You never thought you’d have to deal with a suicidal boyfriend, but here you are going through it and you have no earthly idea how to handle it. Honey, you are not alone, but you must think quickly and act wisely.
Have you ever thought about committing suicide before? Think about what you would want to hear. What would have stopped you? Perhaps, you should consider those things to say.
Just so you know, what you say is equally important as what not to say. I don’t know of any scientific evidence pointing anyone in the right direction to guarantee suicide prevention, but I do know key phrases to help you out. Keep in mind, however, every person is different and they have their own unique experiences.
What you want to do is to keep them talking in such a way they open up to you rather than shut down. Don’t minimize the situation or degrade him. You also want to listen… really listen to him. Let him know you understand as he probably feels misunderstood on so many levels. The more he talks, the better.
Don’t try and fix his problems right away either or make him feel better. He may become frustrated at your efforts and stop talking. Listen, here are a few of the tips I have learned from Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, to help you help your suicidal boyfriend.
Ask if he has a gun
You want to know if he has the means to get a gun or already has one. If he does, you want to take the gun away, naturally or at least the ammo. If the gun is locked away, ask for the key. You can get more information about gun safety and suicide by reading the gun safety fact sheet.
Ask why does he want to take his own life
You want your boyfriend to talk in detail and by asking this particular question, you can get a sense of the problem, prompt a connection and show him you’re really interested in what’s going on in his life. This is the time to listen and to ask more questions. Remember, you must continue to show empathy toward your suicidal boyfriend and understanding.
Ask what you can do to help
You can discuss ways to get him help, but assure him you are always there for him. Although you can’t force anyone to get professional help, you can’t be solely responsible for suicide prevention.
Ask when does he think he’ll take action
It may sound silly, but this is extremely important. Some people who want to commit suicide pick a time and a place to act on their suicidal thoughts. Besides, it will tell you if you have time to call authorities or his loved ones. Until someone arrives, here’s what to say next.
Say how it makes you sad to know he’s hurting
Empathy goes a long way when it’s sincere. It validates their pain and soothes their sense of being alone in thinking and feeling this way. Don’t say “You really don’t mean this,” or “Things are not so bad,” and especially do not say, “You’ll get over it.”
Let him know you’re happy he came to you
The last thing you want to do is to call him names like crazy and stupid. You may want to turn it around and tell him how hurt you would be if he was not around anyone. He may want to console you instead. However, this could backfire. It will be one more thing to set him off. If you make him angry, he may regret talking to you.
Read more: HOW TO TALK TO SOMEONE AFTER AN ATTEMPT
By telling him you’re relieved he’s sharing this information with you, he may feel comfortable talking to you or feel that you can handle his suicidal thoughts.
Melody Nolan of Treasure Lives understands most people want to be heard and understood. They want to get past feelings of hopelessness as well. Melody lost her brother to suicide and has dedicated her life to helping others with suicidal thoughts.
Remember, your boyfriend feels lost and while you’re doing the best you can call for professional assistance so you may better help him until he decides to get help on his own. Reassure your suicidal boyfriend that you care and nurture the connection rather than attempt further talk about committing suicide.
Just so you know, I used to suffer from major depression. I stopped eating pork in ’09. I no longer have those feelings of depression. Changing a person’s diet may have an impact on how they feel. This is just an observation but based on facts. Food makes us feel a certain way and pork, my friend, is nobody’s friend – I don’t care how good them pork chops taste.
Disclaimer: This blog in no way takes the place of talking to a professional for advice. If you or someone you know has thoughts of harming themselves, get help. God bless.