September 2015

Suicide prevention for all.

This week in the  United Kingdom it is suicide prevention week and I would like to tell you how I helped 2 people who were both suicidal and in crisis emotionally. Its no secret to all of my followers that for most of my adult life I have had suicidal thoughts and urges through no fault of my own. For those that have read 'I blame the Hormones' you will know of my journey, what caused it and how it was resolved. Because of this , I am particularly interested in preventing suicide and helping people understand the causes and reasons why someone would want to die by suicide. I am cautious about using the words 'commit' because of the harsh undertones and associated stigma. I believe that the person who has passed was suffering from intolerable psychological pain and quite often had spent sometime, 25 years in my own case,desperately trying to survive. Suicide is not a personality flaw or a selfish act, but rather an ending to an ongoing and private battle that is quite often going on behind a mask of smiles, and quite often a dynamic personality. The late Robin Williams is a perfect example of this and this adds to the shock and confusion for those left behind.

Once I knew that my two friends were struggling, I asked them to bear me in mind if their suicidal impulses were too strong that they thought that they might cause themselves harm. I asked that they contact me as a matter of urgency and I would help them both which they did. Incidentally they had both made attempts before so I knew that they were both in danger and needed help with both of them showing signs of mental instability and illness.
So how did I do it??  What did I say?
The answer is I talked to them, lots. I talked to them about the trees and the woods and all things in nature. We spoke about how awful their illness is and how overwhelming the urges can be. We spoke about children and animals and I held their hands and told them I cared and that the feelings and urges would pass. In other words, I distracted them, and they knew that I would be here for them. I also asked if they wanted to go to hospital, (one did and one didn't) but I was able to contact the crisis team on their behalf and so help was now on the way. I passed the time in any way I could and we discussed all the good things about staying and not going away, even though sometimes its hard to find reasons to live in a world full of anguish. I told them that they might like to wait a while because after all you are a long time dead, so you might as well just stay for a bit longer and see how things work out! All of these things seemed to work, although the road for the suicidal is often complex and long. Quite simply we just chatted about our day to day lives and how we could change the outcome for them with all the things to live for. I was there for them, they knew I was there and the sense of isolation was over.

If you are suicidal and immediate danger I would simply pick up the phone. It maybe to a trusted friend, a family member or a crisis line (in the UK we have The Samaritans) for example. There are also forums online where you can talk things over anonymously and without judgement, quite often with someone that has been where you are. PICK UP THE PHONE. Go online, someone is there, someone will help always. Tell a friend, tell someone, even a stranger on the street that you feel unsafe and you need help urgently.

Incidentally, and to enable us to understand this awful tragedy taken by so many, the word that both of my friends used time and time again was TRAPPED. They felt trapped by their illness, trapped by their situation and had nowhere else to go with it. So of course this ending has nothing to do with dying at all, but an ending to an unendurable emotional pain with a sense of freedom in the subsequent oblivion that follows the suicide. A better place to be no less for the sufferer and his terminal pain, which of course isn't terminal anyway.
For further information for those touched by suicide, and to help prevent suicide, I would firstly read anything by Dr Edwin Schneidmann who studied for some 50 years and has written several books on the subject. He first coined the phrase 'psyche-ache'' and helped us to understand the frustrations felt by the sufferer and the sense of regret.  Or contact who have a whole host of information and will help you if you can no longer cope and want to leave this world. And remember, someone somewhere loves you and even when you cant see it, they really really do.  Make that call and wait a while ,is my advise to all.

The Samaritans-08457909090

Suicide Prevention-1-800-784-2433

Please, please share this blog today, it may help save a life.
Blessings as usual, Suzi.

'I blame the Hormones' is available now on Amazon and written under the Pseudonym of  Caroline Church.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog. Trying to help someone else that has had suicidal times during pmdd. I appreciate you sharing and suffering myself from pmdd, realized the friend that helps me the most distracts me also.