If you suspect someone may be hurting themselves, or considering hurting themselves — either through self-harm or suicide there’s an (I can’t believe I’m about to use the word easy) easy way to approach the conversation.
“Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. Is self-harm or suicide something that has crossed your mind? I don’t want you to have to deal with thoughts like that alone.”
You don’t have to fix anything (in fact, don’t even try.)
You’re not going to drive them over the edge by asking.
You just have to give them a chance to talk. Allow them to put into words the thoughts that may be going through their head.
Things become less scary when we talk about them.
So let’s talk.
I don’t want to be the girl who talks about sad stuff all the time, but I’ve read some pretty good stuff today and if you’re here looking for stuff like that I’d like to share:
- Megan wrote a lovely piece in response to a certain fellow who thinks depression is more or less a result of your faithless soul: “It [depression] is a gift because when I read of suicide or other depression-driven acts, my first response is to sob rather than preach.” Amen, sister.
- Adrienne took on the task of writing about her time spent inpatient. An Eternal Multitude of Despondency. Damn.
- This one from Kat Kinsman about going public with depression. “…I’ve lost too much time and too many people to feel any shame about the way my psyche is built. How from time to time, for no good reason, it drops a thick, dark jar over me to block out air and love and light, and keeps me at arm’s length from the people I love most.“
- This one from a Pastor (not that it really matters, but he has two degrees from Harvard and one from Yale in religious studies) is also a spectacular response to the above mentioned fellow who has rubbed so many people the wrong way. (I won’t link him or mention his name because I don’t want him to get the clicks but he’s easy to find.) “The thing is, saying ‘’no’’ to suicide is evidence that I am healthy enough to say no. But, if I should ever commit suicide, it will not be because ‘’I’’ made the choice, but because my depression would have.”
- And lastly, if you find yourself bothered by Robin Williams’ suicide (a lot of people have admitted to feeling a lot more feelings than they expected) I wrote this about why his death in particular is salt on a fresh wound for me and so many others.