Why do you have to live
Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy
Threats of suicide must always be taken seriously. When you are confronted with the fact that someone wants to take their own life or threatens to do so, you are faced with a difficult situation for which there is no magic bullet. At this moment you should make yourself aware that the other person is in a dramatic exceptional situation and also that you do not have the power to save someone from suicide. Organizing professional help is the most important step in saving a person from suicide.
What can you do with acute suicidal intentions?
One can try to start a conversation with the person concerned. Basically, one should behave in an understanding and supportive manner and listening should be the focus.
It is beneficial to seriously consider what the suicidal person has to say and to ask how this desperate situation came about.
You can ask if you can be helpful in some form or if you can do something for the person.
Unfriendly reactions or rejection from the person at risk of suicide should not be taken personally and should react as calmly and patiently as possible.
If you feel overwhelmed or even blackmailed by the person at risk of suicide, there is immediate danger to yourself or to others, you should not hesitate to contact a psychiatric emergency service, the ambulance service (112 throughout Europe) or the police immediately.
What should you avoid in the case of acute suicidal intentions?
You should avoid good advice, attempts at persuasion and attempts at encouragement. These may only push the endangered deeper into their hopelessness, which is counterproductive. A suicidal person usually knows what is good to do. The problem is usually that she doesn't feel able to do so at the moment.
If the situation seems to have relaxed, the person concerned should not be left alone. Paradoxically, an abrupt improvement can also be associated with a particularly high risk of suicide, because the person concerned has already made his decision to take his own life internally and has come to an end with the environment, his counterpart and life.
Do not hesitate to get help or to go to the outpatient department of a clinic together with the person affected. It should be remembered that the main cause of suicide is an illness - depression - that the person cannot escape from. But it is easy to treat. If the active depression has resolved after a few weeks or months with treatment, the person is usually very grateful that those around them have protected themselves from themselves during the depression.
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