Letter from a Therapist to a Suicidal Person

Letter from a therapist to a suicidal person

When you come to me for help, I want to help you.

I hope you will let me.

I cannot know your secrets without your words.

I hope you will tell me.

Tell me, please, your thoughts of suicide.

Tell me your suicidal thoughts

You might feel scared to tell me

When I ask you if you are thinking of suicide.

I will try to help you feel safe.

I will not judge you.

I will not interrogate you.

I will not panic.

I will listen gently as you tell your story

In your own words, in your own way.

Suicidal thoughts

Suicide might tell you not to tell me.

Suicide might tell you I am your enemy.

Suicide lies.

Suicide might tell you that nobody could possibly help you,

That dying is the only way to end your pain.

Suicide might even tell you that you are a bad person

Defective, undeserving of life

Or love, or hope, or compassion.

Suicide

Please, tell me.

I cannot help you fight the enemy

If you do not tell me about the enemy,

The enemy that is trying to kill you.

Do not trust your suicidal thoughts.

They are not rational.

They are a symptom, a sign, a cry from inside.

Something inside you needs healing.

Healing, not killing.

Psychology Therapy

 Tell me, please, what suicide tells you.

Does it tell you everything that is wrong with your life?

Everything that is wrong with you?

Suicide plays tricks with truth,

Telling only the truths that make you want to die

Hiding the truths that make you want to live.

The pieces of hope.

The pathways to healing.

The possible.

next word

Tell me, please.

Or tell somebody else.

I am only one of many people who can help you.

But nobody can help you if you tell nobody.

Thank you.

One day you will thank you, too.

For telling.

For surviving.

***

© Copyright 2014 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, All Rights Reserved. Written for www.speakingofsuicide.com

Photos purchased from Fotolia.com

Related Posts

© Copyright 2014 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, All rights Reserved. Written For: Speaking of Suicide

Leave a Reply

Thank you for your interest in submitting a comment. Please take a look at the site’s comments policy.

259 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Amanda Harvey says:

    This was nice to read. My boyfriend of 5 years and I just ended it, again. Only this time I have the means to leave. I am terrified. I am not close to my remaining family (parents deceased). I feel like now that I could possibly make it on my own I am scared to leave. I dont make much money but have looked into affordable housing… He has forced me to leave before, went from “baby don’t go” to “leave now I don’t want to fucking see your face”. I suppose I’m sort of numb to his extremes now. Well maybe not, it still hurts that the only man I’ve ever tried to build a life with can be so cold to me and seemingly not be phased. There is something wrong with him, he has horrible mood swings. We both used to be abusive, bordering on physical, but I changed my ways. He, however, can still kill me with just a few words. It makes me feel sick inside with how much I wish he would love me as much as he does on good days, every day. Today he doesn’t love me. Maybe he never did. I pray to God to rid me of this pain because I am scared to be alone, and scared to persist with a man who I don’t think really loves me anymore. If I have to deal with him not caring, not seeing what he is doing to us, then I don’t want to feel anything. I have had suicidal thoughts on and off since adolescence, I remember writing my first goodbye note when I was about ten years old. I thought he and I could help each other feel better. His siblings are like my own family, and I hate to leave them. But what else am I to do? I can’t stand the hurting.

  2. Annah says:

    This helps. After breaking up with me and hurting me emotionally many times after my boyfriend attempted suicide I left. He was happier without me. And I was happier without him constantly melting down and abandoning me. After that I saw it as a statement that he really did want out. I can’t help him and he told me after he didn’t want my help. I love him and he loves me. But I have a son. He would always break down and hurt me right before important tests, or finals. I am so close to finishing I can’t have that kind of instability in my life. I just…can’t. I feel like the biggest jerk. I am so mad that he didn’t get help before this point after I begged multiple times. My little boy is heartbroken but it’s better than having someone repeatedly hurt and leave us.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Annah,

      How painful and upsetting to go through all that, and also to watch your son be heartbroken. The Resources Page has some information for loved ones of suicidal individuals; even though you and your ex are no longer together, perhaps some of those resources could be useful. Also, you might find this article helpful: “You Can’t Do Everything”: Limitations in Helping a Suicidal Person.

      I wish you the best as you and your son move forward and heal.

  3. Laurel says:

    Thank you for this. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today myself and I’ll be sharing it on our FB page, Seeds Of Cedar, with many others that may need to hear it, too.
    Laurel

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Laurel,

      Thank you for sharing. I’m delighted you left your comment because it gave me occasion to go to your page, which I’d not seen before, and which I love. I ended up sharing a zillion things on my site’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/speakingofsuicide/. Apologies for spamming your notifications as a result!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hello

    I am 64 yrs old and have had suicidal thoughts all the time daily nightly for over 6 yrs. They began after a psychiatrist hospitalized me not because I was suicidal but because I got upset that I was not getting better. I was taken away by ambulance and police from his office. This was extremely traumatic especially since the staff ridiculed me saying I didn’t really belong in the hospital and stuff like hope you have a lot of money to pay for this. But at the same time pushed ECT on me which I refused. In addition I ran into a former Psychiatrist who I had been seeing for over 15 yrs and who told me he couldn’t see me anymore because he had too many administrative duties yet was treating the person in the bed next to me and didn’t even acknowledge me. However they did put me on a bunch of Psych meds. That just made me feel worse. I had seen many Psychiatrists Psychologists and Social Workers on and off my whole life beginning as an adolescent when I was diagnosed as Schizophrenic and dosed with every imaginable drug at the time. None of which helped. The real issue was my family but I was labeled the sick one. At an early age who would know better. However if I was schizophrenic how did I go on to get a PHD ironically in Biopsychology and work as a professor in a medical school for 10 yrs all the while not taking any medication?? Tell me that!!! So I had long periods of time when I was very successful and accomplished many good things.

    At the time of that first hospitalization I was not really depressed at the time. Just very anxious after losing a job that I was successful at for 13 yrs the company was losing money and I was laid off. Also my longtime girlfriend left me with no room for an explanation or discussion. I tried finding other work on multiple occasions and tried to work from home but became Less and less functional. While other coworkers who were laid off got other jobs. I have worked my whole life beginning as a teenager and was never a slacker. I always paid my way and so became more and more anxious and began having panic attacks and extreme anxiety which I have had before on multiple occasions but successfully overcame them. Not this time though. In spite of being afraid to leave my home I continued to go to therapy and got support from friends. It has now been 12 yrs since I have worked a full time job and am now on SS disability. I feel ashamed that I decided to do this but I just felt I had no choice while all my friends have gone on to have good jobs and children or just seem to enjoy life despite some having serious hardships and/or physical disabilities. I have lost all my friends because I just can’t relate to them anymore and on the verge of losing my home. I no longer feel able to drive any distance since I have had multiple panic attacks while driving. I have tried to hurt myself on several occasions and ended up hospitalized and again ridiculed by staff especially around the fact that I had a PHD? and tormented by other patients. Before this I used to enjoy music dancing walks my work volunteer work and friends. Now I feel afraid to even leave my room. I have tried every med available as well as RTMs. As well as CBT AND DBT Emdr several bouts of Intensive Outpatient Therapy as well as residential treatment . I never speak of suicide anymore because the few times I did to friends or therapists I ended up in the hospital again accompanied by police. I am not a criminal. The last time I ended up in the hospital was because I couldn’t go shopping to buy food for my cat and became frantic and called the police. I am exhausted because I rarely sleep and I have become paranoid of hearing any sirens. I only shop to buy food for my cat and drive only short distances. I constantly blame myself because I feel like a coward because I have given up. I don’t really want to die and would like a more fulfilling life than what I have but feel in constant emotional pain and exhausted.

    • paul says:

      I find it interesting as well that you have a PhD that tells much though. All of us with much education do not think and act like most people. I have found that keeping quiet and to myself from many and have storys that I can give them about myself to the masses avoids much of the problems. We are smart and see the problems and lies in society, and as such most people are not able to handle the truth. Find a small few that you can talk with, and they are out there. To the masses of people they are afraid of the world and do see people as problems. Such as yourself and the drugs are to keep you quiet. Watch the matrix series, and keep in mind that the stuff that you notice is much like taking the red pill you are rejected and seen as a threat. Hope that this helps, and even reading magick in theory and practice by alister crowley may help as well. For all people the real world is very cruel, and not a nice place, valley of the shadow of death if you are religious. Some can survive and thrive because they can easily block out the pain and are basically psycopaths. The real world is quite a lovely place and very enjoyable to those with psycopathitic tendancies. They are those that rule nations and large corporations. Read about it in wisdom of a psycopath.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Anonymous, I’m so sorry for all that you’ve gone through. And there’s a lot! I hope you will not give up. Since it’s hard for you to leave the house, the Resources page might be especially useful for you because it lists places where you can get help by phone, email, text, or online chat. Good luck to you!

  5. Devastated. says:

    I am already half-dead. My wife is dead, and she was/is my other half. there can never be any joy for me. Joy is something shared and I have no friends or relatives with whom to share it now. each day, hour, minute is utterly meaningless. I so want to die. Right now.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Devastated,

      I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope you will reach out for help, whether from a grief counselor or from places focused on helping suicidal people (and grief and suicidality often come together). Maybe a grief support group will help. You can find a group near you by going to GriefShare.com/findagroup. For a list of places where you can get help for suicidal thoughts by phone, text, email, or online chat, click here.

    • Paul says:

      Devastated, look at the bright side you have not said that you have large debts hanging over your head such as student loans, you have not said that you have painful ilnesses, or living in constant pain and difficulty even getting your medications filled at a local pharmacy, you have not said any of the things that I would consider a good reason to end your life. After all there are those of us that used to think that life was something that could be enjoyed for a long time, and yet we live in fear that our government will take away the ability to live without constant pain. Also I see my bills getting bigger, and more of them with no more income at the levels needed to make life enjoyable. I’m in my 50’s and your life just sounds lonely, and that is very easy to fix. There are many people in this world that are looking to meet others. Also you could get a pet dog, as they are great companion. You could also try meeting people on yahoo meetups, and other such things. The loss of a spouse is an end, but can also be a new beginning to a long life that is filled with interesting things.

    • Christine says:

      I apologize that someone suggested that you 1. ”Look on the bright side.” and 2. Get a dog.

      That’s extremely insensitive to someone in your situation. People often open their mouths without knowing what kind of damage they are doing.

      I am very sorry about your wife.
      And I share you feelings about death.

    • Molly says:

      I am so very sorry for your loss. My mother lost my father when they’d been married 46 years. I can’t imagine going on, what the day to day loss is for you. Like you, I have no friends or relatives to discuss my grief with, only a paid therapist.

      I’ve tried joining grief/depression support groups but the only one I can find is very religious, while I am not.

      I don’t know if you’ll be able to feel it, but I am sending warm, healing thoughts to your heart. It’s amazing how much damage another person can inflict on each other, or how much loss one person removed from your life can create. It makes the Grand Canyon look small.

      I wish us both, if not happier times, at least more peaceful ones.
      I’m trying. I’m trying very hard. I don’t want to feel this way. You don’t want to feel this way. My everyday feeling of happiness feels decades in the past, but it’s just been a year. I feel a day being severely depressed feels like a week on its own.

      I hope you find the meaning you are looking for, and anytime you want to reply to me, I will listen. Without judgement, and with warmth.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Molly,

      I’m sorry for your loss and for the ways it continues to hurt you. To say of your loss “it makes the Grand Canyon look small” gives a stunning image of just how much you are hurting.

      You said you’re able only to find religious support groups. I wonder if you’ve considered online groups? The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors has online support, if you’d like to check that out.

      Also, there’s an extensive list of resources in the “After a Suicide Resource Directory” at http://www.personalgriefcoach.net/.

      You can also check out the Resources page on this site for other resources for suicide loss survivors.

  6. Maxine says:

    The last time I went to a therapist (two weeks ago), she told me I was too much of a risk to take on as a client because my suicidal ideation made me a liability.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      I finally found a decent and caring psychiatrist. Now apparently she is out of my network and I can’t see her anymore. First off, what kind of Psychiatrist drops a patient without a word to them? And second I have left her 2 messages which she has not returned. THIS is why people buy a gun and pull the trigger. Even the people ”helping” you only provide misery.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      I’m so sorry that’s happened to you. What you’re describing is not only unprofessional; it is also unethical. In many areas, it can result in someone losing their license!

      I hope you will look for someone new. Not all helpers provide misery!

      If you’re in the U.S., you can call 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) for immediate help, and they also might connect you with an agency in your community that has people to refer you to.

      Also please check out the Resources page on this website, at speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp, for places you can contact by phone, email, text, or online chat.

      Good luck to you!

    • Jessica says:

      Wow sounds like a shit therapist. Go to a different place. Please dont give up

  7. Mich says:

    Its soon time for me to go. I have no more strength to fight. So much anxiety and social phobia and the depression is off the charts. Its not even feelings I feel anymore. Im numb. Im ready to end this.
    There is an issue though. I’m a single mom to an 8 year old who will be destroyed.
    I know everyone will tell me what a selfish piece of Sh*t I am for even considering leaving her. The thing is I truly believe she will have a better life without me. She will have a chance. I don’t want to burden her. I don’t want her growing up having a mentally ill mother. I want her to not have these experiences.
    I’m planning this to help her. No one will understand this but it it’s so rational to me.
    I hate myself so much more for these thoughts at the same time. No one hates me more than I hate myself.
    I’m just going through the motions right now and I am losing the will for even doing that,
    I have a therapist. I just cancelled on her for tomorrow. She really isn’t much help. She really just doesn’t care. I have no one.
    I’m so ready but how can I let my child know I did this For her- not to her??? I need her to know this I did this to give her a better chance.
    No need to tell me what a piece of sh*t I am. I already know.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Mich,

      My heart hurts for you and all you are going through. You are believing things that your mind is telling you, yet you also acknowledge that your “depression is off the charts.” Depression lies! Do not believe everything you think, OK? Please tell your therapist or someone else what you’ve said here. Please let someone help you. You can start by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) if you are in North America. You can find other places to call, text, or email on the Resources page of this site: speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      Mich, please let people help you.

    • Paul says:

      First thing to keep in mind that usually the worst people in this world are those that feel no remorse about the harm that they inflict on others or might inflict on others. You have passed the first thing that I look at when I judge people and pass as a caring person. Also there is no such thing as a perfect parent or perfect people or person, they just do not exist. Each person has things that they are better at than others, different skills and different things that are wrong about them. Many people in this world that I feel should not be in the positions that they are in because they are a threat to society such as giving people that are psychopaths a gun and a badge and making them police officers, or government officials where they can do the most harm to society. Since you show concern about your child and that you raise your child right and not be a bad influence you can actually do that yourself. That is because you have the desire not to do something, meaning that you can avoid doing what you want to avoid. There are many helpful books and articles on the subject, and even classes at the local Jr Colleges on bringing up children. Perhaps you would benefit from taking one or more of those classes. Visit the financial aid office of the school that is close to you and there is a good chance that you can take classes with little or no expense to you. Again, because you care you can avoid being a problem, those who have no compassion or caring are the ones that do harm to others, and that is mainly because they do not care if they cause harm.

  8. Anon says:

    What if it is a therapist that caused this? The world no matter how ugly it can get can be dealt with, although someone who is qualified and has evil intent is hard to combat in every sense.

    I am sorry to say this,as there are so many good therapists out there also, having bad people working in that system turns the whole industry into a sham that helps none but themselves.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      I saw a psychiatrist who told me to 1- Marry a rich man, and 2- Get off ALL my meds and smoke a ton of pot.

      This man has a degree. This man should NOT be counseling suicidal patients. I am reporting him and I feel sorry for anyone who has to meet this repulsive person.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Telling someone you’re suicidal when it’s because of having no income, no job & feeling hopeless only makes things worse. They pack you off into a psych ward for a few days and then bill you thousands of dollars, because you have no insurance. This is supposed to improve my state of mind?! Personally, I think the ruling elite would prefer that more of us off ourselves. That way, there would be more money for them!

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      I told my Doctor, and therapist that if I were held in any way, shape or form, against my will, that the moment they let me out I will run in front of a bus. So if they really want me dead, hold me against my will.

      I have no one. No family here or friends. I have no one to advocate for me. And if you’ve ever been in ANY hospital you need someone to advocate for you.

  10. chyanne says:

    Many times things can’t get fixed and nobody can help u get back what you lost. If they want to die then stop judging them or making jokes about their pain. Make it easy and accessible away from children and let they and they alone can make their final decisions about their exit. If they change their mind then be joyous and give them hope and help. If not then be there 4 them so they don’t die alone. Let them stop think then decide. Support them in their decisions whatever they decide. Only God will know to welcome him in the kingdom of heaven. I hate when people say oh stop u r stupid. Get help. Help is bullsh#t. No one knows what is going inside your head but you. U can talk all u want and still end up nowhere. How many regular people and celebrities end up killing themselves because they couldn’t go on even with well meaning intentions. Not everyone can b saved. No one can tell if or when u will stop hurting. In the end u just want to stop and let the tides take u away. I’m not saying everyone who commits suicide wants to die. Just some of us who have nothing more to live 4. All the posts I c on suicide are jokes or just plain mean or stupid. If people want it there should be a 1 pill that they can take and be in peace. It should be everywhere.

  11. DUS says:

    I have seen countless therapists and have taken countless meds, been hospitalized many times, and I’m soon to turn 42 years old and there is no end in sight. I honestly don’t think there is hope or help for me, and quite honestly believe the doctors and therapists have no idea on how to treat depression. My depression has taken over my essence, I am no longer present in the mirror. The reflection I and the world sees is an illusion. I no longer try to seek help or believe there is a light, life is a sadistic scam. I welcome death. My depression has won, I no longer fight it, I have given up. Life is suffering, but I take comfort in death.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      Thank you for writing exactly what I feel.

    • Paul says:

      Keep in mind that Depression is only a symptom of a much larger problem that needs to be addressed with most of us. However like most medical problems the symptoms are treated instead of the cause of the problem mainly due to cost and profit. For me it is lack of the income that I was expecting, and medical problems such as infections that do not go away and injuries to my back and dental problems. This all goes back to lack of income and the unaffordable medical coverage that could fix my problems. Then on top of that I will probably never be able to retire due to student loans for an education that will never help me. Thing is I know that I am not alone in my problems and that there are millions just like me with similar problems. This does not make it easier, but the only thing I take blame for is being too honest for this world and too trusting of others. This again is the same for many millions of others. The only way to help me you and millions of others is to change the world for the better of all, and not give religious zealots control or those that profit off of the suffering of others. Keep in mind that the biggest difference between most people that live in the majority of society and those locked up in a mental ward is how they handle the world around them and little more. In other words how well they are able to not blame themselves for the pain in their lives, and find socially acceptable ways of dealing with the pain. Socially unacceptable ways only get people locked up or shot by the police. The choice is up to you.

  12. Charlene J says:

    I am a 62 year old grandmother struggling to find work and help my daughter and grandson. I suffer from feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness daily. My daughter is 30 years old and I am deeply worried that she will be homeless if something happens to me. I try to avoid trouble and not antagonize anyone. However, the more I work at trying to rebuild our lives, the more I am met with some of resistance. I ask that you would pray for us as we are trying to rebuild our lives.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      At least you have someone. My daughter took my grandson to a different state. Before she moved I saw him multiple times a day. Now nothing. I don’t pray. There is no god.

  13. Pjlmd51 says:

    Seriously LOL’ing at this bullshit article now that I’ve contacted no less than 5 therapists and not one will see me due to suicidal thoughts.

    • Satsuki May says:

      same here

    • Bob says:

      Many times it is about money more than anything else. Besides there really are people that care about others, then they could not afford it any longer. Just as when telling someones fortune with the cards… You tell them what they want to hear more often than not because if you tell them the truth you will likely never get paid… Same with psychology, it is not all that different than reading people with cards… If anyone thinks I’m not right about this, they have not studied both long enough. Both are a study of connections and how life works in stages. It is not like other things such as microbiology, chemistry and other such fields where the science is clearly the same each time. That is because it is impossible to separate the observer from the experiment as they affect it everytime.

  14. ٍِDEAD says:

    life is pointless , aimless . why am i living ? we will all eventually die , why not die sooner and let yourself free of this pointless world ?

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      True, but how? Pills are risky, don’t know how to use a gun, have nothing to hang myself on and don’t want to traumatize some truck driver by running in front of his truck on the freeway…. so, how?

    • LetsBelieveInFairytales says:

      Life is pointless, correct. But the alternative is even worse. Good luck to all the people with mental problems.

  15. Puck says:

    I am sure that others have the same feelings as me. There are basically two things that happened in my life that make suicide look as the best option to me personally. I am highly skilled with many technical things, but not so good with money. Decades ago I made the mistake of taking out student loans only to have the jobs be shipped out of the country. Then personal responsibility should go to those that made the possibility of paying those loans go away with any means other than discharge or my death. Then I had back problems causing me pain that feels much like being shocked with 230 volts. Pain medications work but we live in a country where we are more worried about people abusing medication than people getting what they need to have any resemblance of life. Why do people think that someone would want to go on when the pain is so bad that they are unable to even take a deep breath, walk straight, or get any enjoyment out of life. If there is a hell I am sure that it could not be as bad as living here without pain meds. I know many thousands of ways to end life, and hundreds of ways to make medication to help myself, but I am not legally allowed to even do what I can to make even my own life better. I am not allowed to help the ones that depend on me that I love. This country and others around the world other than less than 5 are willing to do what is necessary to help people but this is not one of those countries. I will probably die here in this country never able to retire because of being pushed down from regulations. Once a great country now regulates people to death as that coutries we are said to be different from and better than. I would like to live an enjoyable life for a while, but it looks like I am forced not to.

  16. Pjlmd51 says:

    People tell me to see someone about my depression and complex grief but I’m afraid if I told a therapist how much I want it to be over and how much thought and effort I’ve put into doing it one day they would put me on a psych hold. I don’t want to be on a psych hold.

    • Hernan says:

      How about if you focus on what causes you pain and how it affects your mood and livelihood, than discussing what you are doing to go through with it. You alone decide what to say to a therapist. They can help you reflect on addressing the pain and work together on things you can do to help you feel better. The better you feel, the lower the need to relive what you might have done to prepare. If they ask, you can say you’re not comfortable discussing that, because it brings you unnecessary agony. The idea is to focus on what can work for you.

    • Mike says:

      I agree with Hernan. As I stated previously, it’s probably best to compartmentalize what you say to a therapist. For instance, if I say I’m thinking of suicide, whatever else he does, the therapist is likely to ask me why I feel that way. So I might, with a bit of rehearsal, start by speaking to a therapist with an answer to that question, without revealing what supposed question my statement is an answer to. That way, I haven’t actually claimed or stated an inclination toward suicide, and the therapist isn’t put into a position of potential liability by not responding to such a statement.

      Just a thought.

    • Puck says:

      I would suggest that you talk to a priest about your problems, as they are not held by government to report as doctors are. Also same applies to lawyers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And what if your problem is not that you are in pain, but simply that you are empty? That you have no hopes, dreams, passions or even vague interests? You have family that cares about you, but there is a wall of grey fog between what they want and expect and what you are emotionally capable of. You had friends, but they long ago tired of attempting to enjoy your company and simply haven’t thought about you in months. You have plans, but why bother attempting to execute them when they mean nothing, even when successful?

    Every anti-suicide hopeful note and blog seems to rely on there being something for its target to strive for, hope for, LIVE for. If there never has been anything and I’ve just been sliding through life on a good starting position, why continue to maintain the pretense.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know how you feel! Its like there are brief moments where there’s this small flicker of emotion, but you feel like you’re in a box and know there’s no point trying to get out of it.

  18. sean says:

    I can say I won’t make this mistake again by telling a doctor that I’m thinking of suicide. I got to spend a week in a psych hospital. Lost my main client. Owe tons of money. I’m worse than before.

    • mike says:

      I agree. Psychologists, therapists, and other specialists try very hard to appear as friends, but their hands are tied with respect to the law. I don’t believe many, if any, of them have malicious intent, but they have strict rules to follow when a client tells them they have thoughts of suicide, whether or not they act on those thoughts. And society, in setting up those rules, feels justified (and a lot less liability) by claiming that the patient [you or me] is still alive, and that’s the most important part.

      Of course, as I believe you have stated in your own way, little of this matters if the result causes as much depression and loss as existed before the patient or client sought therapy. What’s the point of keeping someone alive only to leave them at a loss, in debt, and without significant follow-up help. It’s almost the emotional/ mental version of keeping someone alive who ends up greatly disabled or in a coma, but being able to claim “well, at least he’s not dead”. Really?? That’s society’s answer?

      I’ve found myself in the same place multiple times, and these experiences have taught me to ask for help cautiously, to compartmentalize what I share with whom, and to absolutely trust no one 100% – not a therapist, not a partner, not a family member, not a lover, no one. In the end, even the best of intentions are driven by the ‘helper’s’ sense of personal desire to help, not entirely due to a selfless act of reducing pain or discomfort of another. When we as humans “do what’s right”, it’s always what WE think is “right”, not necessarily what, in some way, is defined as UNIVERSALLY “RIGHT”. We do what makes us feel good, even if it’s to help someone else, because helping someone else still, in some way, makes us “feel good”. Right or wrong, we do things because of ourselves, not because of other people.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      I looked up the suicide hotline and they say it’s ‘extremely unlikely’ the cops would bust your door down. Not good enough for me. I’m not calling.

      I’m not religious, I’m an atheist, and lawyers charge by the hour.

      Fuck it. Just waiting on the refills.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same thing happened to me,I won’t make that mistake again either. I have a therapist who’s helped me all he can. I’m now at the point where I told him all I want to tell him, future appointments are a waste of time and money. There are things I can’t talk about with him, because it’s to far fetched, talking to friends aren’t really an option for the same reason. That feeling of being trapped is overwhelming, and I need a way out. To the best of my knowledge, suicide is the only way to find peace in my heart. The only problem with that is that I attempted suicide twice and am afraid to fail at it again. I know what I need to do this time but don’t have the courage, yet. Social media might help, there’s some very mean and cruel people in the world today, just waiting to be the reason for someone’s death.

  19. keerthi says:

    I am 23 years old. I love a boy so much.He also loving me a lot.But we are different religion. We can’t live without each other.But my family members are not accepting for marriage. I have told to my family that i can’t marry anyone except him and also i can’t marry him without your permission , i can live with you forever and please don’t force me for marriage. But my parents can’t accept that.They are told that if i married him, they can’t live. I understand their feelings but I can’t marry anyone except him??
    We don’t know what to do. We can’t live without each other. What can we do?? I am so stressed. I don’t have energy to face this . Please i need your help . Please say that what you think

  20. Clara says:

    I lost my Bpd/npd mom to suicide 22 mos ago after her 6th known overdose.i was the last one at her side (with the ICU staff) at her last breath. She had everything one could want except herself. Ironically, I’m a psych prof. Im on leave b/c I have a very serious medical condition with a poor prognosis. I have no hx of mental illness. I loved my mom very much & was away most my life & didn’t realize the severity of her problems (but knew of my siblings’) until I stayed with her to be near better medical care. I was isolated (“a caged animal retard” & constantly threatened and in fear but too frail to escape. I finally got out & stayed elsewhere & finally made it back to my own home and walked in the door and got a call to come back if I wanted to see her again. I went. More abuse by my brothers the week there. Illtherer gi back. I’m worried b/c I’m not normally depressed & am trying go survive this medical problem which is affected every aspect of my former stellar, active life… More isolation as im currently homebound. a year Of grief therapy made me feel constantly retraumatized. I realized I had few happy memories (she pressured me to continue the family lies I was trying to break free from, as my mother feared abandonment & ingrained in me the importance of my full if origin) of my mom and my therapist lacked focus & boundaries. my grief therapist actually gained my trust only to keep me down and tell decide suddenly (she was high anxiety herself) I was the worst person in the world (kinda familiar & I felt relieved to stop seeing her). So, my question is can u recommend readings or an approach for suicide survivors of bpds or whose loved one was abusive. I honestly stolkhom Syndrome best describes my problem. I’m so grieving the loss of my abuser who happened to be the person I thought was my best friend but who, as an adult I learned that best friend was just an image she ingrained in me. She encouraged my brothers (who I also later was unintentionally handed evidence by my dad with dementia who never was very nice and most like I am but never protective & Now is violent & loving with my brothers who want his estate) & dad to physically harm me, starve me (they wouldn’t let me have my food I bought & had delivered, and really the list is endless but I couldn’t get any help b/c my mom lied to everyone who might help me, even the police & finally my doctors reported it but & I got out but with my rights violated b/c my mother who they took out on a stretcher numerous times told the police I was schizophrenic & it’s in the police reports, despite memos and calls from my docs. Ppl who did know the truth, she scared away. No one helped me. And after her death, they couldn’t understand why I was so heartbroken. She was my mom! I though I won her love. Ppl envied our relationship. It waS a lie I know now but i can’t seem to get over it. I’m at the point where I feel I really like I mean nothing to no one and have no ability to live as the goal oriented person I am. I am normally funny, resilient, productive, helpful, successful, active, fit with lots of friends. They have no use for me. They don’t want to be stuck beimg my caregiver when I actually don’t need one! My condition is rare & ppl don’t understand. So I obviously am bad at talking abt this and sorry this is disorganized. I’m typing on my phone & it’s hard to see. Please advise me what approach(es) might help Stockholm syndrome and suicide survivors of loved ones with bpd (cluster B overlapping disorders). I honestly don’t want to end up a statistic cuz I know I must be vigilant abt my emotional status given my mom, even though I am sure I don’t have bpd. I am not even normally a victim personality. I can’t stand that I was a victim. No one outside my family ever laid a hostile hand on me & I never allowed myself to be mistreated, but now I can’t find that person I was. I feel like she was stolen or deeply buried inside me or my mom took part of me with her to her grave. I want myself back but I feel like I was pushed off my mom’s roller coaster before it crashed & burned and I’m still trying to find my way home out of the carnival park in the midst of all the heavy dust I can’t seem to brush off or get out of my eyes. Im worried I’m depressed. I once was on antidepressants (many kinds) cuz when I first got sick, the internist (like moat docs) didn’t know anything abt my medical condition & told me I was depressed & I thought “wow, I didn’t realize it but OMG, I am.. I’m not doing my normal activities [I was sick not depressed], I’m tired all the time [that’s typical of my medical problem], he’s right, I’m depressed but I never knew depression caused these other specific medical findings, okay I’ll go on meds.” that was a disaster and they made me depressed which convinced me he was right. Finally, my real problem was diagnosed & I tapered off the antidepressants. So, im afraid of trying them again. My doc suggested we might try some supplements. I had to duscontinue one of my medicines because that can make ppl suicidal and it started with ninightmares & I had to tell my doc I cannot be on any meds that can have psych side effects. So, I started going to a suicide survivor support group and that was good. But I really feel I need an approach tailored to ppl with Stockholm syndrome over a dead person! It would have been better if I realized sooner what she really was like but leaving home young also is what I think saved me from ending up hateful with nothing like my brothers. at least I had a great life even after I got sick but until my mom started trashing her liver & each time her behavior git worse & I was in utter shock and fear. Also, I have my own estate. So, I learned how to live in the world quite well but I feel I forgot beimg confined three yeears except to go for medical care. I couldn’t even leave my room. My mom texted me from the next room & if they came in, that was scarier & if I was caught looking for my food I got injuries. I lived on whatwver I could hide in my room when I could risk sneaking out when they were sleeping. I’m happy I’m safe in my own house now but I don’t know why I want my pparents back after they hurt me (my mom knew she hurt me I later learned she wrote To someone else) but my dad wouldn’t hurt me if not for his dementia, but he wouldn’t help either. Please give me some direction abt approaches, readings, anything. Sorry FOr the length. I’m very sad. It hurts to fhe core. I can’t hurt myself but I can’t be like this or risk getting worse. Thx

    • Jules says:

      Read “daughters of narcissistic mothers” and evaluate if the Info is insightful.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      My son sends me hateful email. My daughter won’t speak to me, and is taking my grandson who I’m incredibly close to, states away. I’m ill and in pain most of the time. You know that ”someone loves you” bullshit… in my case it’s just that, bullshit. The only people who ever really loved me were my mom and dad and they are dead. I hope I will be too soon.

  21. Saandra says:

    I am very well aware that I would be hurting the others by killing myself.. But what is worse when the so-called ‘parents’ in your life doesn’t care about you? I mean at least, that’s what I feel. They have their own issues, struggling to beat each other’s status, etc.. Forgetting me and my brother in between all that commotion.
    I have been to a psychologist asking, literally pleading for help. And now, I guess it’s been almost 2 years or something.. But I started feeling like I am becoming a burden for her too. Like why on earth should I go and talk to her about my crappy/shitty life? Why should I call and disturb her every now and then crying or feeling bad about my life? Am I being a liability for her.. All these thoughts just covered me up.. and Now I have just stopped talking to her.. I don’t communicate with her now. I have completely stopped it. I hate being a burden for the others, be it my parents, friends, relatives or even my personal doctor. The biggest irony about my issue is my mom is itself a counselor, helping kids all around the state.. She doesn’t seem to have the patience or love to talk to me…Listen to me… whateva.. All she says is I am selfish.. I am good for nothing.. I am waste now…etc etc
    Now after all this do you still think I can or is there ANY use for me to live on now?? Any reason?
    I have none.. My parents WERE the first and the foremost people I respected, not even my boyfriend cares now.. So why would I want to live? Now Is there any wrong if I had killed myself?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey there, first let me say that I hate when someone tells you that you’re being selfish.
      You finally build up the courage to tell someone and gather your thoughts then try to express it all succinctly to express exactly how you feel deep inside your soul and they stab you right in the heart while facing you with “you’re selfish”!
      Of course it “sounds” selfish because it’s about you! It’s your soul, your inner self that you’re expressing! They are the one being selfish! What have you done? Nothing! Merely poured your emotions out, not acted on anything, but they bypass all of that and add fuel to the fire.
      Anyway, before I get more emotional about that response, I feel for you! From what I’m hearing, you just want a little interaction, some reciprocation of attention. It’s a basic human need of socialization, for affection.
      Now I do have a tip for that though. I found that if you show interest in others first, then you’ll receive the same back. Show some love and get some. Be excited to see someone. Fake it even but you’ll still get results. Now, that isn’t fool proof.. Some folks are just self centered and arrogant, egotistical jerks. Which could be the case for those around you. You could just have a crappy family and you’ll have to accept that. Maybe even flip your ideas about them and turn it comical or to your advantage. Because you being depressed takes away attention from them and they see that as you bring selfish.
      Anyway, I digress, you may have to ween out the jerks by showing love then when you receive some back from someone, stick around them!
      My parents were similar but there was also a lot of abuse and violence. When I cut the bad ones out of my life things got better. But I was left with only distant family.. You may be lonely from cutting them out and starting over but you’ll find new people that care and grow a new family of good friends.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, I feel the same as you. My mom has BPD, she drinks a lot… My dad just got out of prison and my parents fight all the time. If I ever talk about being depressed or anxious or upset my mom calls me a spoiled brat and tells me it’s my fault and to grow up and get over it. I have been seeing a therapist for three years but I am starting to wonder what the point is. He is always busy and sometimes I feel like I waste his time because there’s nothing he can do to help me. I feel like I should just quit going but I know that isn’t true. My therapist just like your psychologist is a professional. I don’t know how your psychologist is but my therapist can be extremely blunt. If the things I were thinking were true, he would have already come out and said them. I honestly think this is true for your psychologist too. She gets paid to help you. It’s her job. She decides to schedule appointments for you. You shouldn’t stop talking to her just because you feel like a burden. You obviously aren’t a burden to your mom because how can you be if she basically ignores you? It’s your mom’s fault that she is doing this to you, moms aren’t supposed to treat their children that way. But you have to forgive her. You have to let people go… and do the best you can everyday so at least you can feel good about yourself for trying. I think you should go and see another therapist/psychologist and get some help, maybe it would be helpful to hear a different perspective?

  22. Tracye says:

    It would be nice if therapist seemed to be this sincere. My feeling is that they want to take the easy way out and not dig into the persons past and have an idea of why they feel that way. It’s just easier to address that emotion on the surface. Put a band aide over the abscess . Case closed they are through with you.

    • K.B. says:

      I’m in MN, and I had a therapist who kept trying to push DBT this and DBT that. It was my FIRST session with her.

      I skipped my second session, and went to an anonymous, free therapist, walk-in clinic. I figured the people there volunteer their time, because they care. I was right. The therapist I work with there, now, is amazing, and everything I had hoped for.

      If you live in MN try “Walk-In Clinic”, and if you don’t live here 1) I’m sorry for you, 2) find a clinic like this in your own area… I would assume they can’t be terribly uncommon.

      I also think, maybe, the fact that she hasn’t been in the field terribly long means she’s quite a bit less jaded.

  23. Michel G says:

    I have been principled all my life. I am overly gifted in all things. I have only abuse and slavery for my troubles . for years i’ve heard thé same words over and over , be patient have faith it will change.
    Simple pleasantries for childrens ears.
    There is no truth in faith.
    Patience guarantees that life will pass you by.
    How do i feel?
    With my hands.
    I have no feeling for feelings.
    I have no désire to feel yet more pain.
    My life has already ended twenty years ago.
    Simply existing hurts.
    I should not have been so thoughtless as to prove thé good doctors wrong in coming back to life eight hours after they declared me dead, how dare i not be dead, they are thé experts , not you.
    No it wasn’t suicide, i was at work earning money i did not need with no thoughts of ending it.
    My life was declared over nonetheless.
    I should have had thé good grâce to be as thé doctors declared.
    Who on earth wants this?
    Why suffer ?
    Help

    • Hernan says:

      You write very well. I agree, being patient does guarantee life will pass by. I came to this site because a friend of mine jumped from a fifth floor. Somehow she’s alive, and is now dealing with everything else that comes with the attempt. I didn’t know what to write to her, so I ended up in this site from many others. But your words resonated in me. See before, I would have never thought she would be one to have such feelings, now I know they can happen to anyone, even the best of people. At times in my life I have felt what you mention about life passing by, but if we know passing by is not living, may I ask, what are those things that make you feel with your heart, rather than with your hands? I ask, because for me, the dark feelings quiet down the more I spend time doing the things that make my heart feel.

  24. ALo says:

    I been depressed for almost now 3 years and it’s one of those ups and downs moments.I haven’t told anyone on how I feel until now and I just dont know if I want to continue. I have been sexually harassed as a child and it haunt me everytime on how scared I was. Sometimes I blame everything on myself and ask myself why I’m even living I used to have a lot of suicide thoughts but I tried my best to stop and I did self harm during the 2 years I got depressed but now I’m trying to not do it because I’m tired of hiding it. I wish I could tell someone how I feel and get it out my chest. It’s very hard for me to tell how I feel to others it was not that long ago that I told my mother that I was sexually harassed. It was very hard to even say it to her I wish I could change the past. I don’t want to commit suicide because I don’t want to be selfish and want others to deal with my consequences but I’m tired everyday and stress on everything it is very hard to continue going and don’t know what to do. My parents don’t know what I’m dealing with don’t want them to know since it’s already too much for them to bare with. I know that I am not fine but I don’t have a choice. I can’t get help and I don’t want help. I don’t know what I’m going to do in life I’m scared and know that I will struggle to be successful and been put through so much hard work. I I know I have good grades but I just think I’m stupid and can’t don’t anything right. have failed life but I want to get better but I don’t know how.

    • Nansadie Tatum says:

      Hello dear I read your comment and I want you to know that you have said enough for someone to help although you say you don’t want help. Things can get hard and I truly do not know your story but like you I have gone through many trials and tribulations and have come clear out on the other side. If you want to talk I’ll leave my email… don’t hesitate. river4sadie@gmail.com

      Yours truly.

  25. Paul says:

    I just want to die plane and simple I’m never happy alone I just don’t know

  26. Originalpugsly says:

    Nearly 35 years and still waiting for me to thank myself.

  27. Q says:

    im 22, turning 23 soon, im from Malaysia so wat im experiencing may different from most of the comments here
    i just realize i might be suffering from depression this couple weeks, although the symptoms appeared almost few months ago. i done some research and read through comments in this site. i didnt had this problem for long so i cant imagine how other people in the comment section are feeling or the hardship they went through. im scared that my condition will get worse. im thinking of killing myself for the past week, but too scared to do so.
    im feeling so sad and down, im graduating from university soon, real soon, but my supervisor is giving me a hard time, he is racist and treat me horribly. sometimes i just feel like exploding and argue with him but my results is in his hand, and im so close to graduating. im kinda the “smarter one” among my bro and sis, so my parents always expect alot from me all these years, i cant fail them now just because my supervisor treats me badly. i know my situation sound not very serious and childish at some point, but my emotion is getting worse that it scares me. my roomate, who is also my best friend has finish up his thesis and went home, im alone in my room i cry everyday, i didnt eat cuz i dont feel like eating, even tho im hungry. i would cry so loud and scream in my pillow cuz i dont wan to disturb people next door, at some point i cry so hard i suddenly turns to laughing loudly. this scares me so much, i think im going crazy, im not even sure wat symptoms im having anymore.
    i just cant bring myself to tell my parents, i think my best friend noticed im getting very emotional but i dont think he knows im very close to killing myself right now.
    i fell in love with a girl before, a year younger than me, but i was too scared and no confident to ask her out(i had some bad experience before) so i just watch from afar. but couple months back i learnt that she is dating my best friend(the roomate i mentioned), i cant even describe how i felt. i dont blame him, since i never told anyone my feeling, but the true pain is when he would ask me to join them for dinner, go for movie and many things, the 3 of us knows each other very well so it seems like a normal “hang out” thing for him to do but to me it is hell. i know i have to give up on her but meeting her almost everyday like this isnt helping. then one day i found someone special, someone that actually able to get tat girl out of my mind. i actually feel happy, stressfree when she is around me. tat was the perfect chance for me to move on, this time i wont make the same mistake again, so i confess to her. but i was rejected. she is a nice girl, she keep saying sorry to me after rejecting me.
    i have many other problems but i dont feel like sharing it here.i dont have any major problem that cause my depression, actually i dont even know why i have depression, i just starts to feel all those horrible emotion and realize something is wrong, after doing research only i know i maybe suffering from depression and suicidal thought. all these little memories are coming back to haunt me everyday. im thinking of kill myself but im scared, im scared of death, im scared of pain, but i just wan to get out of here, im tired, so tired of everything.
    i feel terrible, everyone in the world just wanted to fck up my life
    I think i need help

  28. Jessup Paula says:

    your letter expresses an understanding. most people don’t, they think we want to hurt everyone, and that we don’t care about anyone but ourselves.The truth is in our minds when we are planning all this, we are doing everyone we love a favor. we are pretty convinced nobody cares that much anyway. i know i have had goofed dreams of my funeral where i am in a pine box and no one showed. i take medication, this isn’t the way i normally think…when i run out and the stress gets bad…oh boy,…oh oh!…Why is it doctors don’t believe that that can be true?…That makes no sense to me, they should know

  29. jen says:

    I’m lost. I am sitting here thinking of a reason to live and I have none. I have no family and only a couple of friends….My therapist told me she would not work with me if I threatened suicide so I don’t. But it feels so strong right now. What do I do?

    • Mary says:

      Get help.don’t suffer anymore.do it for your self you’ll be glad you did..

    • Bella says:

      The very reason you decided to be in this earth, besides being one into the most satisfying universe, is for a pity reason like most humans. There is no purpose of this earth except your own. The universe in the end is full of purpose , it is the definition of purpose. After all you chose to be here just to try it out. Life and death have no meaning. Especially not in this earth. It was supposed to be fun, but the partisipating souls took it too seriously and then the idiots blamed society. Do what you will, the definition of pure life is internal.

    • MNT says:

      Jen. .fight it!!!!! I know it’s hard but reach deep down past those thoughts into your conscience and tell yourself no!!! Give yourself a fighting chance to seek and find the help that you need.. there are so many wonderful reasons to fight that overwhelming feeling of grief …what you need to do Jen is GET TO A PSYCHIATRIST, tell them your thoughts and feelings AND GET ON SOME MEDICATION OR HAVE YOUR MEDICATION ADJUSTED. THEN GET A NEW THERAPIST!!! How is that therapy to tell a person in need of therapy that they can’t help you cause you’re thinking about taking your own life???..she’s a failure at her job!!!
      Jen…there are medications to turn those thoughts and emotions off so that you can begin thinking healthier thoughts and begin healing… and build on a life of things that you enjoy…I’m sure you can think of something you enjoy and go from there. .make more friends, who knows you may meet someone and then you can start your own family. I hope I don’t sound like I’m being insensitive or that I’m over simplifying things I certainly don’t mean to. Life is a gift!!! Don’t waste it love. Embrace it! No one says it’s going to be easy…but take on that challenge. Life is what you make it. ..I still struggle, but I thank my higher power every day that I found that strength and that I’m still here and didn’t give up.. I found that helping others and paying it forward is very rewarding..you’ll find your niche. Just be patient give your self time to grow. ..peace be with you…

    • Tom D says:

      You don’t realize it but more people care for you than you think. Depression runs heavy in my family and I struggle with that and suicidal thoughts every day. My older brother killed himself a while back cuz he felt alone with his struggle. The line of people at his funeral was out the door and down the street!! I saw the faces of family, friends and people that barely knew him… All had heavy hearts that day.. I saw what it did to them and how it felt for me to lose him. So I don’t hurt myself just so I don’t punish those people. You could be the Rock of someone and not even know it! It really does destroy people inside when you kill yourself. Others might feel responsible, ones that you don’t want to feel that way.. A secret crush, a loved one, a family member, a neighbor, or even a child that looks up to you.. But you didn’t know or take the time to notice them. So live! Even if it’s just for someone else! It’s a reason! It might save someone else’s life. You could depress someone else and they commit suicide.. Be strong for someone else that’s weaker than you. Seek help if you want or need it. I choose not to because I know even though I think of suicide, I’d never do it. I would break the heart of my mother and father.. And I’m not even close to them. I also have a child that I adore and it would mess him up.. My life is theirs though. I’m alive for them. It may not be a good reason but I’m still here, and that’s what counts..

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Tom, thanks for sharing your perspective. You might be interested in the book Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It, by Jennifer Michael Hecht. The author makes an argument similar to yours – that by staying alive, we help others.

      Sadly, this is easier said than done for many people. Depression, trauma, hopelessness, and other forces of suicide can distort a person’s perspective so much that they think others will be better off without them. Or they feel so much pain that all they can think about is ending that pain. Or they hear voices telling them to take their life. And so on. For people who are not yet at those extreme points, the welfare of others can be a very important, compelling, and valuable reason for staying alive.

    • joe says:

      Well I’m at that point and I have no reason. Did you find ur reason

    • Ethano. says:

      Jen find a new therapist as soon as you can. You’re being bullied by the one you have, if he or she can’t have a frank and honest discussion abut what you’re feeling then you need one who can.

  30. Anonymous says:

    In response to the person that asked if anyone ever told their therapist about suicidal thoughts. I did, all it did was put me in a place where I didn’t want to be, a mental hospital with no rights. I was basically treated like a prisoner. Although I was told that I could leave at anytime,and that they could not keep me against my own free will. Believe me, I wanted to! From what I hear, insurance probably wouldn’t have covered my stay if I had left before they “released ” me.Now I have been labeled as psychotic because of the psychosis diagnosis. When in reality, I consider myself depressed more than psychotic.My family did not support me at all after I was hospitalized.That has to be the worst feeling anyone can go through, especially during the holidays. I basically am an orphan wandering aimlessly through this screwed up life! I love you too! I don’t have answers, and I don’t know who to go to to get them. I’m told to forget about the past. How’s does one do that when there are so many scars to heal? They say time heals all wounds,I may be running out.

    • needtogo says:

      Im sorry you went through that. Its not fair and it shouldnt have happened. I just posted about this very thing the other day. So who do you talk to once youve been “trained” to fear punishment for talking to a therapist? I know it seems like they dont exist (and for the most part, they dont), but there are a few therapists out there who dont believe in involuntarily hospitalizing patients. Ever. They are few and far between, but they are out there. I have a therapist who would never even consider hospitalizing a patient unless THEY are literally begging to be hospitalzed. Otherwise, she doesnt consider it an option. She doesnt ever throw a patient away. I could have a gun to my head, and she still wouldnt lock me up because she knows the damage it would do, and she knows that making that call would guarantee my death because id have no choice but to commit suicide to avoid being hospitalized. . .They’re really hard to find, but keep looking. And keep in mind that even if you do find one, it may still be hard to set aside your concerns and speak freely sometimes, even if you know you have no reason to worry with them. Sometimes the past will come back to haunt you no matter what, but as long as you know they are safe to speak to, you’ll probably eventually be able to trust them, and then you can try to work through those scars. Personally, Im with you – I dont think one can just forget about the past either. I think things need to be dealt with to move beyond them. In the meantime, there’s tons of places online – forums and stuff – where you can share whatever is in your head without worrying. Worst case is that someone says something hurtful, but no one you meet online can punish you for being honest with them. . . . Good luck 🙂

    • Tom D says:

      I couldn’t have said it better. If you say what’s really going through that nutty brain of ours, we get put in places we don’t want to be and they add more bills, which make you want to off yourself even MORE!!!! They say they’re there to help but they really just force you to ACT a certain way and never mention your real thoughts again.. It exacerbates the situation exponentially. Then you end up truly alone! It’s a broken system. The best therapy seems to be things like this.. Hearing others with similar thoughts.. Cuz that shows you’re not that different.. Like it’s ok to feel this way cuz others do too. Let those feelings out, the thoughts out. But don’t take action, see what life has to offer. Maybe it gets better, maybe worse, but you’ll end up stronger and in the end, you may help someone else that was suicidal.. Maybe you can understand how they feel and get them through a rough time.. To truly understand something, you gotta go through it. So fight through it and learn from it. Be someone’s HERO!

  31. Scarlet says:

    My psychologist told me that my suicidal thoughts and past attempts are a sign of selfishness. I even explain to her that I was feeling at times deep emotional pain, and a feeling of hoplessness and that was my way of stopping the pain and suffering. She replied” that is a selfish act, you should be thinking of your husband and the family you will be leaving behind and the pain you will be causing them. I left her office feeling totally worthless…

    • Kevin says:

      Scarlet-
      Find a new therapist!
      It’s B/S What She said.
      What She’s doing is creating fear-of-treatment/therapy/therapists: you’re There for-help, not ridicule……you are the customer! *Always wondered what providers like-Her would do if We could demand Refunds.
      As a Sufferer, You/We need every-ounce of Energy/Hope/Positive-Influence we can-get.
      As a …..former ?…..Sole Caregiver, We want the best for You/Our Loved Ones: I realize/now-know personally how near-impossible Seeing-The-Positive-Side/Finding Strength Is.
      If It helps, maybe using your love for your family as-motivation??
      I realize even That may-be a stretch, but surviving any-way-we-can-find Is-often All we-can-try.
      YOU’RE LIFE…..YOU…..YOU’RE HAPPINESS ARE IMPORTANT, AND MATTER EQUALLY AS-EVERYONE’S.
      I’ve found many faults in the Mental Healthcare System: it blows my mind That the very system we look-to for help can allow bad terapists/treatments.
      Please, do the-best you can…..find a therapist Who listens/truly cares for you. Fear/Ridicule ARE NOT parts of-any kind of treatment, period!
      I won’t use “fluffy words” or say anything is-easy…..we both know It’s not! Nor will I say even a Good Therapist can work Instant Miracles: an idea I realized myself is wrong.
      It takes time…….I know, you’ve suffered so-long: It can take you more effort Just to get out-of-bed than “normal” people may go-through all-day/week. Many mornings I carried my partner to the bathroom….just that one little thing……because-of His Pain/back hurting so bad.
      But PLEASE, somehow…..anyhow….fight to “see another sunrise”…..”give your husband a hug”.
      Just A Hug: we do It all the time without thinking…..I would give every organ, every drop-of-blood in my body for one-more-hug.
      YEAH……hugs really are That powerful…….and now, priceless!
      You’re a Warrior, Scarlet, fighting for Hugs, Sunshine, Love…..another Christmas.
      TAKE NO SHIT, EXCEPT NO EXCUSES…….
      Best Wishes/Thoughts for you Sister Warrior!

    • Definitely find a new therapist. Her lack of understanding as to what it means to be in that place is shocking.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fuck her!! You are allowed to feel that way! Just like any other emotion of feeling, feel it, embrace it or vent it out.. I think about it almost every day.. If I didn’t talk it out with someone, it would stew and make me feel isolated and alone till I might act on it. Letting it out to others like you allow me to feel better and not weird. I think it’s normal, just don’t actually do it.
      While I do see her point and agree that it severely hurts others, that is the wrong approach to someone in the mind set like us.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, right… The therapist says You can tell me if you have suicidal thoughts, I will not judge you, i will try to help you feel safe, I will not panic… yadayadayada B.S.! The psychiatrist that is telling you that you can trust them is lying and will call the police and have you Baker Acted at the slightest mention that you might have had the slightest feeling about not being able to handle your life. The Baker Act allows the psychiatrist to have you taken by the police in handcuffs (though you have not committed any crime) and have you incarcerated in a nasty ‘snake pit’ type psychiatric prison. (Snake Pit is a movie about a horrible psychiatric prison). Never divulge your feelings to your therapist unless you want this to happen to you because it absolutely will. They will imprison you in a cell against your will for 72 hours and not allow you any outside contact. The conditions onside such facilities are horrid – floor cleaner for shampoo, a shared group comb that hundreds of people have used, a shared common area with many people that are very mentally ill (literally raving mad) and violent. Likewise if a person attempts suicide. How do I know this? Because it happened to me when my wife left me and took our young baby with her and did not allow me any contact. My whole world was gone in an instant. It would be extremely abnormal if a person wasn’t severely depressed in that situation! Mention casually about life being meaningless without them and next thing i know i’m handcuffed and on the way to the ‘snake pit’. Was held for 72 hours and had to see a judge (while shackled hands and feet like i’m f’ing Charles Manson) to get released and then put on ‘probation’ for it. Never trust a therapist!! The ‘snake pit’ had the f’ing gall to send me a bill for their ‘services’!!! I never paid them an f’ing penny and told them off.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Anonymous,

      It sounds like you had a horrendous, traumatic experience with hospitalization, and that in itself is an understatement. I am so sorry those awful things happened to you.

      For you and for anyone else reading this, please keep in mind that there are hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. They are not all the same.

      Although the way you were treated disgusts me, there are many others who do not meet the same fate, many others who are, in fact, helped by hospitalization. I wish your experience had been one of those.

      Also, a clarification: The Baker Act is in Florida only; it is the law permitting involuntary hospitalization. It should be NOT be invoked merely for people who speak of suicide without a plan and the intent to act on that plan imminently. Involuntary hospitalization should be an absolute last resort, due to the psychological trauma and deprivation of civil liberties that it imposes on the suicidal person.

      A good therapist or psychiatrist would never move to involuntary hospitalize some for, as you put it, having “the slightest feeling about not being able to handle your life.” Good therapists are out there.

      I know this might sound ludicrous to you, Anonymous, given all you have gone through, but please know that there really are people who can help you. For information about how to find a therapist who does not overreact when suicide is on the table, check out this post: How to Find a Therapist Who Does Not Panic.

    • needtogo says:

      Sorry to hear you went through an involuntary commitment. I have also. It is awful. Every time. …The type of places you described are disgusting and are a nightmare to try to live in. Even the private hospitals that were basically clean and would be considered a “humane” choice by the shrink who would commit someone against their will are still inhumane……

      So to those professionals who think there is ever a good excuse for locking someone away against their will: NO HOSPITAL IS A HUMANE CHOICE. Involuntary hospitalization is always inhumane because your most basic rights and freedoms are ripped away from you, which is something that is only supposed to happen when you commit a crime. A person who has done nothing wrong should not lose their freedom. Ever. Going outside and breathing fresh air is a RIGHT. Being allowed to control what dangerous chemicals do or dont enter your bloodstream is supposed to be a RIGHT. Being allowed to refuse to let someone strip search you is supposed to be a RIGHT. A psych patient loses all of those rights even though they’ve committed no crime, and that is wrong. Patients in hospitals have even fewer freedoms than criminals in prison do. A criminal in prison can refuse to take meds, and they get some time outside to breathe fresh air each day. Patients dont have those rights. There is no time outside. If a patient tries to refuse their meds, they will either never be released until they agree to ingest those dangerous chemicals, or they will be held down and drugged against their will. In fact, theres lots of things you can try to refuse, as a patient, that will lead to you being held down and forced, or tied to a bed for hours on end…….

      So yes, its true that some hospitals are better than others in terms of sanitary conditions and things like that, but they’re all horrible places designed to strip you of all your rights and all of your dignity. They will take away all the rights that are supposed to be afforded to you as a law-abiding citizen. When you are hospitalized in any kind of inpatient facility, you will have fewer right than criminals in prison, and the staff will be able to treat you and your body however they wish because the laws allow them take complete control of your freedom, your life and yes, even your body.

      If a therapist thinks there is such a thing as a “good psychiatric hospital” or a “good reason” to hospitalize a patient – be warned, from someone who spent all 6 years of her adolescence being shuffled from one place to another, and who was abused equally in both serious shit-holes and “really nice” private hospitals – Those therapists are not safe people to talk to. Dont tell them anything at all. Whatever help you could get from talking to them is not worth the risk of being traumatized by being involuntarily committed, no matter where they would put you. Its only safe to share with therapists who know and acknowledge that psychiatric hospitals are all horrible places where no one should ever be forced to live unless they’ve committed a legit crime that warrants a loss of all rights and freedoms… The forced strip searches alone are enough to traumatize someone forever. How can any sane person think its ok to do that to someone who has committed no crime?? Everyone should have the right to refuse to be stripped and violated….but if youre committed, even to a “nice hospital”, you’ll lose that right too…

      No hospital is safe, and no therapist who would hospitalize you is safe. Stick to therapists who are categorically opposed to involuntarily hospitalizing patients.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “needtogo,”

      Thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. I agree with you that involuntary hospitalization can be devastating and even cruel. But there is something I struggle with about removing the option altogether. What if someone is in a psychotic state of mind, absolutely divorced from reality, doing things that are grossly dangerous to himself or herself or to others, and clearly acting in a way absolutely opposed to what they would want once they were in a different state of mind?

      For example, if a mother with post-partum psychosis is hearing voices telling her that all children are the devil’s army, and the voices command the person to kill her child and any child she sees, and the mother desperately wants to strangle her child and other children, and the antipsychotic medications given on an outpatient basis are not easing her psychosis, would you not agree that the mother should be contained in a safe environment?

      Now, what if the mother is hearing voices saying she herself is the devil and needs to die to save humankind? And what if it’s absolutely clear that, when lucid, this is not what she wants for herself? Should she be “permitted” to kill herself when it is not something that she would ever want for herself once she is out of the psychotic state?

      I don’t have the answers. Intensive home treatment, where professional carers come to the person’s home instead of the person going to the carers’ hospital, is one possibility. But the care would need to be thorough, not just a brief visit once or twice a day, as happens in some places, in order for the person to remain safe. Until that happens, involuntary hospitalization is sometimes needed, in very limited and extreme circumstances.

    • needtogo says:

      If the person hasnt committed any crimes, then the answer is very clear actually – they’ve done nothing to warrant losing their freedom, so taking it is baseless. Its just cruel and unusual punishment in a situation where there should be no punishment at all, cruel or otherwise, since they’ve committed no crime. A therapists frustration is not a good reason to strip someone of their liberties.

      Bottom line is this – Each hospital runs a little differently, but they all share some common protocols. When you commit a patient, there are certain terrible things that will happen to them no matter where you put them – they will be held prisoner and deprived of things as simple as fresh air. They will be repeatedly stripped naked, through restraint if they refuse the violation, without any probable cause for a search – only because their captors can do whatever they feel like doing…because they’ve had a bad day, because they said so, because it’s tuesday….whatever reason they come up with will do because they know – based on the fact that she’s there – that no one cares about the patient or her rights, so no one will stop them. They will be drugged against their will on a daily basis, with drugs that most of the time do far more harm than good, and if they refuse, they will be strapped down to a bed (even with a calmly-stated refusal – with no agitation at all), and they’ll be told they wont be let up until they agree to allow themselves to be drugged. It becomes nothing more than a power struggle to the staff. If the patient continues to refuse for days, then they will remain restrained for days. . .There’s plenty more, but I think Ive made my point.

      So if you think a person deserves that, then sure, go ahead and throw them away like trash. But if you think a person deserves better than that, then they should never be locked in a place that will do those things to them….There’s no excuse.

      I dont know what this aspect looks like from the therapists side, I assume they have all kinds of justifications they use to make themselves feel less responsible, but from the patient’s side, I can tell you this – The therapist who sends a patient into that situation knowing full well what will be done to them there, is just as responsible for what happens to them as are the people who actually carry out the therapist’s wishes. That is why it is dangerous to speak to a therapist who will even consider involuntary commitment. When you are locked up and both your rights and your person are violated, the therapist is the one who arranged it. Why should anyone feel safe talking to a therapist who would arrange something like that?? If your therapist told you that if you say the wrong thing, she’ll call someone to have them rape you, would you risk telling her anything? I hope not. No one should ever feel safe talking to someone who threatens to have them violated if they say the wrong thing. Its just not safe. Safe people would never even dream of going out of their way to hurt you.

      The truth is that whatever is wrong with someone to start, traumatizing them isnt going to help, and therapists know that. They’re locking someone away in an environment where they know that patient will experience things no one should ever have to experience. They don’t do it to help – they know it will make things worse. Involuntary placement is spiteful and hostile. It doesnt come from a desire to help – it comes from a therapists severely negative feelings toward the patient that makes them want to punish them.

      I am sorry to hear that someone who thought it was a good idea to start a page like this one is also someone who has such deep hatred for people in pain that she would ever, ever consider so deeply traumatizing the very people she claims to want to help. That’s very disappointing to hear. What you wrote up top sounded so caring. It was very misleading…..But its also very common, so i suppose its good for people to see how a therapist’s mind really works. Even if you find a therapist who claims to want to hear everything and help you, most will still turn around and hurt you. They’ll punish you for doing exactly what they asked you to do – what they told you it was safe to do. It was a trap all along…….Traumatizing someone for life just for following your instructions….Forgive me, but that seems wrong. (unless you really have no idea what goes on inside these places when someone is committed…although, that would still seem to suggest that you shouldnt be willing to send anyone there without knowing what youre sending them into)

      I guess Im sort of sorry for being argumentative about this, but Its extraordinarily frustrating to hear anyone trying to justify something that traumatized me so deeply and so completely. To hear anyone say that they think there is ever a justification for the horrors that go on in those places is truly disturbing. I know I didnt deserve it. No one does. It makes me really sad to know that there are so many people out there who think theres even a possibility that I may have deserved one single second of it. Shrinks may have the final say, but it doesnt make them right. Even my current therapist says I never shoud have been locked up, and she knows me and every detail of my situation back then. They were wrong, they were lazy, they were heartless and careless, and Im the one who suffered for what was wrong with them. The things they do to patients in hospitals are never ok. Its been almost 20 years since I was released, and remembering my time there is still part of the reason i ever landed on this site, if that gives you an idea of how long lasting the effects of commitment are. No one deserves that. Ever.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      Your experience is why I won’t seek help. I know they’d lock me up.

    • Pjlmd51 says:

      And they have ”72 hour psych holds” in many states, not just Florida. It’s my state too.

  33. Anon says:

    That was actually beautiful.

    What if it feels rational though?

    I don’t have Major Depression anymore so I’m not irrationally suicidal. But I’m having bad thoughts. They torture me regularly. I try to prove them wrong and convince myself that I would never act out on the bad thoughts. But I can’t make them go away. I feel like at some point or another my only options are to either turn myself into jail (which is stupid because I’ve never committed a crime) or end my life. But I chickened out before when I had depression so I doubt I will attempt when I don’t have depression. My psychologist got me to promise to tell if the suicidal thoughts came back but I don’t know if this counts or not. They seem rational this time. My reasons for dying is to protect people because there is a chance I am dangerous and I don’t want to be dangerous. I’m waiting for a bit though just to figure all of this out before I do anything.

    Has anyone had experience STOPPING bad thoughts? If I could just stop the bad thoughts I wouldn’t be afraid that I’m dangerous and then I wouldn’t need to end my life (or go to jail).

    Did anyone ever tell their therapist they were suicidal? What happened? Did you regret it later?

    • Anon Again... says:

      Can someone please reply?

      I need these thoughts to be over. Please tell me how to stop them. I’m running out of options. Or if no one can tell me how to stop the thoughts can someone at least tell me how to bring up unspeakable things to my psychologist? These thoughts are too horrific to verbalize. Can you get arrested and be put in solitary (without a trial) if you ask? I’d be afraid to go to jail but I would rather go there than be a danger to anyone. But I’m not brave enough to go to jail which is making feel feel even more evil. I’m not sure what to do.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hello Anon,

      I’m sorry your thoughts are tormenting you in this way. It sounds terribly painful. Although I don’t provide counseling on this site, I have a few pieces of general advice:

      Please tell your psychologist what you are thinking. He or she cannot help you otherwise. From what you’ve written, it’s not entirely clear if your thoughts are about taking your own life, doing harm to others, or something else. It sounds like you fear you are dangerous. And you don’t want to be. It sounds like you really want help. Let your psychologist help you.

      In your first comment you wrote, “Has anyone had experience STOPPING bad thoughts? If I could just stop the bad thoughts I wouldn’t be afraid….” Please know that there is significant research that shows that trying to stop (or suppress) thoughts tends to make them even stronger. (See, for example, Wenzlaff and Wegner, 2000.) Instead of trying to stop bad thoughts, it’s usually more fruitful to learn to observe thoughts and accept them for what they are: not facts, not commands, not imperatives, but thoughts. Just thoughts, not actions.

      This is, of course, easier said than done, because our thoughts can feel quite real and powerful. That is why I recommend you share with your psychologist what you are dealing with. If you are worried about hospitalization, talk with your therapist about the circumstances in which he or she would view hospitalization to be necessary, so that you can have an understanding of how what you say might affect you. Please also keep in mind that many people who have been hospitalized found the experience to be helpful, even life-saving, though of course there are also many people who have found hospitalization to be unhelpful and traumatic.

      Although I do not recommend relying solely on self-help in the context of dangerous impulses (whether toward yourself or others), here are some resources that might be a helpful supplement to the work you do with your psychologist:

      Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. This book, by the psychologist Steven Hayes, incorporates principles of acceptance and commitment therapy to help people observe and accept their thoughts without trying to stop, change, or suppress them. The thoughts might not change, but people’s relationship with, and reactions to, their thoughts do change, and this enables a more fulfilling, committed life.

      Eleanor Longden’s Ted Talk, The Voices in My Head. Although Eleanor Longden’s Ted Talk focuses on her experiences with auditory hallucinations, her words of wisdom are applicable to anybody who experiences intrusive thoughts, with or without hallucinations. She talks about the need to stop fighting the thoughts (or voices, which really are a variant of thoughts), to listen to them, and to receive what they are trying to show you.

      The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). This hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day. They are a good place to call between therapy appointments. I also have listed other resources for help with suicidal thoughts at speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      Good luck to you, Anon. I wish for you the peace, healing, and support you seek.

    • Anon again... says:

      Thank you Stacy. I really appreciate your advice.

      To clarify, I am having bad thoughts/impulses about doing bad things to innocent people (including family members that I love very dearly). I don’t want these thoughts/impulses and I try to do everything possible to ensure I won’t act on them. But these thoughts and impulses are so gross/powerful/evil that I am terrified that I will act on them and that is making me want to die. I would rather die in order to prevent my loved ones (and other innocents) from being traumatized (by me) than to live and see them hurt. It’s just so horrible. Plus, now I’m afraid that I actually like these gross bad thoughts and that makes me feel even worse. I don’t think I can just accept these thoughts. They are actually so evil! I’d be afraid that if I accept these thoughts and stop fighting them than I would be one step closer to acting on them. (That’s not a risk I can take especially when the safety of my loved ones is at stake.)

      I would like to tell my psychologist. (She actually asked me if I had any “distressing images, impulses or thoughts that kept entering my mind” on the first session. When I started crying she tried to help me feel safe talking about them but I just couldn’t.) They are so horrible and I don’t think I can say them out-loud. But she seems like she would understand though.

      I know what her involuntary hospitalization policy is. She explained it in the first session. I don’t think I’m suicidal enough to be sent there yet. But I’m still kind of afraid to bring up the bad thoughts because they are making me suicidal and I don’t want her to stop me if I do end up going through with it. At the same time I also really trust her and we have done good work together so far. So I do want to stay alive and keep working with her. If she asks the right questions I wouldn’t lie to her. I think I will try to tell her. She is trustworthy and hard to shock so it will probably be okay if I tell her.

      Thank you so much for your comment! You have been very helpful.

  34. Staci says:

    Effy…I am so sorry of how you are feeling and were treated by these ‘professionals’…I too have gone twice to two different ‘professionals’ one time to each. Both were AWFUL experiences, so I totally understand how you feel in regard to seeking ‘professional’ help. I have several autoimmune diseases that cause me severe pain 24/7 and 2 meds I am taking are opiods, given by prescription by a Pain Management doctor. The first thing both ‘professionals’ wanted to do was to get me off the opiates immediately, they acted like I was a drug addict from minute one! I take my meds as prescribed, they don’t get me high, they just take the edge off the pain. I was not there to speak to them in regard to the treatment I am currently receiving medication wise. I was there to speak to them in regard to my mental state and how to deal with the complete and total changes in my life due to the illnesses I am battling. Neither were compassionate or wanted to speak to me in regard to why I was really there. Because of how I am feeling physically and mentally I am giving it one more try actually with my husband to go see a therapist to see if it helps but the minute she starts the same way the others did I’m out of there. I really thought as you and many others that they were there to HELP you NOT to judge you, to listen and to give you valuable ways to feel better mentally. Technically, I am paying for a ‘service’, and in other areas of life if the service sucked, you can get a refund! I’m not saying that if the service doesn’t work, that they’ve really done everything possible on their end to try in a non-judgemental, caring way to help you and it doesn’t work despite their true best efforts, that’s a different story. However, I have never seen the side of a therapist such as this. It’s all about how much money you pay and don’t forget when you’re 45 minutes are over, you’re 45 minutes are over period! Whoever the therapist is that wrote that letter it sounds very well-intentioned but I know for myself ,people like yourself and many others who are not treated kindly as people. I have been ill for 5+ years and have seen SO many doctors and the great majority of them could really care less about the person and so much more about whether you have health insurance and which one you have! I was recommended to a rheumatologist by my family doctor who claimed he is the best in his field in my area she herself has gone to him. When I called to make an appointment at the time I did not have insurance instead of being able to work out a payment plan with me of some kind the only way that I could see him is to come with $500 for an initial consultation to see if he is even willing to take you on as a patient at all! Seriously WTF! My illnesses have now made it impossible for me to work and at the time of no insurance it was a choice between care from the doctor or paying essential bills so I chose to just continue to stick it out for an undetermined amount of time, as I had been. I have yet to find a doctor who actually cares more about their patients than they do about making sure that they get paid all they possibly can for their ‘service’. Yes they should get paid but they’ve also taken an oath to help the sick and it seems like in today’s day and age those types of doctors don’t exist anymore. It’s all about you being able to help them make their next car payment for their brand new BMW!
    I am sorry I am venting, I do not mean to change the main subject of you and your issues, I just want you and others who were going through similar issues to know that they are definitely not alone in how they feel or what they are going thru.
    I wish you the very best and really, truly hope you do receive the help you need. Please don’t give up, there are people out there who can completely identify with how you feel and what you are going thru. You may not be seeking help for the same reasons, but you are trying, which is better than doing nothing at all. You are valuable, and worth someone to help you in a respectable and kind manner! Please don’t give up.
    XOXO

  35. Effy says:

    I had a therapist…through the NHS, so I was allowed a whole 6 sessions, no more. She spent 3 sessions telling me to find another job as if it was so easy to do and as if that would change my entire worldview.

    I didn’t see the point in wasting another 3 sessions.

    I tried to find another…and I saw a very nice advertisement on facebook by a local counsellor….I asked one question and she ignored me…then was rude and hostile and blocked me. Professionals don’t even want to help me.

    I genuinely don’t want to die…I know what good things there are in life…but I also know that the bad things far outweigh them. I know that these bad things won’t change by me just simply holding on to life. I know that the one way to make it all stop is to just be gone.
    So it hurts so much to TRY to get help, to TRY and find someone who will help you and have them turn away from you.

    I knew I didn’t matter to the people I know, but I thought a professional who I’d be PAYING might at least give me a chance.

    No chance. No second chances.

    Spent 28 years wasting everyone’s time trying to get this life anywhere near on track and it’s been long enough.

    This poem is nice. I’m sure the therapist behind the words is nice. I’m sure others are regularly helped by its words and by its author.

    And it hurts to want it to mean something….and it just doesn’t.

    • K says:

      Good morning Effy-
      Hope today gave you the courage to see the Sunrise with Us.
      Yeah, me too….That’s as much Super Sweet as I can handle too.
      I’m on your/my partner’s side-of-the-fence now too.
      When He Completed, I almost sympathized with his decision: I saw, now feel from my own experiences of a_shole therapists how hopelessness feels: I always thought people in Mental Health must really care, but see different now.
      I’m not gonna use any fluffy, make-you-sick words, ’cause I don’t believe them either. But I hope you’re still here with us, for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can relate

    • K says:

      Hello again Effy, It’s K: I hope, somehow, anyhow, your Easter was nice. We don’t know each other, but still hoping you’re doing the best possible. I wish I could’ve been enough for my partner to live…worst heartbreak/pain ever.
      Good thoughts and prayers for your strength and courage to fight.

  36. dc says:

    What a lovely letter! I have battled depression for more than 2 years and I found a lot of help from my psychiatrist and psychologist. However recently I am experiencing a relapse and I feel really suicidal. I even have a detailed suicide plan and I have the urge to carry it out in the near future. I have a lot to live for- my 3 young kids, a loving husband, a good job, a nice house…. but I still feel the urge to end my life.

    I am scared to speak up about my true suicidal feelings now, because I am afraid that if I tell my psy that I am strongly suicidal, he would admit me to hospital. I prefer to die rather than go to hospital because the stigma of hospitalisation at this stage in my life would ruin me anyway.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Recently my niece had a termination as her baby’s brain wasn’t developing, my dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my mam is relying on me more and more. I have BPD and can’t cope. In addition my ex has reported me to the Dept of Work & Pensions for suspected fraud as he recently wanted his share of the equity out of the ‘marital’ home where I still live. He thinks that as I was able to provide him with such a large sum of money, I shouldn’t be claiming benefits. I have done nothing wrong. I was given the money in a private arrangement (I wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage) and have made an inclusion in my Will that this money will be repaid when the house is eventually sold. Because of my BPD and acute anxiety I am dreading the appointment next week where an investigator will be coming and asking me loads of questions. I am feeling like self harming and overdosing. I feel suicidal. I am aware that I am in danger at the minute. I actually want to be admitted to the local psychiatric hospital. But I can’t get the help I need. Because I was diagnosed with BPD by a psychiatrist (12+ years ago), I don’t get to see another psychiatrist as their job is to make a diagnosis and let the local mental health team know what meds to give me. As I have attended a DBT course, the recommended treatment as recommended by National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), the mental health team say they have carried out all their responsibilities and have referred me to the care of my local GP. She is aware of my feelings and thoughts but she is limited to issuing repeat prescriptions for my meds! Because I am aware of my thoughts and feelings I am not considered at risk, even though I know I am. Even writing this I am considering overdosing. Why can’t I get the help I am asking for? In the Uk the medics are all for ‘care within the community’ rather than hospital admittance, but I am not receiving the care I need. I feel as though in order to get the care I need I would have to overdose and then call for an ambulance so that I could be assessed, but this is manipulation and I know the medics would see it as this and again refuse to admit me. It seems in some countries medics are quick to make psychiatric admissions even to patients who don’t want to be admitted but here (UK) I am having the opposite trouble. I KNOW I am in a dangerous place. I KNOW I need help. But I aren’t getting any. I actually feel like committing suicide and leaving a note saying I asked for help but didn’t receive any, just to highlight this situation.
      I am virtually begging for help. Why won’t anyone help me before it is too late. My mood is getting worse. I feel nobody cares about me. I feel I have no worth. And the medics seem to be reinforcing this way of thought. I really feel I am reaching the end of the line, I have no alternative.

  37. Forlesia says:

    I want to kill myself, I worked through an addiction, got my life back went back to work in the federal government. I never imagine that I would ever get sober, I thought I would never get a job back in the federal government, but I did and I began to start my life all over again. Now after 23 years of being sober and being back in the Federal government and now getting fired from a job after all these years. Now losing that and not fairly either, I am thinking I want to end thsis now, and I want out of this world feel like I want out. Go to the doctor and they give me pills but I don’t feel nobody understands this pain, I pray but do God even hear me why don’t he love me what have I done for him to allow this to happen to me. This is my story life of failing, losing out and pain and I don’t understand why.

    • stessie says:

      I’m sure it will be alright,…plz dnt do anything…..I`m sure you will be fine. You will be alright,…I`ll pray for you 🙂

    • Mark says:

      Randomly, I got on Pinterest tonight. A person that I follow, posted the, “Letter from a Therapist To a Suicidal Person”. I read it. I was about to close it and then saw your note at the end.
      I believe in God too. It cannot be coincidence that I saw your note. I will not panic. I will ask that you somehow take the time out for me and let me in. Let me have a small opportunity to chat with you and see where our conversation leads us.
      Mark

  38. Teiah says:

    but what happens when you finally tell everyone, and no help comes from anywhere?

  39. Not so okay anymore says:

    I thought I was going to get better, I really did. I had made a previous comment and my name was “Surviving”. Here’s an update: So, I am going to tell you my life story so far. When I was 8 years old my mom and my dad got a divorce. It was a pretty nasty one too. Then, when my parents got a divorce my mom started drinking. Shortly after that, she became a chronic alcoholic. And… she started beating me. At the ripe age of 11 I had to hide my bruises from all of my friends at sleepovers. She would get drunk and then beat me almost every night I was at her house (it was 50/50% parenting time. So I would be at my dad’s house 50% of the time). Then, when I finally had enough, I left and moved to my dad’s house 100% of the time. Then, a year passed and my life was the average 12 year old girl’s. Then, when I turned 13 it all went to hell. In December of 2015 I started cutting. And then, I told my dad about it and I have started to go to therapy. And I thought that was such an amazing thing, but it’s not making anything better. Then, about 5 days ago… I started cutting my right thigh again. And, then every other day I cut. And I literally cannot stop. And honestly, I don’t know what I want anymore. I am going to tell my therapist that I haven’t cut. And I will lie to everyone that I have to in order to keep this hidden.

    • Not so okay anymore says:

      I cut more today. And the day before. Two people have made me promise that if I stop cutting they will. But, I know that one of them is just cutting for attention so he doesn’t get it. And the other actually gets it. But, honestly, I think I’m going to keep cutting anyway. Not because I am disloyal to those people but because I’m not strong enough to stop anymore.

  40. K says:

    I am going to kill myself soon. I am of no value to my family and just cause them more pain and anguish. My husband doesn’t deserve to have me as his wife. My kids need a mom that can be there for them and love them. I love my kids but I never should have had them. I shouldn’t be a mom. If they didn’t have such a loving father that loves them unconditionally, I’d put them up for adoption. I know he will raise them properly without me in the picture. I need to know what to leave them with so that they know this isn’t their fault and that they didn’t deserve to have me as their mother. I want my husband to marry a woman that can be the kind of mother that I’ll never be to my children. They will be so much happier once I am no longer in their lives to mess everything up. I am not even sad writing this because I know it’s the right thing to do. My 6 and 4 year olds will need to know that I did this so that they would have a chance to grow up without me ruining their lives. My 3 month old is too young to remember me later on, so he will be fine. My husband will get over my death pretty quickly because Inwont be around to destroy his happiness. I feel bad for him and wish I had never entered his life because he would have been so much happier never having me to ruin his life.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      K,

      Oh, how you hurt! It hurts even to read your words; I can’t imagine how much it hurts to live them. I don’t know you and I don’t know your situation. I don’t know what it is you’ve done that you believe is ruining their lives and your husband’s, and I don’t know awful it really is or isn’t. But I do know that anyone who is suicidal 3 months after giving birth should see a professional and be evaluated for post-partum depression or some other treatable condition that could account for suicidal thoughts and self-attack.

      The fact that your mind is telling you that your 3-month-old will be fine because he won’t remember you, and that your other children will understand, suggests that your mind is lying to you right now. Please don’t believe the lies. Or at least try not to.

      I urge you to get help. As the letter says, please tell somebody. Your gynecologist. Your physician. Your psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor if you have one already. Your husband, too.

      For starters, you can call the 24-hour national hotline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) if you are in North America. If you aren’t, you can call the emergency services in your area. Wherever you are, you can simply go to the emergency room and tell them why you need help.

      I hope you will seriously consider that, right now, for whatever reasons, your mind is not to be trusted. Please let someone help you!

    • Kevin says:

      Hello K~
      I’d like to give you a view from the other side of the fence.
      I won’t say “I know what you’re going through”: I couldn’t help My Partner and now can’t figure my own mind out.
      You’re not a burden! Your husband loves you. Your Kids are a Beautiful Gift.
      Having a Loved One by your side is priceless! I would give Every Drop of Blood in my body just to get a hug from My Soulmate again…anything, for another hug.
      **My Story’s long: not to bore you, or add emotions, just I was My Partner’s Sole Caregiver, Our Love was perfect, simple and beautiful.
      *Wanted to show what I did and would do all over again to help him.
      I have ADHD, always restless, never slowing-down. Helping My Partner was absolutely The Most Challenging Thing I’ve ever done: my ADHD Energy was often tapped…….I’ve since lost everything, BUT! know what? I’D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
      You’re no burden, Love endures.
      Please: communicate if you need, Caregivers try their best, watching your face/body language when you don’t say anything, desperate to help.
      Crying inside when We can’t figure out The Miracle That would “solve all your problems” for you, even begging God to trade places.
      You are loved! If someone doesn’t respond properly when you need, or answer when you ask: help them understand What you need.
      We’ll do anything to help our Loved Ones!
      My mind’s overwhelmed just coping everyday, but thinking Good Thoughts and Prayers for you and your family.

      My Partner completed suicide, in front of me, on 2/16/2015.
      We were together ten years, living out-of-state from our families.
      I was his first male partner: He’d recently seperated from a 17 year marriage: during the seperation, his ex-wife gave away all his belongings, including two dogs who were like children. His family never bothered, friends sided with the ex.
      He felt abandoned by All, praying for “someone who’ll just love me”.
      The first 9 1/2 years were perfect.
      He did have back surgery in 2005, leading to the Pain Med Rollercoaster.
      Found out later, he’d been physically abused as a child. This can cause PTSD that can lay dormant for years until triggered.
      Extreme work stress, feeling responsible for the deaths of a best friend to suicude and the dogs his ex-wife gave away “they died, wondering why “Daddy wasn’t there for me”: yeah, He was a big animal lover and was affected deeply.
      His mom, an Only Child, would never help/visit, had “allowed” the Child Abuse: by two boyfriends, who she stayed with even after the abuse.
      His Dad passed in 2009, our boss said “you’re like a son” right after, but never acted like a Dad. Fred’d taken his comment deeply, feeling hurt when he didn’t act like a Dad.
      His brother, who he raised and felt proud he protected him from the abuse, never called/visited.
      He was very frustrated, bumbed-out: He helped anyone who needed, without expecting anything, even his mom everytime She needed, had been a Volunteer Fire Fighter, saving several lives, Law Enforcement too.
      His Pain (Spine & Cervical Fusions) made him feel worthless ’cause he’d hear of old friends still “living”, but He couldn’t. Felt “worthless” now.
      Even in June, 2014, @9 1/2 years of our ten, He asked me if He could make a female friend, missing female friendship. He never did anything to make me doubt his fidelity or integrity, and honestly, nothing made Him feel good anymore: If having a female friend helped, I was all for It.
      Ended-up getting more serious, even got engaged, for 8 days in Dec., 2014. Though He’d like/love her one minute, and hate her the next, toward The End, he wanted me because “noone had ever loved Him so unconditionally”, but also wanted to see her a couple days a week.
      This personality change happened quick: about 3 months before he passed. I knew Him so long before, I wasn’t going to give-up on the Fred I knew so long before: a beautiful, caring person. We never got a diagnosis, but I knew He had many “demons”.
      The night he Completed, in front of me, He said no words, didn’t look at me, but chose to wait until I got home to do So.
      I know what people say, but no matter The Reality, I will always have guilt That I couldn’t find “the right words” to change his mind.
      I’d always been positive, supportive, no drama, loved the best I knew how.
      Had called his mom a week before, as he’d done so many times over the years. Asking Her to come down, That he needed “his mommy” and an apology for the abuse.
      She denied the abuse, and made excuses. I begged her that “it could mean Life/Death!”…no good.
      Yet she yelled after “there should’ve been an Intervention…..last time I spoke to her.
      We didn’t have a Civil Union: work, His Demons kept us so preoccupied, and that we loved each other so much: never a rush to have a piece of paper to confirm It.
      The night He died, I was treated no better than a friend/roommate because no C.U.
      He was still breathing/bleeding After: I desperately gave compressions and cleared the “fluids” out of his mouth until the police arrived.
      So desperately busy trying to save Him, didn’t realize my arms/shirt covered in “fluids”, then feeling hurt, seeing the cops’ faces. “The Best Thing that ever happened to me is dying, bleeding, I failed Him” and all you bastards can do is give me looks!
      His mom……got control of Him, Our Ten Years didn’t mean shit! to anyone: all those days/nights of suffering….just Us two, noone ever helping/caring! But now, I/We meant nothing!
      Three weeks before they graced me with his Death Certificate: didn’t know when he’d passed until Then.
      Got an email from BCBS with ER Charges, otherwise I would’ve never known Where he actually died.
      Cops…Society…everything/one who never cared about US, robbed me of the most important promise I’d ever made: That we be there, together, at our Last Breaths…….he’d felt so abandonded all his life, it was so important to have, at least, someone there at his Last Breath: and those m.f.’s robbed me/him of It.
      A year now: still fighting the VA for care: lost Him, my job, Our Home, couldn’t afford to move, but had noone, his family still never came down. They aren’t honoring his Final Wishes!! Missed His Service: our old boss screwed me on going.
      The police left me at the house, alone, at 3:30a.m., w/out mentioning I had to clean-up. So scary, going into the house: everything felt “dead”, without meaning: I didn’t belong There anymore……This was Another Life.
      Saw the trail they left from the bedroom out the front door, rounded the corner into the bedroom: there It was: Life’s Assault, My Failure Incarnate!
      Stood there, looking at the Soaked Bed……so numb, so much Loss so fast……my mind was so full, It was blank. “what the hell do I do?” “Why did they make such a mess?” “what’d they do, drag him out?!!”
      All I could do is grab a garbage bag, and grab-and-stuff until all that was left was…….the mattress. “What the hell do I do with That!?”……I scrubbed It six times: at least it wouldn’t be so bad until I figured out what to do.
      Still so numb…scrubbing My Soulmate off of the mattress, but gotta do something!
      The mattress sat there a week until I found someone to take the mattress.
      Going in the house caused anxiety, shaky hands and nausea: would sit outside until exhausted…3-5a.m., then go just inside…and sleep on the couch by the door.
      Fought The House three months to clean It out….had to move. Got so bad, I felt almost paranoid The House was alive, trying to keep me there.
      I was in a prison without bars: all around, Life went on like nothing happened: noone came around, his family never bothered, the neighbors mowing their lawns, kids playing……but I HAD to get the hell out! Not Your Life Anymore!
      Had to rent a 13x8x5 dumpster, overloading It with Our Life, or watching the garbage truck as It crushed my desk I used to sit at Saturday mornings, coffee in hand, relaxing…..no work, no stress…..CRUSHED! Gone……
      Now dealing with Complicated Grief, PTSD, Disenfranchised Grief, a Social Anxiety Disorder……and, what I believe is Learned Helplessness.
      YOU MATTER, ARE NOT A BURDEN, ARE LOVED.

  41. needtogo says:

    I’ve been suicidal for a while now, but recently I’ve been getting pushed into it by outside forces as well. I feel like it is something that is just going to have to happen. I was toying with the idea of trying medication, but I cannot allow myself to be committed to a hospital under any circumstances. I have a severe phobia – in fact, my fear of doctors is a big part of what’s pushing me toward suicide. So I don’t trust doctors at all. I know not to ever tell a psychiatrist that Im suicidal, but what happens if I deny being suicidal, but they dont believe me? If their instinct tells them that I’m suicidal, can they commit a patient based on just their instinct, or is it 100% safe (zero chance of commitment) as long as I say the words “I’m not suicidal”?

    • Jacqueline says:

      When ever I have been admitted to hospital for ‘acting out’ a psychiatric nurse will do an assessment. This involves 3 questions 1) what did you take, 2) why did you take them, and 3) do you still feel like taking any more? 3 is the main question … answer yes and they keep you in overnight, answer no and they will say ‘OK, you can go home now. Simple really!

    • K says:

      Hi NeedTo-
      Usually It’s required you have Intention AND Method. Ever wonder why the big concern about having a gun, ammunition? Because guns have the highest success rate.
      Some Attempt Survivors say That at the last minute I realized I didn’t want to die. A young lady in the F.B. Group used pills, they failed, but She said she was glad they did.
      Guns are less-likely to fail, so you won’t get That chance.
      **That it worries you, do you have someone Who can act as your representative? If so, They can look after you/how you’re treated.
      Some believe Suicidal Intentions are expected, more as a symptom of Depression. When you say you have a Method, depending on your State’s Laws, they have to report you.
      In states that don’t, it’s up to the Therapist’s Opinion/Conscience.
      Please……have a friend help, but try to find the courage to seek help.
      My Partner had an almost paranoia when I’d mention getting help: he’d sometimes cry, saying he wanted help, but then get scared/panic when I’d suggest anything, saying Us Two could handle It by ourselves.
      Wish I had all the answers He needed to still be here with me…..
      but I didn’t. Life sucks, is so empty….
      I feel Life ripped everything away too, and everyone saying to stay strong, start a New Life bullshit..
      I just can’t see it.
      We don’t ask Rape Victims to move-in with their Assailants: well, Life is mine, raped Us of our life.
      If you still, somewhere, have a speck of hope left, seek help.

  42. Lost and Broken says:

    I’m depressed and suicidal. I have been for 10 years (I’m 18). I’ve tried everything I can think of to stop. Listening to bands such as My Chemical Romance, Twenty One Pilots, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Black Veil Brides, and many more. Writing a list of things to live for (it only had one thing and that was Music). Drawing where I want to cut so I don’t. It all works but only for a short amount of time. I’m dying very slowly. I’m going to end it myself soon. I have nothing to live for but music.

    • Anna says:

      I feel lost & broken too and I felt very sad reading your post. I attempted suicide 22 years ago and over two decades later I am having those same thoughts. I don’t pretend to understand your circumstances but I do understand the pain of wanting to die. Every day I wake up I have to make the choice to live or die. It is a struggle. It seems odd for me to tell you to keep fighting the hopelessness you are experiencing when I too am struggling. But I do not know what else to say. I just wanted you to know there are people who share similar or identical feelings. I hope you continue to fight and I promise I’ll do the same.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Thank you

  44. Surviving says:

    Today, I told my dad about my suicidal thoughts and actions. I knew, that if I din’t do it today I wouldn’t do it any other day. And today would have been the day to slit my wrists. But, now I’m going to go to therapy and get help. I am scared, and I can’t remember what it really feels like to be truly happy. I am under 14 years old. And I am incredibly scared. But, I know that this is going to save me. I am going to survive. No, in fact; I am not only going to survive, but I am going to live. I am going to be happy, happy to be alive. Happy for every breath. Happy for every beat of my heart. Happy for every step that I take.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Surviving,

      I’m sorry you’ve been through such hard times that you have had suicidal thoughts and actions. And I’m grateful that you shared with us your experience of telling your father, rejecting suicide, and feeling hope and happiness again. Others will learn from you that hope and change can, and do, happen. Thank you.

  45. Whoever says:

    I cried a little. I want this & to believe in it. But I don’t & can’t.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I don’t feel this letter to be accurate. Someone who feels suicide is the only option does not have the type of thoughts mentioned above. This was not written by someone with suicidal thoughts. And it may be written by someone who thinks they care, but it is not written by someone who has spoken with someone suffering from suicidal thoughts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you…and that sadly is one reason many suicides occur…no text book can teach you compassion for an individual

  47. Mary says:

    Very interesting “letter”. The thought of telling anyone what I’m feeling or thinking is a very uncomfortable, scary thing for me. I wish you were a local therapist. Options are limited where I am. Take care and nice articles!

  48. Spiralling says:

    I don’t understand life or its purpose. I am unable to find even one minor thing I like about living. There is not a single thing that goes right. I have to give up. I’m so exhausted. I have tried to escape this world many times and failed. The effects of someone’s treatment of me has changed me in every way possible. I don’t want anyone to get to know me and I avoid people. Since some things were done to me I have been a wreck physically and mentally and I can’t cope with anything, not even a small amount of stress. Yet I have been under intense stress fir the last few years. It’s as though something has been sucked from me and I am no longer who I was. The problem is, I even avoid family. But secretly I have been worrying about their health (they are elderly). Because of how I am (they don’t understand how unwell I am and think I am just ignoring them. For many reason I am unable to talk to them, it’s my way of coping (as weird as they may sound). I have never told them anything worrying about me until things have reached a crisis and words just fall out of my mouth. But secretly I have been worrying about their health (they are elderly).

    I can’t cope with living, can’t cope with any aspect of my own life. To add insult to injury, I keep having horrible thoughts and visions about bad things happening to my parents. When you think nothing more could surely happen, today I discover that my father has an arterial problem which increases stroke, heart attack, and aneurism risk. Previously when it was thought he had angina, I used to keep waking up, sit upright, and yell “no” in a panic. Another family just had a heart attack in their mid-forty’s. Today the person who has harmed me most (a medical professional) walked past me and laughed as she looked at me.

    I want to leave this world because I am nothing to myself or anyone else, I don’t know how many more days of physical pain, and distress from suicide urges I can withstand (after doing so for two years), not being able to function, not being able to cope with what is going to happen to my parents. I don’t want to be here to witness or experience it. I’m gutless. It’s just confusing why all these things (there are many more), and one after another keep happening. Today I watched men cleaning windows of a tall building and was trying to figure out their access point to the roof as an option. I just want out.

    • My lovely friend,
      Please know you are not alone in this battle against suicide. I want to tell you to never, never, never give up. I have Chronic PTSD. I have struggled now for seventeen years. I am 54. Think of how much joy, peace, and life I have lost because of this horrific experience and its aftermath. Two years ago (although I have been in the mental hospital three times), I had to work to stay alive every day for over a year! I relied on my doctor and therapist who always had an opening to see me, and sometimes I had to go every day. I allowed my dr. to increase my meds to very high dosages. My therapist helped me make a list of all those for whom I needed to stay alive. There were many days I couldn’t even put my beloved ten-year-old grandson on the list. I had a psychotic break. I didn’t recognize my face in a mirror. I could go on and on. Instead I would like to help you see it was a team of three that kept me alive: my doctor, my therapist, and, most important, me. If you are working with a therapist, ask if they had suicides during their time as a therapist. Ask them if it affected them. Ask them to help you understand why you are of unique value in this world. Ask them to tell you statistics about suicide. Most suicide attempts fail. None are painless. The damage done to those left behind is incalculable.
      Make a list. On days there is no one on that list do nothing! Sleep, food, talking to your mental health team, or even choosing to be hospitalized as a stop-gap measure are all going to help you. Just by posting this shows there is a small part somewhere in your brain that is crying out for help to stay alive. I did it (and may have to do it again.) you can do it too!
      Hold steady, as my first therapist told me every week.

    • Spiralling says:

      Well before I met the psychologist and doctor I was fine, never suicidal, just depressed but that was all – If you know what I mean. Too much to list, but I think I have below.They did and said things to show me I am worthless, allowed me to stay in physical pain, and mental pain, ignored everything I said, and never responded to anything I said – you know, when I was stating what was wrong with me. As a results I seriously declined and now struggle daily to do most things. This has only been since meeting them. I will never go near a psychologist, psychiatrist, or doctor. What they did was so bad that when I have needed medical help (as an example – bleeding from both end of body, sorry graphic), I just let it happen and became quite unwell. Well when I mentioned these things to these people before they just ignored them. But I have had more serious tings ignored (heart condition). To sum up, their words and actions showed me I should just rot. When I told them this was how they were making me fee, they continued. So I now live daily knowing that whatever I feel, that is how it is meant to be for me because those people trained to help me be well, did the opposite. You should be able to trust these people but because of them I do not trust a single person and I avoid humans as much as I can. I am often angered and frustrated by the fact that my suicide attempts failed and I still feel all the physical pain, not to mention the mental trauma. They just demonstrated hatred towards me and did a lot of things behind my back, hid from me, allowed me no input or information about what was going on. It was like I was a prisoner with no say in anything. I felt totally punished for being ill. It was not my choice to be ill and not my fault but they made me get worse.

      No, I will not go near a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or doctor.

  49. Anon says:

    Sometimes, I wish I would have been successful 14 years ago when I last tried. It’s too late now, with all of the dependencies in life. Marriage, kids, friends… It’s nearly unthinkable someone in my position would want to be gone. These are my reasons for living; my coping mechanisms; the dam that keeps the pain and suffering from flooding the village below that is my life.

    But it’s so much work, and I feel like I’m suffering through each day to suffer some more. I really don’t know why I’m posting this.

    I’ve used innumerable drugs, both prescribed and illicit, to medicate (more like escape). None of them work for me, and the withdrawal I’ve experienced from prescribed medications was exponentially worse than that of illicit substances (my personal favorite being opiates).

    I am clean now, and have been for a few weeks. Sure, I’ll admit a good deal of this -could- be from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), but boy it’s sure reminiscent of all the feelings that were long here before drugs showed up.

    I am not really worried about relapsing, even though a few weeks is no time at all, especially for something as dangerous as opiates. Instead, I’m worried about suffering the rest of my life.

    I don’t think I could kill myself, especially knowing the consequences for those that have kept me going for so long. I can’t do that to them. Knowing that, it seems that I’m left to suffer on faith that somehow, sometime, somewhere, it will be different… But will it?

  50. Anonymous says:

    I gave my psychiatrist a letter, letting him know what I was going to do. I didn’t expect much, but maybe just a call to explain why he didn’t care. Now I feel like if even a psychiatrist has no hope and care for me than how is anyone else. It’s not like I say this to him all the time, I have been with him almost a year and this is the first time it has been this bad.
    Giving up on all therapy now.
    Better off without.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Anonymous,

      I’m not sure I understand – or maybe I want to believe that what I do understand is not true. Is it that you gave your psychiatrist a letter saying you want to kill yourself, and he did not respond? If so, I am so sorry. Speaking generally, I think if a psychiatrist ignores a letter from a patient saying he or she is suicidal, that is about the psychiatrist, not the patient. Perhaps the psychiatrist did not actually read the letter, or read it and replied and the reply never found its way to the patient, or is in some type of crisis that pulled the psychiatrist away from replying, or any of many other possibilities. But it hurts. Of course it hurts. Have you considered reaching out again to ask why there was no response, if indeed that is what happened?

    • Spiralling says:

      Anonymous,

      I can imagine how you interpreted that lack of response from your psychiatrist. They train to help you and keep you safe from harming yourself and others. So to not receive a response to your letter probably seems like a contradiction. But adding to what Stacey said, the latter may not have even reached the psychiatrist, he may be on leave or even unwell.

      That happened to me. I handed a suicide note to a medical doctor. I got to that point because at one appointment she would give me antidepressants and at the next she wouldn’t. This meant that my symptoms never improved, but fluctuated. Anyway, I had made a few attempts and I handed a note to the physician and she discharged me when I was acutely at risk, had no one (still don’t), was in total isolation, and homeless. So her actions gave me a clear message because they are trained to save lives. As a result of those actions (and a great many other bad things she did) I struggle to this day. The last two weeks I have been that close to attempting several times because my head is full of constant bad thoughts and nothing else. I can’t get rid of mine. Don’t let yourself get like that.

      My situation is slightly different in that the doctor knew she was putting me at risk because I kept telling her what it was doing to me. Your situation might be different in that you don’t have the answer yet but you are viewing it as though it is completely about you. I don’t know what your condition but if you want therapy, maybe consider a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist. If you need medication, you may be able to get this from a medical doctor rather than a psychiatrist.

  51. Scared and hopeless says:

    I’m depressed. I hate life. I feel like a loser without the ability to suceed. I’m angry I’m hurt. I want stability. Safety. love. All of that seems impossible. I want to tell my therapist that I want to die but I don’t wanna lose control of the situation. I wanna still have it as an option if I don’t find hope. I don’t even deserve the help to begin with. How do you tell a therapist you are suicidal with out getting shove in a mental hospital?

    • Jacqueline S says:

      I told my GP that I was suicidal and she said that because I was ‘aware of my vulnerability and feelings’ she wouldn’t refer me to the psychiatric hospital as I wasn’t in immediate danger to myself otherwise I wouldn’t have got in touch with her I would have carried out the action!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline,

      I am angry this happened to you. I have encountered this “logic” before, when I worked at a psychiatric emergency room in Texas. Some people voluntarily came for help because their suicidal thoughts were so intense that they feared for their safety. Yet the state hospital had a policy that people who came to the emergency room voluntarily had sufficient insight and self-control to keep themselves safe. Where is the logic in that? Such a policy ignores the fact that people can recognize the warning signs of a suicidal crisis and still lose control. Suicidal forces can overtake them. Unfortunately, sometimes tragedy results.

    • Spiralling says:

      Just because you have the insight to know that you are suicidal, doesn’t mean you lack impulsivity. You could be sent away with no help and for whatever reason, impulsively harm, or even kill yourself. Or someone could leave without help, become more distressed and self-medicated with alcohol or something. This, I believe can make some people more impulsive. It’s interesting that many websites say “if you are feeling suicidal call this number or go to the emergency department etc. Why? So that you can be sent away feeling uncared for?

    • Spiralling says:

      Hi Scared and hopeless,

      I have severe depression. I also hate life and myself. I am a looser. Yep I get it. Even today I told myself several times that I can’t do this anymore. The last few days I have been having lots of suicide visions. Then I started watching graphic suicide completions on Youtube.

      When you say “I wanna still have it as an option if I don’t find hope”. Do you mean suicide as an option or the option of telling the therapist? Is having that option a safety net? Do you have an alternative safety net? This website? Your therapist?

      If you were to discuss suicide with a therapist, that wouldn’t automatically mean you get shoved in a mental hospital. You would get questioned in terms of what your thoughts are, and if you have any plans or the means to do it (e.g., pills, weapons etc.). I think you would only get put into a hospital (without your permission) if the therapist thought you were in immediate risk. You may get asked if you want to go to hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good question… I too have suffered from depression within the past 2 years. When I look back on my childhood, there was nothing to happy about that either. But the thing that seems to have triggered the depression recently is the loss of a job after 22 yrs. That feeling of worthlessness is overwhelming, along with the mental abuse prior to the termination. In addition to that, no family support,doesn’t help either. I always seemed to be the go to person when anyone in my family needed help, now when I needed help, I had no-one.My husband only supported me after I was hospitalized.Before that, I was told to forget about the past. News Flash…not that easy! How does one forget 50+ years of screwed up life?Top that off with a Mental Health provider who pretty much forced me to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, worst 5 days of my life! I was mad at myself for allowing this to happen! I too feel as though I can’t be honest with the psychiatrists or I will end up where I don’t want to be . I have learned that the psychiatrists job is only to prescribe medication, they don’t actually care about the patient, nor did he have answers to some of my questions, if he did, they were generic. I have a therapist that helps me more than any psychiatrist ever did.Although, I still feel that I can’t be totally honest with him ether, in fear of being hospitalized again. Maybe if those darn psychiatric hospitals were less of a prison, we wouldn’t fear them so much, and they might actually do some good! I actually learned more from my peers in the hospital than I did from the highly paid doctors and nurses. That’s the sad part. What the hell is this world coming to? Sorry this got so long-winded, it does help to write your thoughts down on paper.

  52. Jacqueline says:

    What I can’t understand is why? Why do I want to kill myself? I have a small but nice house, a reliable car, 2 wonderful grown up boys, and a dog that is faithful to me. So why do I feel like crying, self harming and overdosing? I can’t understand my own feelings ….. So how can anyone else understand them?

    • Spiralling says:

      I first wrote on here in January 2015. Given how I was then, I am astonished I am still here. I truly mean that. I still struggle to survive and my physical health, ability to function, and move has deteriorated. I am how I am because of the treatment of a medical physician and psychologist. It was their collaboration behind my back, and the way they treated me as a result of a diagnosis they decided I have. I have proved (based on the criteria) that I do not have that diagnosis. It is not possible but no one wanted to listen. I am quite confident I do know what my diagnosis is (I have done a lot of research) and it is virtually impossible for that not to be correct. Io told them this, it is a lifelong condition and requires treatment, but no one wanted to listen. It is also not a safe condition for the person that has it when they are not medicated appropriately. But no one wanted to listen. But the way I was treated by these people made me feel like I shouldn’t be here because every word I spoke was shut down by them. In the end I gave up speaking. As a result, I tried to end my life many times but even failed at that.
      But the reason for writing today is this. In my country we have a high suicide rate. The mental health organisations and government claim to be concerned, will do this and that to bring the rates down.
      Given that, I find the following very odd:

      We recently had an expert on suicide visit a University and give a presentation in terms of suicide in our country, what we are doing (not much) and what we need to do. There have been two suicides at this University so it was interesting to me that not one single member from the health and counselling centre went to this presentation. This expert showed that the government and other organisation put out bits of information of suicide and then they effectively get ignored.

      In terms of my own situation a lot of bad and dangerous things were done to me (which is far greater than I can cover here – I’ll just say that I reported to these people that their actions were making me much worse and making me suicidal. I told them if they did not believe that then why had I never been like that in my whole life until they started doing these things. Rather than try to help, or listen, or understand, they chose to ignore me and continue in the same way. In this country (I don’t know about others) you must not have an opinion on your own health. These people can never be wrong or admit any fault or failure. It is and always will be the patients fault.

      There are several agencies in this country who are there to protect patients from harm. The problem is, this is not actually true. They have things on their websites claiming this to be true but when you contact them they do one of three things; 1) ignore you, 2) deny any truth in what you say (because a patient is of inferior mind – especially if there is any history of mental illness, no matter how small), 3) protect the health care people – this is usually the one that happens (I’ve researched that too and there are examples online from other patients). I have gone to the very top and been denied. I find it odd that when I have blogged (elsewhere to complete strangers) about this and told two people in person, that they see it my way, but the so-called “professional” organisations there for the purpose to protect the public, don’t want to actually know about it.

      So I have made a decision. I have informed the people who did this to me that I am going to report all of my story online and name them. I started getting threats. Obviously their reputation is more important than a suicide. I thought health care people trained to save lives. Guess I was wrong. That is my country. I lost the person I once was. What they have done to me and how they make me view myself has changed me forever. I still strive for isolation (which doesn’t fit the false diagnosis I was given either) and I still hate living on a daily basis.

    • Spiralling says:

      Sometimes there is no obvious reasons. Medical illness, pain, thyroid, hormones, fatigue, PMT, vitamin or mineral deficiency (iron and vitamin B6), chemical imbalance in the brain, the list goes on. Depression and suicide can effect anyone; the rich, poor, famous, and any culture or ethnicity. Have you had a medical check-up?

    • Spiralling says:

      Sorry Jacqueline, my first very long post appears to have been submitted as a reply to yours. It wasn’t meant to. It was meant to be a separate message. But my short comment below that is a reply to you.

    • Jacqueline says:

      To Spiralling: yes I’ve had a medical check up recently and all seems fine physically. I took my first overdose when I was 17 as a result of being totally mortified by an action my parents took. I’m now 50. I can understand why I responded as I did at 17, there was a reason, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason since. That’s what I can’t understand. I live on my own with Sam my dog (happily so), and my circumstances are as given below. I can be sat watching TV and suddenly my mood changes, I feel like crying and acting on the thought I get, yet the programme bears no relevance to my thought. This has happened regularly since my teens but there doesn’t seem to be a ‘trigger’. I was told by a psychiatrist that I was in the top UK 10% who would probably die from an overdose, yet because I have been on a DBT course (as recommended treatment by NICE), there is nothing further the mental health team can do for me, and I have been discharged to the care of my GP. I had an emergency appointment with her a few days ago and she asked what could she do for me? …… I don’t know, that’s why I went to see her. She then told me that because I had recognised that my mental health was deteriorating there was nothing she could do as I was not in any immediate danger to myself! Two days later and I am still struggling. Unbelievable!!!!!!!

    • Spiralling says:

      Hi Jacqueline.

      Mmm, the British NHS. I think it’s shocking that they say that because you have had DBT, there is nothing further that they can provide. A terrible thing for the psychiatrist to say about dying from an overdose too.

      Ah, I have just seen your earlier post and the BPD. I wondered when you mentioned DBT. Have you received any metallisation therapy? Are you able to see if there is any available in your area, or ask your doctor? I am not into therapy myself but this isn’t about me. Metallisation is meant to be good for BPD.

      I don’t know if you are currently on any medication but they do say that it doesn’t cure BPD but it does help manage the symptoms. There are certain types or families of medications for the different aspects of the illness. Depression, impulsivity, anxiety, rage etc.

      I know boredom is mentioned in BPD. Maybe TV is not distracting enough and your mind may wander. Unless what you are watching is really gripping, it may be easier to be more aware of your emotion compared to when you are maybe more focused say at work (earlier post you said you can’t work – I understand that), when shopping, or actively doing something. You can work. Work for you, work on you. It can be anything. It can be something creative. Even teaching your dog tricks. Playing with craft stuff or paints. Do an online free course (Alison Courses).

      A few websites in the UK.
      http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/what-is-mentalisation-based-therapy
      http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/mentalisation-based-therapy/#.VfFBxZXouM8
      http://headtrash.co.uk/

      And an MBT Youtube from Harley Therapy, UK

    • Spiralling says:

      Hi Jacqueline,

      You said you do or have seen a psychiatrist. You also said you have BPD. Did he or she, or anyone else explain the symptoms of BPD to you? The emotional dysregulation? The mood swings which can fluctuate within minutes. I mean you could be laughing or smiling one moment, angry the next, irritable, impulsive, in a rage, crying etc. You may not be able to pinpoint why, but it’s usually in response to something or a thought. You may hear or see something on TV which triggers or reminds you of something. It would be confusing, not make sense, difficult to understand.
      Have you seen this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=967Ckat7f98

    • Jacqueline Schneider says:

      Thank you for the link. BPD was not explained to me but I have researched the condition (I also have a degree in Health & Social Care). In my area of the UK I I was told that I would see a psychiatrist who would assess me (13 years ago), and would decide what or if I had a mental health condition. After 4 one hour sessions I was diagnosed as having BPD. This was the last time I saw a psychiatrist as once he/she has made a diagnosis I was placed in the care of a ‘mental health team’ who would decide on any medication, therapy etc. I have been on the same medication for at least 8 years (for anti anxiety, depression and mild sedation). Then after a DBT course I was discharged to my GP, as the mental health team had done all that was advised as appropriate according to NICE. When I have seen a GP, if I have been feeling worse, suicidal, vulnerable etc, I have been told that as the MHT had decided on medication the GP would ‘rather not alter or interfere with it’. I have asked numerous times to see a psychiatrist but been told that a diagnosis was made by the psychiatrist and that was as far as his/her involvement was. Basically I have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and had the treatment/help as decided by NICE and there is nothing further to be done!

    • Spiralling says:

      Hi Jaqueline,

      Sorry, that doesn’t sound good or helpful. My understanding was that people diagnosed with BPD required on-going, or long-term therapy. 8 years on the same medication? I would have thought that the GP could (at the very least) refer you to a psychiatrist to evaluate your medication. Sometimes they stop working and an alternative is warranted.

    • Jacqueline Schneider says:

      Only interaction with psychiatrist is for him/her to make a diagnosis. Mental Health Team, consisting psychiatric nurse, social worker, nurse practitioner and care co-ordinationer deal with medication/therapy. GP has tried to refer me back to mental health team but has been told I’ve had all the recommended treatment recommended by NICE so they can’t help any more.

  53. Tired says:

    After finding my father after his suicide, gunshot to the head, I understood how much pain and darkness he must have been in to do that. I understand I envy his courage to go through with it and end the pain. I’ve since been diagnosed with CPTSD and have read many forum posts of where cutting helps alleviate the pain, but I don’t know how you go about doing that. It’s summer, hot and too hot to wear long sleeves, but would anywhere else lessen the pain? I have a counselor and I have denied any thoughts of suicide or SH. I don’t want to end up in a hospital or on some drugs that keep me in a fog. I need some clarity on this and to know this will pass in time.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Tired,

      How awful not only to have lost your father to suicide, but also to have found him after the violent act. What trauma.

      Urges to cut are not an uncommon response to trauma. I hope you will reconsider your secrecy with your counselor. It is awfully hard for a counselor to help someone with suicidal or self-harming urges if those urges remain hidden. Perhaps it would be easier for you to first discuss with your counselor your fears around being completely open, and see what you learn from that.

      If it still feels impossible to disclose your self-destructive thoughts, I hope you will consider reaching out for help via phone hotline, text, or email from one of the resources listed here. If you are in North America, a good place to start is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK).

      You don’t need to be alone with your urges to hurt yourself!

    • just me says:

      Dear tired, please get help. Even if…. It means a hospital stay or taking medications which initially leave you groggy. You are worth your time, your effort & self care while you grieve, & process the difficult emotions of this traumatic experience…
      I wish you the very best.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Just me,”

      Thanks for sharing your insights. I love it when readers of my site support other readers.

  54. robert says:

    Please someone help. I am in a terrible situation. I feel like there is no hope and all I think about these days is killing myself. I feel so alone even though I have a lot of family. I cheated on my wife she was pregnant at the time and I had gotten a disease which she passed onto our unborn baby at the time. She and the baby suffered horribly but thank God they are ok now. She left me and took all the kids. My life is horrible now. I truly do love her but she wants nothing to do with me and she doesn’t believe me at all in anything I say. Its been over 2 months since she left and the guilt and loneliness I feel is to much to bear. Especially knowing how they suffered so much because of me. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope of not knowing what to do. I feel like I would do anything to make her happy again. And thats why I figured it will be best to end my life so she can forget me and move on. I don’t want to die but I feel that is the best option to end my guilt and misery.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Robert,

      What a horrible situation to be in, painful on so many levels. I am sorry for all you are going through. Clearly you made a decision that had very painful consequences, and now you deeply regret it.

      Are you getting any help? Talking with a physician, therapist, pastor, hotline counselor, or someone else can help you feel some hope for your future. If you are in the U.S., you could start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). And of course if you are in danger of acting on your suicidal thoughts, please call 911. I list more resources for help by text, email, or phone here, in the Resources section of this site: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      If you decide to seek therapy, a therapist can help you to, among other things, come up with constructive ways to try to make amends, better understand your previous actions, and move forward with a plan to cultivate relationships with your children, learn from your mistakes, and rediscover meaning in your life.

      I can’t provide counseling on this page, so I would like to leave you with a few questions to ponder:

      Can your feelings and situation change over time?

      How would your suicide change the past?

      What do your wife and children need in their lives that you might be able to provide for them if you stay alive?

      There are not easy answers, but I hope you will consider them and seek help from a hotline, professional, or other resource. Thank you for writing here.

    • just me says:

      Dear Robert, if you have not sought out professional help please do.
      You made a mistake & sometimes the mistakes we make hurt others. You are not that mistake anymore than you are your bank account or your job… you are something far more valuable. Each and every one of us impact each other; some times in positive ways other times in negative & painful ways. Sometimes with intent and other times without intention. The honesty in your sharing– your willingness to be so painfully open & raw is such an example of the impact it has had on others- me. My heart hurts for you in a way that I can say it has changed me, moved me in a way I know I won’t forget you… and I have never even met you. Your experience helps me to find closure to times when the actions of others impacted and hurt my life…Anger and pain cannot erase you, making you forgettable to your wife. Your children could never forget you. Our world would be less real, less open and less honest without your presence.
      Robert, You can make it through this time, and you don’t need to do it all alone, there are people who want to support you through it… just as they received support when they needed it most needed.
      please call for help.

    • Anonymous says:

      Robert – I hope the days between when you posted this and today have brought you some glimpses of things you like about yourself. Because you are a person, like the people you feel pain about hurting, there are likeable things in there. If you have gone this long stretch of days without glimpsing one, know that someone is hoping you see one today.

      And I hope it brings a smile that your heart can feel. I am looking for my own today as well. It sounds totally hokie and silly, but sometimes searching out the smile moment and the laugh in any given day is just enough. And then a better day happens, and sometimes a few in a row. Know that others are looking with you.

  55. Unknown says:

    I never speak about suicide because I don’t wanna be on drugs, in a mental hospital, or talking to doctors.

  56. K says:

    Is it better for children of the ages of 7 and 9 to think their mother abandoned them or committed suicide? I almost think suicide is better but I’m not a child psychologist so what is the answer?

    • Anonymous says:

      What about telling them the truth!?

    • LetsBelieveInFairytales says:

      No matter what it is going to be a traumatic experience for them, please think twice or better yet think a thousand times before you make a decision.

  57. Alyssa says:

    I love this. I’m glad i found this. i feel the need to finally open to my therapist. i just feel so…….open at the moment

  58. Burdened says:

    Here’s an update on my last comment. In telling my therapist about my suicidial thoughts and what my exact plan was, she forced me to go to the Crisis Stabilization Unit. I went voluntarily because she threatened if I didn’t she would go the involuntary route. I was admitted for 8 long days! I was also using alcohol and pills as a coping mechanism for my depression. The reason I’m so depressed is that a year ago my brother died by suicide. I hate life without him! It’s like my therapist doesn’t get it! I’m just really broken. I think it was unnecessary for her to force me into the hospital. I think she just didn’t want to be burdened by me. Now, I feel so alone. The CSU stay did help with the alcohol and using pills, but the sadness and despair is still here. I also still feel suicidal! I can’t tell my therapist because she will punish me yet again. This whole ordeal has been embarrassing and now it’s awkward when I go see my therapist. It’s kind of like she is mad at me. I was having a really bad day one day last week and coped with using a Percocet. She got angry and forced me to tell my husband. I don’t know what to do. I think I should stop going to her because its pointless if I can’t even be honest. And when I am honest it’s like she finds a way to punish and humiliate me! Its me against the world!! Life is completely hopeless!!! 🙁

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Burdened,”

      I am so sorry. Can you tell your therapist the same things you have written here? It would be helpful for her to know your feelings, including your fears and sense of betrayal. Of course, given the lack of trust you have for her right now, that might be easier said than done. But I encourage you to try, if you can.

      Please also check out the resources at http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp, if you haven’t done so already.

      The loss of a brother – or any loved one, for that matter – to suicide is devastating. I am wondering if you have connected with other survivors of suicide loss. It can incredibly helpful to talk with others who are walking on the same dark road as you. You can find resources for loss survivors, including online support in a community of others who are bereaved by suicide, here: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#survivors.

    • Jacqueline Schneider says:

      What’s a Percocet?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Percoset is a prescription painkiller.

  59. Nathan says:

    Yeah,My mother and brother both killed themselves and I hate to be the cliche but I think about it often.My mother when I was 6 my brother(who I didn’t know about until I was 19) shot himself in the head(just like mom)5 years ago.Things are worse now that I lost my best friend of 17 yrs and my cousin.There’s just no one left.Just me and my grandparents who don’t have a clue and no one to help me.I’m slipping.I’m not stupid by any means,just out of touch and always have been.I just don’t know what I’m doing here.I might just go and take a nap in the car.You can’t help me.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Nathan, how very sad. The losses you have endured are more than even many people combined should experience.

      I hope you will try to get help. Even if you believe that no one can help you, that doesn’t mean you’re correct. How can you know? Remember, hopelessness is a feeling, not a fact.

      The resources listed here might be a good start: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

      I hope you’ll consider that some part of you wants help, and perhaps even believes that help is possible, or else you wouldn’t be reaching out here. That’s important to keep in mind.

      And if you are in danger of acting on your suicidal thoughts, please call 911 (or whatever the emergency number is where you live, if you are not in the U.S.) or go to an emergency room.

      The first things you try might or might not help. There are many other things to try if they don’t help. And many other things to try if those don’t help. But please at least try.

  60. Burdened says:

    I am currently feeling suicidal and told my counselor that I was having detailed thoughts of how I wanted to end it. I told her in a text message about how I was having thoughts of slitting my wrist and how it made me feel calm. She completely flipped out and said she was calling my emergency contact. I just wanted to be honest and tell her I was thinking about it but was not acting on it. I felt as if I was in trouble just for thinking it. Like she was telling on me for being honest with her. It makes me want to hide how I truly am feeling. But what’s the point of going to counseling if you can’t disclose your feelings? My brother died by suicide a year ago and I’m afraid I could do the same thing. This grief is just so intense and painful it’s a difficult burden to carry and I’m just getting tired. I really don’t know who to talk to. I don’t want to scare anyone in my family so I just bottle it up inside. I feel so sad that I can no longer be open and honest with my counselor with fear of being told on for it. Can she just listen and not threaten me? I need help but I’m stuck! 🙁

    • D. says:

      I know your feelings. I am going through the same thing. Literally. I started a therapy just two months ago. My family doesn’t know. It’s so hard to tell anyone. Pls try to get in touch with a professional therapist. Get in touch with as many different ones as NECESSARY and stay with the one you feel COMFORTABLE talking and opening yourself to. I had to consult 4 different ones until I finally found the right one. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Please do not give up on life. You can do it. You will laugh again. Be patient with yourself.

    • zymo says:

      I feel for you. It sounds like you need a therapist that is more qualified to handle suicidal clients, or clients w suicidal ideation. There is no need to panic unless u r in imminent danger. Trust is everything in therapy. Good luck.

  61. goodproductionsusa says:

    I want your help;
    I need your help.
    I open my whole life to you.
    Sharing with you,
    all of my personal secrets
    Letting my guard down
    for you to see,
    And trusting your judgments

    I am very suicidal,
    but I cannot tell you
    I am afraid and cannot share this with anyone
    I have to suffer in silence
    I will be locked away,
    Placed in a room and left alone to think of nothing but suicide
    There is so real help,
    just more pain
    I am thinking of suicide constantly,
    Its there taunting and torturing my mind

    You make me feel safe
    You make me feel less afraid
    You reply to my words carefully
    You are listening; you are truly listening to what I am saying
    I appreciate and need this more than anything
    Thank you, I want your help and I need your help

    Suicide tells me not to tell you
    That way you can actually
    help me
    Being locked in a hospital makes me more suicidal
    So I suffer in silence so that we can at least talk with one another

    The pain is so intense; dying seems to be the only way
    I want to tell you
    I want to tell you how I am feeling

    I logically know that this is not the answer
    I recognize that
    I am completely irrational
    I need your help so that I can heal and live life
    I am not able to do this alone

    I cannot heal, if I cannot share my thoughts with you
    If I have to keep these suicidal thoughts to myself

    Suicide tells me that there is
    no reason to keep going
    Suicide tells me that
    we will all die anyway
    Suicide tells me that I am not living even though I am alive
    Suicide tells me that I have absolutely nothing to live for
    Suicide tells me that
    my pain is my fault
    Suicide tells me that I don’t have a choice; this is the way
    I will end

    You give me hope
    You give me a chance to heal
    You make the impossible, possible for me

    I cannot tell you I am suicidal
    I will be locked away in a hospital,
    Sent to a place where I will suffer more

    There are many people that can help
    You are an essential piece of the puzzle, to my wellness
    You can be the guiding light along the way

    Thank you for your help
    Thank you for your understanding and patience

    I am suicidal; I am barely surviving

  62. Anonymous says:

    I WANT TO DIE, I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” please check out the resources listed here: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

      Professional help can also be useful when suicidal thoughts are present. And if you are in danger of trying to kill yourself, please call 911 or whatever the emergency number is where you live, or get yourself to an emergency room.

      You don’t need to suffer, and you don’t need to die to stop your suffering! There is help available, in many forms, and there is hope for change.

  63. Leyna says:

    The words in this letter are beautiful! But I’m afraid to tell you how I really feel because I don’t want the police knocking on my door dragging me to the nearest mental hospital.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Why do ex friends do bad things to eachother

  65. Tracye says:

    This letter is awesome, though I can’t actually see a counselor, or anyone using it. Might show they care, ya know? But it is very sweet and impressive.

  66. Emily says:

    I think I need therapy, I definitely need some sort of help. My relationship with my stepmom is stormy. Today my she yelled at me because I didn’t fill out a form in the order she wanted me to (who cares?). I was also sick at school and ended up lying in the nurse’s office for four hours because my stepmom (who works 15 minutes away) couldn’t find the time to come. And when I finally did get home (I ended up taking the bus) she gave me the silent treatment because of the argument this morning. I asked her repeatedly “What’s wrong? Are you upset with me?” and she wouldn’t answer. I’m trying to fix our relationship and I feel like she’s tearing down every brick I lay. My stepmom’s even told me she wants me out of the house so her work schedule is more convenient. She apologized for that statement, saying it was “immature” (but not denying that it was true). Our relationship is just so hurtful.
    The worst part is my stepmom doesn’t even believe our relationship is an issue. She just popped into my room and was all friendly and asked if I was hungry. Not a word about the problems we’ve had. Acts like everything is just normal. Maybe she’s trying to make up, but if she never apologizes I’ll never know she’s sorry. Everything is NOT normal and I have no idea how to convince her that if we’re yelling at each other every day we don’t have a healthy relationship.
    I’ve also got a ton of schoolwork. I’m in all honor’s classes with two AP classes and I’m involved in track. I’m getting good grades (A’s with a few B’s) and my SAT and PSAT scores are great. I feel like I have an awesome life ahead of me, but I’m stuck right now. I’m getting depressed, I’ve taken several screens online and all of them say I have moderate depression. I can’t sleep at night — last night I was up until 2 am crying. I think I’m sick just because I’m so depressed.
    I’m also not sure how to talk to my parents about this — I can trust my dad, but he talks to my stepmom about EVERYTHING so if I tell him 15 minutes later my stepmom will be sobbing and crying hysterically. My stepsister announced a couple months ago that she wanted to move in with her dad and my stepmom just lost it. It was utter misery in the house for like a week. She wouldn’t stop crying. It was like she was trying to manipulate my stepsister and make us all miserable. I don’t want to trigger another reaction like that (my poor stepsister was with us during that week and it half drove her insane: she even self-harmed). I’m thinking about writing my parents a letter and then sending it to them after I leave on the two-week missions trip I’m going on this summer, at least that way I won’t be around when the storm breaks.
    I would like professional help but I have no idea how to get it. I’m also scared to talk to my parents partly because of my stepmom’s potential reaction, partly because I don’t think they’ll really believe me, and partly because they’ll just say I’m complaining/trying to get attention.
    I don’t know what to do, but I want help. I just don’t know where to get it.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hi Emily, thanks for writing. I’m glad you’re reaching out. It sounds like you’re going through a really, really rough time, and isolating from others can make it worse.

      I have a few thoughts about what you can do. First, have you read the post “10 Reasons Teens Avoid Telling Parents about Suicidal Thoughts“” It has some advice that your dad and stepmom might benefit from reading, although they’d also need to let their words into their heart, not just their eyes.

      You might also want to read the “Comments” section for that post. Some people have posted comments similar to yours, in terms of a parent (or step-parent) freaking out.

      There also are some hotlines that might be helpful for you to call. One is Samariteens, at 800-252-8336. Another is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). You don’t have to be in an abject suicidal state to call these places. They are there to also help people *before* utter desperation and hopelessness help, as well as after.

      There are other Resources on this page on the site.

      Finally, could you talk with a counselor or teacher at school? Or is there another adult you trust who could help mediate a conversation with your parents?

      I’m wishing you luck, Emily! I hope you are able to get some help and relief soon.

  67. Marisa B says:

    Stacey, three phenomenal therapists and incredible psychiatrist saved my life last year. I had another slow spiral down, and didn’t see it coming. I had a perfect plan that, of course, I would not share. I ended up with PTSD psychosis, and I didn’t even recognize my face in the mirror. My “team” moved appointments around, worked together, and accepted my refusal of hospitalization. I’d had two horrific experiences while in the hospital. I wanted to be in control of my choices. For a while (I don’t know how long…at least eight months) if a cancellation happened, the team just booked it and called me. I was able to be seen at least four days of the week. Eventually, I was able to use the DBT and CBT skills I had learned again. I am telling you this because I sense you are very much an empath. I hope many in your community find their way to you. It is hard to get a therapist who is competent, and absolutely caring. Thank you.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Marisa, thank you for sharing your story. I am certain your experiences will give others hope. You made it out to the other side, and it sounds like you had excellent help in doing so. Your treatment team showed compassion and courage in doing what they could to keep you out of the hospital, knowing that it could re-traumatize you to go there again. That level of risk can be a frightening place for a professional to be – to risk being considered liable if the worst did happen – but it is not nearly as frightening as the place where the client is.

      Thank you, too, for your kind words about me. I appreciate it!

  68. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Stacey, thanks for the links you gave me. Some have been very useful.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      That’s great news, Jacqueline. Thanks for letting me know!

      If you come upon other resources that are helpful and not listed on my site, please feel free to let me know and I will add them.

  69. Shaaron says:

    thoughts, anyone?
    i don’t know if i should go to the psych hospital or not for being suicidal. my therapist asked me if i needed to go last week. i said no, but i thought yes. my main problem about going is that i’m afraid of how my family will react. i’d probably just go if they were more supportive. i’ve been there before, and it helped, but that was after a serious suicide attempt. i don’t know if i can/should get admitted just for having suicidal thoughts, and i don’t want to drag my family through all of that again. the thing that worries me is that i have a detailed plan and a backup plan, i think about it a lot and i’m impulsive. i’ve got things keeping me here, like family, but i’m afraid i’m going to have a mood swing and then do something stupid. but i dont know if that’s serious enough to be let in to the hospital. i’ve been worse than this before with out going there or talking about it frankly with my doctors, and i made it through that. but i just don’t know if i can keep making it through. should i go? i don’t even know if i’m going to kill myself, but i’m not doing well and my massive amounts of therapy haven’t seemed to be doing much lately.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Shaaron,

      These are tough questions and concerns! Please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) if you are in North America. You also might find helpful resources on this site’s resources page. It lists ways to get help by phone, email, text, or chat.

      I hope you are sharing with your therapists that you have a detailed plan and backup plan and are worried about whether you can control your impulses. Your therapist can’t fully help you without all the facts.

  70. Jacqueline says:

    I’m in a bad place tonight and I know I should get help but I feel embarrassed to say I feel suicidal. I know I would be asked why …… and I don’t have an answer.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline,

      I’m sorry you’re in a bad place. I hope you will get help. When you are asked why you want to kill yourself, you can simply say, “I don’t know.” There is no requirement that someone have a “good” or “logical” reason for suicidal thoughts.

      If you are in the U.S., please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) or 911. You can also just show up at an emergency room, and the hospital will evaluate you and get you into an inpatient facility if warranted.

      You can find other Resources at http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

      It’s good you reached out here. I hope you will reach out to people near you, too!

    • Jacqueline says:

      I’m not in the US I’m in the North East of the UK, where hospital admittance would not be considered for someone expressing suicidal thoughts, it would only happen if action had actually been taken and the person needed monitoring. Even then it would only be an overnight stay.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline,

      There are other ways to get help besides hospitalization (which also is very hard to obtain in the U.S.) In the UK, the Samaritans are a big help. They provide services in person, by phone, and by email. You can learn about these options at http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us.

      Please also check out the resources on this site at http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp In particular, the link to the online wiki can be especially helpful.

    • Anonymous says:

      http://www.maytree.org.uk
      This site may be useful for people in the UK thinking of suicide or needing time to heal.
      Best wishes.

  71. Rethink says:

    As someone who has seen multiple flaws in the psychological field, and as someone who is likely to end up very soon leaning towards what this article calls a “lie” there are some critiques I would like to offer because this comes from a very biased place:
    First a therapist who likely has never really felt this pain has no place calling suicide a lie…..it may honestly be the best option for someone who is actually living a totally different vantage point. The suicide might be the only thing that is honest relief! You show a bias by stating such bold assumptions.
    Second, the word “help” is misused so many times today! There are many that claim they are there to help that simply make the matter worse! How do you know that previous therapists aren’t some of the reasons a person is where they are at?!!! That is another assumption, and if you are going to really get someone to trust you, you need to do some work to. Part of that is earning their trust…and calling their thoughts lies, and discrediting them is not a good start.
    Third, maybe in the past those pieces of “hope” just ended up being lies, and baits for someone to believe something would be more beneficial than it was?!!!
    Lastly, I often hear people who are related to one who committed suicide’s actions as “selfish”, yet as someone who has reached out to some of those people, I can tell you they haven’t taken any of my requests for their help seriously! Now, turn the table for a second; how is it not selfish for those people who aren’t doing much at all to fight the problems leading up to these thoughts to ask me to go through the pain I go through every day just so they don’t have to go to a funeral?!!! How is that not SELFISH?!!! The way this article is written, you honestly sound like you don’t see things from the suffering person’s vantage point. It baffles me to no end how people who show obvious biases to their own point have the audacity to say they are there to “help” people. I can fairly tell you that I wouldn’t trust you even if you are a good person. You may be, and you may care, but there is a lot of improvement needed here if you really want to reach someone who has these thoughts.
    Oh one last thing, and I think this is very helpful. There is a psychologist named Bruce Levine, who I think is one of the few bright enough to see many of the reasons most psychologists aren’t more successful. http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/12/10-ways-mental-health-professionals-increase-misery-suffering-people/
    I hope you find this helpful. I don’t trust therapists, but I do believe this world needs much better ones…..there are far too many bad therapists out there.

    • Rethink says:

      One more thing….. there are all these “disorders” out there. How is that supposed to increase someone’s self worth?!! I have a disorder for most shrinks: a “Disorder disorder”….every flipping reaction to anything is labeled a “disorder”….perhaps this is something society needs to hit the breaks on?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Rethink,”

      I’m sorry that you find yourself soon leaning toward suicide. You are obviously a very bright deep thinker, and the world will suffer a loss if you take that route.

      But I also agree with you that selfishness does not underlie suicide. Or if it does underlie it, this is an understandable type of selfishness, a response to intense pain and the need to escape it (and the inability to see or believe that there are other means of escape or coping).

      I regret that you think I’m calling suicide itself a lie, and therefore discrediting those people who seriously consider suicide. I know this is a subtle distinction in wording, but I don’t think suicide is a lie. It is a liar. Suicide beckons with attestations that it alone can end pain. Yet there are a great many people who can attest otherwise, based on their own experiences with suffering and suicidal episodes. Some of these people are deeply involved in suicide prevention efforts precisely because they once believed the lies and then came to see the truth.

      And yes, without attacking anyone’s credibility, I can say with certainty that sometimes what people believe simply is not correct. This is why I like the pithy phrase, “Don’t believe everything you think.”

      That said, there is no correct or incorrect to emotions. Emotions just are. So I would never want to invalidate someone’s experience of pain, hopelessness, or despair. Those emotions are all too real.

      It is what to do about them that can become distorted. There simply are other options besides suicide.

  72. distressed says:

    I’ve been reading all these comments and to be fair everyone is rite the mental health therapists can be a joke..but there are very few out there that are great,and great at listening and helping at bad times.

  73. Rese says:

    This is beautiful and made me cry. But I digress. I have spoke of these so called lies of suicide. Eventually I find out they are not lies at all. I am a burden. From my fathers own mouth!

    Suicide IS a permanent solution. Hope, however, is temporary. Finally figuring that one out. Years of torment, struggling and hospitalizations… I can’t do it anymore.

    28 years old. Severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD…. I cant succeed even in college. I am nobody; nothing. I will never be anything else. It destroys me.

    These are not lies. It is my reality.

    • Jacqueline says:

      I’ve been where you are now. I am an ‘unexpected’ twin. I’ve been told numerous times that I’ve been trouble ever since I was born. Since being at primary school I’ve believed what was said so I became very quite and isolated as I didn’t want everyone else to find out how much trouble I was.
      I felt left out of the family as I have 2 brothers so everything revolved around male orientated things.
      This is one of the things that triggered of my borderline personality disorder. All my life I tried so hard to get my parent’s approval, even now when I am 50. It’s the small things like this that mount up and you start to believe you are worthless and unwanted. I wish I could offer some support by saying things will improve, but they don’t. The only way things could possibly improve is if you start to believe in yourself, which I know is very hard. I’ve been there .. I know the feelings you get, I get them too. I can’t work, my kids have left home, nobody needs me, I give nothing to society, who would miss me. Perhaps the world would be better off without me, but I was given life by God with a purpose in mind, I don’t know what it is, or when I will realise what it is, but I’ve put my life in God’s hands many times. I would od thinking that the outcome would be decided by Him, and I am still here, so He must have plans for me, I just don’t know what they are. Trying to be positive when you are surrounded with negative thoughts is very hard. But even doing small things will help, even if it’s just washing the dishes, because you’ve saved someone else the bother of doing it. Concentrate on achieving small things, even if it’s just getting out of bed!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline, thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sad about the suffering you’ve endured. May you continue concentrating on the small achievements!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Rese, my heart breaks reading your words. I’m sorry that you are suffering so badly.

      I hope you will reach out to others for help. One place to call, if you are in North America, is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK).

      There are also places that provide help by phone, text, email, or chat. You can find a list on this site’s Resources page at http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

  74. Juliet says:

    I went to the ER for the first time in my life after getting drunk and slashing my wrist. I was covered in blood, had very low blood pressure due to blood loss, kept ripping off my bandages and received 8 stitches. They put me in the observation room for a few hours then sent me home. Some help. I SHOULD have been placed on a psych hold, but I have state insurance. I don’t think they wanted to waste all that money on me. Ugh.
    The care we receive is really hit or miss. I love my therapist but still got shafted by the medical community. I was so let down. I went seeking help and they didn’t take me seriously. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I even pushed a security guard and had to be strapped down. Yet they thought I was fine to go? BS.
    It’s really hard to seek help. I feel like the door was slammed in my face just because I have state medical.

    • Jacqueline S says:

      I’ve had a very similar experience. I took 25 tablets and a friend realised what I had done as I was apparently very confused and slurring my words. She took me to A&E where I had the usual tests and a doctor said physically there was nothing wrong but I had to have a psych assessment before I could return home. It took over 2 hours for a psyc assessment and one of the questions was: if I was in a similar situation, would I respond in the same way? I was truthful and said ‘more than likely’. The next question was ‘right at this moment did I feel like overdozing again’, I answered no not whilst I was in hospital. As soon as I said ‘No, she started writing, it was my discharge note.

  75. Jacqueline S says:

    When I went to see a therapist (I have Borderline Personality Disorder) I was told that the time I had, 1 hour, was for me to say how I was feeling. I said I was feeling suicidal and that I had tablets at home I felt like taking. The next 55 minutes were filled with silence, until the therapist said ‘right times up for now, I’ll see you next week’. I went home, my feelings of worthlessness seemed to have been endorsed. I’d told a professional in the health service I was feeling suicidal and had the means to take action but no concern or help was offered. I took 25 tablets, a neighbour later heard me fall down the stairs and I was taken to A&E. I cancelled all future appointments with my ‘therapist’. I now take meds but sometimes I just get a thought ‘overdose’ in my head and it won’t go away until I act on it, even if it takes 2-3 weeks. I took a DBT course, the recommended ‘treatment’ by NICE, and when this was completed I was told the Mental Health Team had nothing further to offer me and was discharged from their services. This was almost a year ago. I still get suicidal thoughts which I do act upon, I place my life in God’s hands, if He wants me to live I will survive, I play ‘Russian Roulette’ with my life. I was told by them that I am in the top 10% of people most likely to die from overdosing, but they still offered no further help. I know it won’t be long before I do die.

    • Juliet says:

      I have BPD as well. I found a wonderful therapist I’ve been seeing for three years. I take Effexor xr for my impulsive and self deductive behavior. My therapist is my life line!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Juliet, thank you for sharing your positive experiences! So many people who leave comments here have had negative experiences with therapists, medications, or hospitals. It is important for others to know of those experiences, but I am afraid that those who are happy with their experiences simply do not feel moved to share. For the sake of others who are considering seeking help, thank you for doing so.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline, I just responded to another of your comments, one where you said you have faith God has kept you around for a reason, and you encouraged another comment writer to focus on small achievements. It appears you were in a different frame of mind when you wrote this comment.

      What you experienced in the emergency room is awful, as is the system’s neglect of you in other ways. Unfortunately, borderline personality disorder has a huge stigma. Many professionals believe – wrongly – that BPD is untreatable. They give up. That doesn’t make what’s happened to you right. No, it makes it worse.

      I hope you are able to get help in other ways. You can find a list of resources here: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

  76. Lee says:

    I wish my therapist would say this to me. I wish anybody would say this to me. I wish people cared as much as they say they do.

    • Jacqueline S says:

      I’ve found that therapists say they care, but at the end of the day its their job … It’s what they get paid by the NHS to do. If they really cared they would allow you to contact them ‘out of hours’ if you were in crisis. I’m in the UK and NHS therapists can’t be contacted ‘out of hours’ but if you pay privately for the same therapist you can contact them ‘out of hours’. It’s a case of ‘money talks’. They are paid to care in the sense that they have a ‘duty of care’.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jacqueline, I’ve heard many people say something similar – that therapists don’t really care, they are just doing their job. To this I ask, can’t therapists be paid for the service they provide and also care about the people they are trying to help?

      I care deeply about my clients. It is a delicate privilege, one I appreciate greatly, to be granted entrance into their innermost thoughts and feelings. To get to know somebody so intimately and not care about them would, I believe, be a feat of callousness.

      I do not find that my being paid prevents me from having feelings.

      As for the NHS, is it possible that that it is against NHS rules to take crisis calls after hours, and that those who are in private practice can do as they please?

      I do not mean to be overly defensive. No doubt there are therapists out there who are burnt out, or who lack empathy, or who struggle so much with their own problems that they have little left to give to others, or who really belong in another profession. I am sad if those are the only types of therapists whom you have met!

  77. Frank says:

    This is ridiculous. Why no mention of the 72 hour+ psych ward incarceration you’ll inevitably have to deal with after you mention this? Why nothing about the fact that the only concern a practitioner has about your suicide is his/her malpractice liability? Why not also mention that a practioner can’t actually help you and everything you must do to “recover” must come from deep personal energy reserves that don’t exist in suicidal subjects. Oh and that you’ll have to do it all completely alone.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Frank, it sounds like either you’ve been hurt by a mental health professional before, or you’ve received some very inaccurate information. Let me address each of your points.

      There is no 72 hour+ psych ward incarceration merely for wanting to die by suicide, or even for making plans to die by suicide. For someone to be committed involuntarily to a hospital for psychiatric treatment, they have to be in imminent danger of suicide. Thoughts, wishes, and plans for suicide do not constitute imminent danger in the absence of the intent to act soon on those thoughts, wishes, and plans. I write more about this issue in my post “Will I Be Committed to a Mental Hospital if I Tell a Therapist about my Suicidal Thoughts?”

      As for your statement that “the only concern a practitioner has about your suicide is his/her malpractice liability,” I am wondering what experiences that you had, or learned of, that gave you that impression. Certainly practitioners do worry about their malpractice liability. Client suicides are one of the biggest reasons that mental health professionals get sued. Concerns about a lawsuit from grieving family are not ill-founded, but such concerns do not cancel out or exceed the deep compassion many therapists feel for their clients, as well as the profound wish for the clients to survive a suicidal crisis for the clients’ sake, not the therapist’s. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I care far more about my clients’ welfare than about any abstract possibility of a lawsuit!

      Finally, I don’t understand your assertion that a practitioner can’t help anyone who is suicidal. Perhaps a practitioner didn’t help you or someone you care about, but that doesn’t mean nobody can be helped. All therapists are different. All therapies are different. I know, both from my own clinical experiences with clients and my readings of the research literature (including rigorous, randomized controlled trials), that therapy and therapists can and do help clients to feel better, tap into hope, and restore the wish to live.

      I hope that if you need help now or ever in the future, you will give it a try. Even if you don’t want to see a therapist or psychiatrist, there are other ways of seeking help by phone, email, chat, or text, listed here on this site’s Resources Page.

  78. Stay Positive says:

    Thank you so much for the advice Stacey. It is definitely not my intention to stir up guilt. I will make sure to be very carefull and to put in that I do not blame him. While he was still in hospital I told him that I do not blame him. That I understand where it came from and that he does not have to apologise. All I want for him is to get better and understand that I am there for him. There is guilt from my side as I did not see it coming. I have made a promise to myself that I will be more attentive to his behaviour

  79. Stay positive says:

    I want to thank you for this lovely letter. My husband tried to commit suicide on christmas morning. My daughter and myself found him. He tried to OD on his depression medication. He is currently in a clinic. I am busy making him a book full of my thoughts as the therapist wants him to know how I feel as well. My book is not about being disappointed or loving him less. My book is about our good memories. Everything we have done, even our near death experiences and how we laugh about it now. I remind him of my love for him. Of our children. I have even left a few pages for him to start our bucket list. Take note that will not be his, but ours. A lot of depressed people is hungry for love and someone to share life with. I am going to put this letter in my book as well, but at the back. Everytime he feels depressed i will remind him to read the letter and then the book. My book will also be full of photos and pretty poems i wrote him. Please, I know not every situation is the same, but I do believe that it is also a cry for help. To everyone who has a suicidal loved one, maybe try this book. I am still doing other research for this book. Every person has the right to live and to be loved beyond eternity.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      For “Stay positive”:

      What a beautiful act of love for your husband. Often when someone attempts suicide, they fear reprisals, anger, or disappointment from their loved ones. You are showing him only love and support.

      One note of caution: Statements of love, appreciation, and hope to someone who just survived a suicide attempt can sometimes trigger guilt, as if the person who attempted suicide foolishly or selfishly upset their loved ones. In these circumstances, I think it can be helpful for a loved one to underscore that they don’t blame the attempt survivor for the suicide attempt, they blame his illness or whatever forces beyond the person’s control underlay the attempt.

      Of course I don’t think it is your intent to stir up guilt or anything like that. You even said the book is not about expressing disappointment or loving him less. Perhaps, still, a message about not blaming him could prove helpful.

      And if he does express feelings of guilt or blame for having put you through the trauma of his suicide attempt, maybe he will find this post useful: “Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?”

      My best wishes to you, your husband, and your family! And may he receive the hope and love with which you are creating his book.

  80. Caitlyn says:

    I recently wrote a “grief” letter to my suicide self. I finally acknowledged it for all it has done but I also said good-bye to it.

    I know I probably made my therapist feel this way. I would end up in the hospital just when everyone thought things were going well. I wanted to hide it, to keep it a secret. The truth is keeping it a secret gave it power and gave me control. Once I told my plan I threw it away because it wasn’t mine anymore. A lot of times my hospitalizations came from planning but without attempts. A few times attempts were involved. I would figure out something else a new plan. I had one key piece to it all the time. It had to be pretty. Whatever I was going to see last had to be pretty. I’m not sure why which I guess is something for me to look at.

    I feel comfortable saying goodbye to suicide Caitlyn. I know she isn’t going to always stay away but she doesn’t have control anymore. I acknowledged her and all the help and support she offered but I don’t need her anymore. I have loving Caitlyn and I am working with her now.

    I really appreciate this post- Thanks!

  81. anonymous says:

    Thank you… for posting that.
    Most of the time I’m awfully scared to talk to anyone about how I’m feeling.
    At least having a little bit of hope that I wont be berated or looked down upon just because of how I feel makes me breathe a little easier tonight, knowing I’m going to go get help. haha. Thxs

  82. doesn't matter 2 says:

    doesn’t matter I feel exactly the same way. Life is a prison. Hope is far far too painful to contemplate. Therapists and help lines just want you to listen to them, take their meds, and start lying to them about how great it all is. It isn’t. We are forced to lie. Just more lies because they SAY they want to know, but they don’t. Start talking on a line or to whoever and it is minutes to “if you do this you’ll feel better” “think about x, how will they feel” “you’re thinking is wrong” “you’re wrong” “force yourself to go walk” “survive another day – it’s a win” (no it isn’t). Suicide doesn’t lie. People do.

    I know people want to help, but they don’t LISTEN. EVER. They want to feel good about trying. that’s it.

    Now I am in such a box I can’t say anything to anyone. Post one too many things that aren’t positive and “isn’t my life great” and then comes the “you need to…” “you should…” “you don’t listen” “you’re always so negative” blah blah blah. No one wants to really listen. They just want to say it.

    I’m with “doesn’t matter.” You wanna help? Just fricking listen. Nothing out of you but listening. No helpful advice (unless asked), no judgement, no time limit, no drifting off. If you are going to do those things (and they happen on the average helpline call) DONT HELP AT ALL. It makes it worse.

    Then, you see, you really ARE alone.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      For “Doesn’t matter 2” – I’m sorry you’ve not found someone to listen. There are plenty of people out there who can, do, and will listen. Please don’t give up trying. Whether a therapist, religious or spiritual leader, good friend, family member, hotline counselor, physician, neighbor, or whoever else you might encounter in your life, plenty of people out there do know how to listen without judgment, advice, or a compulsion to cheer you up.

      Years ago a dear friend called a suicide hotline and became furious when she encountered the behavior you described – the advice, the admonitions to feel better, etc.

      Later, she told me all she wanted the counselor to say was, “What is it like to hurt so much?”

      I have often kept that in mind while working with clients who are in a suicidal state. It’s not as simple as saying only, “What’s it like?” and nothing else. But that is an excellent start.

    • Erin Sari Morris says:

      I will listen. I don’t care who you are or what you have done, male, female, young, or old. Please use me if you need that. I understand what you’re saying and it spoke to my heart. I’m here for you. Add me on Facebook, reply to the comment, or if you are not comfortable with that, then just know I have you in my journal and I am praying for you now and every night I go to sleep.

  83. anastasia h says:

    How I wish my 16 year old son would have read this letter. We lost him to suicide on October 15, 2013. No warning signs. Well, little things we chalked up to being a teenager. Hindsight is 20/20. But he did hide his struggle well. He was in all honors classes, leadership rolls at school and church, varsity football, volunteered for mission trips and worked with special needs kids. He always had a hug, high five and smile for everyone. So many kids told me that if it wasn’t for him, they would be dead, or into drugs. Why are so many kids capable of hiding these thoughts? My son told one friend 2 weeks before that he was constantly thinking of “committing suicide” and his friend told no one. He said he thought Frankie would call him if he was going to try. He learned the hard way that when someone has a plan and has decided to go through with the plan, that they won’t tell anyone because they don’t want to be talked out of it. I hate suicide! The guilt, what ifs, should haves…consumes me. And my poor daughter was 12 when she found her brother…self inflicted GSW to the head. Now I am so scared her PTSD will get the best of her and she will try to be with her brother. I am going to have her read this letter. Thank you for posting it. And sorry I rambled.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hello Anastasia, I am so sorry about your son’s suicide and about the suffering your family has endured since. How awful not only that your son died by suicide, but also that your daughter went through the added trauma of discovering him.

      You wrote, “I hate suicide! The guilt, what ifs, should haves…consume me.” You said that so well, and so plainly. I hate suicide, too!

      I am wondering if the following posts on this site might be helpful to you:

      “If Only”: Self-Blame After a Loved One’s Suicide

      Coping with the Suicide of a Loved One

      Also, you can find a list of resources for people who have lost a loved one to suicide by clicking here.

  84. spiralling says:

    No, no, no, suicide does not lie. It tells you how things are at that moment in time. Your thoughts demonstrate the state of your situation or life at that time. When you are in that state for many months, or even years then for some people, suicide is the best option. I am not going to state my difficulties here but I will say that a psychotherapist and a medical physician made my situation much worse by ignoring me and minimising my issues. The therapist would prevent me from talking about what I wanted to talk about. The same therapist would instruct my physician to ignore me and play down things. This meant that conditions I was at risk of were not monitored whereas they were before the therapist came on the scene. I would often mention the same symptoms to the physician at several appointments because they were causing pain but I was ignored. But that has turned out to be a new and painful illness I now live with daily. Early intervention (which I tried to get) may have prevented this.

    I had known the physician for a few years before seeing the therapist. This meant that the physician knew me quite well. The therapist and physician did not know each other. As soon as the therapist told the physician what to do, it was done, regardless of outcome and even when I stated the harm it was causing. The physician did something very serious which made me very suicidal but I am not able to say what that is because someone associated with the physician has threatened me if I speak (the details would identify me).

    Being diagnosed with severe depression years ago, this type of behavior by physician and therapist only increases my sense of worthlessness and they would know that. Actually it was no different than them saying “go ahead and die”. If suicide told me lies, these people would not have behaved as they did. They obviously have the same views about me as I do. I have now completely isolated myself.

    It has been almost a year since I have seen a physician and I need medical help. I will never see another physician, therapist, or psychiatrist. I trust no one but I trust healthcare people and therapists the least. If I were able to provide the details it would be clear why I feel this way. I no longer live, I just exist, and I hate every second of that existence. I have just finished reading a book about suicide and have discovered that for the last year I have been practising slow suicide. I sort of knew that but now I have the name confirmed. Basically I put bad stuff into my body and avoid looking after myself. In other words I have a bad lifestyle.

    Sorry but if suicide lied, why would there be such a high suicide rate amongst psychiatrists and medical physicians? Surely they would be able to tell themselves that it was the illness speaking before it got to the stage of taking their life? Are these people not trained in helping patients overcome suicidal thoughts, feelings, and behavior?

    So no, suicide does not lie. People have the power to make others suicidal even though this is sometimes denied by healthcare people.

    • Been there over and over. We all are different, but you and I wrote the same reply. I do not need to know your issues, but I can tell you what worked for me. Please friend me. Message me so I know who you are.

    • Spiralling says:

      Thanks gogochiwawaVonnie, I don’t want anyone to know who I am. I no longer speak to anyone unless I have to say to buy some food or something. I have only written here to express how I don’t believe that suicide lies.

      Psychology, therapy – It’s not real, it brainwashing, it can’t be proven. I no longer believe in psychology, psychologist, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors (not that I ever did), or physicians. Collectively, in collaboration they have done several bad and serious things to me. I don’t think they can tell you why you feel like you do but my experience tells me they believe they can. With a cut you can physically see the point of pain. This is not so with mental illness. You cannot even look at an MRI and say, “there it is”. It’s futile. I wish I could find a blog I once read by a CEO of some big psychological association. A psychologist himself who stated that “therapy doesn’t work”. Quite a statement by someone in his former position. I think it may work for some people. Those people may be the sort that believe anything they are told or are accepting (without questioning or not be sceptical) of anything they hear. These are harsh words I guess but they are just my personal views.

      I am not a young person and I can say with complete honesty that I have never felt suicidal until I started seeing a psychologist a few years ago. Since those first few meetings it went beyond just a feeling and it continues to escalate to this day. These people may say they want to help people but unless they have experience the intense physical pain, the drastically low moods, the intense anxiety, and the pure desperation to end your life then they do not truly understand suicide. I am currently frustrated as I am unable to find a term to describe the intense desperation to end life at those moments. It is almost indescribable.

      All of those “carers” (and I mean ALL of them) have said things and done things that have confirmed my own knowledge of my worthlessness. When I told each of them that what they were doing was making me want to get rid of myself, they continued with the same behaviour. So, I do not want help or to be saved or to try what others have had success with (unless it can get rid of me) because they have told me I do not deserve it and that I have no place on this earth. I only want to leave now.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Spiralling,” your comment is heartbreaking. You obviously are in terrible pain. I wish there were some way for you to see – and to believe – that nobody, no matter how harmful or incompetent of a professional, can confirm your own knowledge of your worthlessness, as you put it. Why do you take their wrongdoings as evidence of wrongness in you?

      Every profession has bad apples. Police officers who brutalize suspects, teachers who prey on students, physicians who sexually assault patients. But that doesn’t mean we stop using the services of all police officers, teachers, and physicians. And it certainly doesn’t mean that the suspects, students, and patients are worthless.

      Wherever you go, whomever you go to, I hope you are able to reach out and receive help.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Spiralling,”

      This response is in reply to your second comment. It sounds like you were deeply hurt by a therapist and physician. I am so sorry. My heart breaks when I hear such stories.

      I also am confused. You say that their treatment of you proves that “They obviously have the same views about me as I do. I have now completely isolated myself.”

      First, how do their mistakes reflect anything about your own self worth? It seems to me that their actions reflect truths only about themselves, not you.

      Second, even if they did have a low view of you, why would that mean you deserve such a low view? On the one hand you say you will never trust health professionals again, but on the other hand you trust completely what you perceive to be their low view of you. Hence, my confusion.

      You asked why psychiatrists and other doctors die by suicide if suicide lies. Sadly, no one is immune from suicide’s forces, just as some cardiologists die of heart disease and some oncologists die of cancer. That mental health professionals die by suicide is yet more evidence of suicide’s power, in my opinion.

      It sounds like you have much pain and anger about what you experienced. I hope you are able to talk freely with someone about it, whether a professional or a friend. I provide a list of places where you can talk to someone by phone, email, text, or chat. You can find it here: http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

  85. Anonymous says:

    What lovely words. I too am in the health care field. Always giving to others and not to myself. I have felt my whole life that I just don’t belong or fit in anywhere. I can’t count the number of times I have thought the world would be better off without me. It just keeps getting harder each day. I am not crazy, just in emotional pain all the time.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” can you give to yourself what you give to others? Can you get for yourself what others get from you? I hope so. It sounds like you are deeply hurting. Please check out the Resources page for ideas of where to start, if you are not getting help already.

  86. doesn't matter says:

    What a crock of shit. Suicide just is. It doesn’t lie or tell the truth as it does not speak. It is an unfortunate but viable solution to ending a life that just hasn’t gone well. I hate when young people do it. Where there is youth there is hope. I’m 56, fat, asthmatic, arthritic, am in both crushing debt and constant pain. No friends, no money, no upside and no hope. Why, in God’s name, would any doctor even consider it appropriate to even try to talk me out of suicide? You want to help? Help me die.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      For “Doesn’t matter” – I am sorry you feel that way, and I am especially sorry that it sounds like you feel no hope of your life ever again having friends, money, or “an upside.” I can’t know what you feel or think beyond what you’ve written here. I can only draw on my experiences with others who had the same convictions about their situation being hopeless, but who ended up being wrong, as their lives months or years later attested. For that reason, as a therapist, I would never help someone die, not only because it is legally and ethically prohibited, but also because it would defy reason to me.

      That said, I don’t really try to talk people out of suicide. Such an endeavor is rarely fruitful. The more the therapist argues on the side of life, the more entrenched the client becomes about why death is preferable. Instead, I try to help people to get in touch with their own ambivalence about living and dying, to reduce their suffering by helping them reduce depression, traumatic stress, etc., and to partner with them in their efforts to rediscover meaning and hope in their life.

      I also try to help them appraise their life more realistically. People with depression and other stressors often view life with tunnel vision, focusing only on the negatives that confirm their reasons for dying and outright being unable to see the full picture. Often, very often, even more often than many people realize, there is hope in the shadows of suffering.

    • still doesn't matter says:

      Thanks for the reply, Doc. Sorry to rant so hard. Who knows, maybe when I do find the strength to pull the trigger, the round will be a dud and I’ll discover some new hope. Or see it as another failed endeavor. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Here’s wishing you and yours the best.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Still doesn’t matter” – Thanks for your thoughtful note. No need to apologize. Amid the feelings of hopelessness and despair you have described, it is natural to feel angry, too. I wish you the best, too, including relief from your suffering, though, from my philosophical stance in mind, I hope you experience that relief in any of the many ways out there that do not involve suicide.

    • rabidbadger says:

      If you want to die, trust me, it’s easy to do. You don’t need help. Staying alive, now that’s hard.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Rabidbadger,”

      Your comment reminds me of a line from an Annie Lennox song called Cold: “Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death.”

      In reality, dying is pretty hard to do. Even people who have used what appeared to be foolproof methods have survived, only with even worse life circumstances than before their suicide attempt. Other people find that when they make the actual attempt, or try to, their instinct to survive overcomes them and they call for help even against their own wishes.

      Cara Anna, a journalist who runs a blog called talkingaboutsuicide.com, writes eloquently of the difficulties in dying, and the disastrous consequences that can result from trying. You can read it here: http://talkingaboutsuicide.com/about-the-blog/

  87. Anonymous says:

    it made me cry..I was looking for how to write a letter in case…you know..

    I dont wanna kill myself but sometimes i feel like i dont wanna live anymore, like wishing to be killed in an accident..

    it is like a big battle and in this case loosing one little fight means loosing a war, war with S over life…

    thank you for helping me out tonight…

  88. Julia says:

    Reading this letter brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing it. I would love to share it with my clients someday.

    I work at a crisis stabilization facility – no, it is not a locked place – people are free to do as they please, but they feel safe here. They are here to get better. Many times they have come from the community or a hospital because they do not feel safe, or they feel like they may die by suicide or at risk for harming themselves. I am a therapist in training in a graduate program here.

    It hurts me to read the words that others have written here about therapists and not trusting because of the poor services they received before. I really understand now that, even though there are codes of ethics, the ACA Code of ethics – there are not good therapists out there.

    To whoever is reading this: I hope you know that there are good therapists out there, who are willing to listen to your story, who are moved by your words and who will share things with you to lift you up, not shut you out.

    Thank you again for sharing.

    Julia

  89. Jen says:

    Thank you for writing this! I can’t wait to show this to my supervisor. As a counseling intern at a highschool, I am learning from my student/clients the difference between suicidal thoughts and immediate danger and of course, the deeper issue of working through their traumas. I feel incredibly honored to have taken the burden for some, even for just a few minutes. Not just because it’s my job but because I care and everyone matters.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Beautifully said, Jen. I am glad you are learning that suicidal thoughts exist on a continuum, and that suicidal thoughts alone do not constitute imminent danger of self harm. Your counseling clients will benefit from the skills you are developing!

  90. Allison Smith says:

    Wow! Reading this letter, and then reading some of the posts brings back so much for me.

    For 6 years, I was in the depths of severe depression. I struggled with suicidal thoughts every day. Some days worse than others. In the beginning, I had several therapists who panicked. The first 3 therapists I saw I never told them. But, partly because their response to me no matter how depressed I was, “You just need to pray harder.”

    Then, I went to yet another therapist who did panic. I told her I was feeling better, and how suicidal I had been the night before. She spent the next 45 minutes asking colleagues which was the best hospital to send me to, and calling the hospital to start the process. She made me call a friend to come pick me up, so I could go pack some clothes and my friend would then take me. Hospitalization does indeed make things worse. I was scared out of my mind, in addition a past trauma was triggered and started having flashbacks. When I was released, i was resolved that I would never again tell someone when I was suicidal.

    Luckily for me, 6 months later I found a therapist who did not panic. My resolve from above had faltered, and so no matter how many times I told her I was having suicidal thoughts she would get me in for an appointment so we could process through what was making me feel like suicide was the only option. One night, suicide did tell me that everyone was the enemy, and so I tried overdosing. I took the drugs and laid down to go to sleep and never wake up. Instead, my body had the opposite reaction, which scared me so I called a friend and had my therapist paged. I ended up in the ER, but was not admitted since my therapist was going to be able to see me the next morning.

    To make a long story short, I went to several residential treatment centers, and was indeed hospitalized several more times, but I had gotten to a point where I knew suicide was not the answer so I made the decision and had friends drive me. Then, December of 2013 through April 2014, I spent 4 months at a residential treatment center where I got the help I needed!!

    Since then, I still have times when my brain will go back to that thought. However, I notice it and say to myself, “Ok, I know where that thought is coming from, but I am not going to go there. That is not an option anymore.”
    I then start thinking about ways to soothe myself until that thought passes.

    For all of you still in the fight, keep hanging on. Things do indeed get better and there are therapists out there who do not panic, and when you find one, they are worth their weight in gold!!

  91. Anonymous says:

    Im thankful my therapist worked with me every time i told her i did not want to live. She never called the cops on me. She handled me well even though im sure she was really scared i may kill myself. She always asked if i will be safe till tomorrow besides a my usual self harm. We agreed scratching myself was safer then cutting and cutting was safer then hanging myself. That young women and my pregnancy saved my life. I never felt judged by her and i know she would have never called the cops on me unless i told her im not safe or yes im going to rid myself. I wish my brother in law would have seen a therapist maybe he wouldnt have hung himself last week. Now its to late. He is gone and we r all in extreme sorrow and pain.

  92. Anonymous Person says:

    Does it make sense saying you want to die but you don’t want to kill yourself? Should I tell a professional about this? Can this lead to suicide?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      I’m sorry you’re feeling like you want to die. Clinically, that is called a “passive” suicidal thought – the wish that you want to be dead, without the desire to act on that wish. For the sake of your safety, it’s good that the desire to act is not there!

      I consider suicidal thoughts, whether “passive” or “active,” to be a symptom of something that needs healing. It might be something in your life that is causing you distress. Or it might be something inside of you, like depression.

      Whether or not to see a professional depends on you, your social supports, your life circumstances, and the extent of the distress that is causing you to want to be dead. In general, I do recommend talking to a professional when distress causes thoughts of death or suicide. It is not necessary to suffer! There are many kinds of help available.

      It is possible for thoughts of wanting to die to lead to suicide, but is very unusual. Consider that every year in the United States, roughly 15 million people seriously suicide. And the number of Americans who die by suicide is almost 40,000. In other words, even when it comes to serious consideration of suicide, thoughts are far, far more common than actions. Thankfully!

      I wish you the best in your healing process. Recognizing that you want to be dead, and questioning whether you need help or could be in danger, is an important first step.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just want to tell u, ur not alone with these feelings and it means u have hope! Stay strong and slowly find more and more will to live. I believe everything will be ok.

  93. Zara says:

    This is an eloquent epistel full of feeling but the question still stands: why should you trust someone who might decide – and in some cases is even legally obligated – to have you locked away? I’ve never been involuntarily committed (or whatever else they might call it to make it more palatable to polite society’s delicate tastes) but I very much value my freedom (the notion that it is actually worth dying for is completely correct imo which is why the men and in some cases women who died defending our freedom deserve much respect and admiration) and I can well imagine, also based on accounts of people who went through this, it must be one of the most painful, degrading and humiliating experiences one can endure in a democratic society in peacetime (with goverment permission no less). It’s no wonder the likelihood of suicide rises exponentially right after release from such a facility/prison: on top of the problems you already had (which must be grave if you’re seriously contemplating self-destruction) comes shame, utter helplessness and a complete betrayal of trust which is probably extra painful for those who already have a hard time trusting anyone with their innermost feelngs and thoughts. It is my understanding that therapy relies heavily upon the personal connection/relationship between the caregiver and receiver (therapeutic alliance) so how exactly is locking someone up supposed to be therapeutically beneficial when both parties stand diametrically opposed to one-another as jailer and prisoner? Same goes with psychotropic drugs: why would anyone keep taking pills that they were forced to swallow in the first place?

    Imo it’s not the job of anyone working in medicine or in general the field of caring for suffering human-beings to rat out those who trust them (this would be totally counterproductive) and help enforce public morality. Help and assistence should be given to those who need it – free of charge if need be – but it shouldn’t be forced upon them. With freedom comes responsibility (in a way it’s much harder to live in a democratic society with a free market economy than it is in a communist dictatorship and state run economy where everything is provided and decided for you) and the fact that some people can’t handle this freedom isn’t sufficient reason to deny it to anyone else. How can we reasonably claim to be a free society when we deny people the right to die when they see fit? How can we claim to know what is best for them when there’s no way to objectively verify or experience their pain and suffering? Of course it’s not exactly a compliment to any society when so many of its members die a self-inflicted death (personally I believe the values this society embraces, especially hedonism and materialism, are largely nihilistic and make its members much more unhappy than they otherwise would be) and death is very much feared (any death but a forteriori self-chosen death: any suicide hints at the chance that virtually anyone might one day find themselves in like circumstances) so that may very well be part of the explanation of this sort of absurd policy which is so profoundly at odds with the notion of freedom and personal autonomy which we claim is so valuable and holy to us it is worth sending off our loved ones to war (or going ourselves), the very same people who might one day want to use this freedom and autonomy to terminate a life that is to them no longer worth living. This is tragic obviously but then again life is often tragic and it is hard to see how we’ll ever arrive at a utopia where everyone is happy, healthy and has enough possessions to live a meaningful, happy and productive life.

    How can life ever be worth something when one isn’t happy, with no meaningful social relationships and with no goals in his/her life worth striving for along with the ability to actually achieve them? It’s not like there’s any discernable objective meaning to life (not unless you count continuing the species at all cost a worthwhile moral goal) and we are after all just a spec of dust in a nigh infinite, amoral universe. There’s much to be said for Macbeth’s characterization of life as a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. In a way this is a liberating thought: if life doesn’t matter all that much and you’re not to lose much when you die why worry and fret over such insignificant things and why despair when your ventures don’t succeed?

    If a friend ever came to me expressing feelings of despair and thoughts of suicide I would listen to him empathically, give him a chance to fully express his sentiments and thoughts (including helping him in evaluating his options as it is always wise to ask for the opinion of those who care about you and who might see things you’ve missed) and give him my honest opinion but if he still wanted to end his life I wouldn’t betray his trust by trying to orchestrate an intervention and however much such a loss would pain me I’d rather see him dead (a neutral state as far as we know) than having to endure a horrible, painful and meaningless existence. Truly there are far worse things than death (seeing as there’s not a shred of reliable evidence for the existence of the supernatural such as heaven, hell of gods I conclude death is most likely a complete dissapearence or evaporating of consciousness and therefore not something to be feared, cfr. Socrates’ analysis developed in Plato’s Phaedo) and Hume was quite right when he made the following remark in his Essay on Suicide:

    “I believe no man ever threw away life, while it was worth keeping. For such is our natural horror of death that no small motives will never be able to reconcile us to it.”

  94. Anonymous says:

    I can not imagine ever telling another therapist about thoughts, or plans, to commit suicide. I trusted someone once. That therapist had the police come to my door and I was hospitalized. That sucked, but at the time, I understood. After all, ethics said she needed to call since I was suicidal. The problem is, after calling the police and having me locked up, I never saw her again. She declined to see me, after a year of therapy, just done. So clearly, she agreed that I was not worth the time or effort to try and help. What made me so mad was that if she agreed with me, then why did she bother to call? No, telling a therapist isn’t a safe thing to do. Help, maybe, judgement, definitely. I would suggest that anyone who is suicidal try to do the best they can without talking about it directly to their therapist, as that is a certain way to end a therapeutic relationship and reinforce the idea that you aren’t worth anything.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” I feel sad and angry about what you experienced. I am sad that you had to go through such an ordeal and angry that your therapist did not continue to work with you after your hospitalization. Of course, I cannot know the circumstances and context of your situation. Perhaps your therapist felt ill equipped to help you effectively and, with the best of intentions, connected you with a therapist who is more skilled in helping suicidal clients. Regardless, it left you feeling rejected, abandoned, and unwilling to trust a therapist again with the most crucial information for a therapist to have in order to help.

      Please know that not all therapists work this way. Many therapists use hospitalization only as an absolute last resort, to be avoided in all circumstances except for when a person is planning to attempt suicide within hours (and even then, depending on the situation, some therapists will work with the client and his or her support network to maintain safety outside of a hospital). And many – indeed, most – therapists would not stop treatment with a client after a suicidal crisis. To do so is highly questionable ethically, depending on the circumstances.

      If your therapist stopped treatment with you without explanation and an arrangement for another therapist to work with you, that is professional abandonment and grounds for losing one’s license in many (if not all) states. It is wrong. Again, I don’t know if that is what occurred, but I want to be sure that you and others who read your comment know that what you experienced is not, and should not be, the norm.

      By no means should revealing suicidal ideation be a “certain way to end the therapeutic relationship.” Rather, such a disclosure to a therapist enables a deepening of the therapeutic relationship. A therapist who is skilled at working with suicidal clients will encourage frank discussions of suicidal thoughts, help the client to explore reasons for dying and reasons for living, and work collaboratively with the client to help rebuild hope, maintain safety outside of a hospital, and heal the pain, despair, and injury to the survival instinct that opened up suicidal thoughts, whatever that healing might entail.

      I hope you will try again. There are many skilled therapists out there who deserve your trust and will treat it, and you, with the highest respect and care.

  95. Anonymous says:

    I find it to be quite a double standard. Mention anything even remotely to the “S” word to a mental health professional; and the next thing you know you’re being whisked away to a locked ward. I’m sorry-but that just makes it worse most of the time based on my experience. You go from, “I’m having a hard time..I’m THINKING about “S”…” to suddenly matters being a 100x worse. Not only does life still suck, but now you’re in a locked facility dealing with life sucking. All you wanted to do was just express yourself and how you were feeling, in the hopes it would lighten a bit. Now you’re locked up for 10 days and your world is upside down…and feeling even more suicidal than you were originally.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” the situation you describe is awful, and should NOT happen! Nobody should be hospitalized for merely mentioning suicide, or even, for that matter, for disclosing that they want to die by suicide.

      Hospitalization should be an absolute last resort, something that happens only when the person is in true danger of dying very soon by suicide. For more on this, see my post Will I Be Committed to a Mental Hospital if I Tell a Therapist about My Suicidal Thoughts?

      The problem is, some therapists panic. Amazingly, most therapists did not receive much training in graduate school on how to assess suicide risk and help suicidal people. Working with suicidal clients can provoke much anxiety in the therapist. Nobody wants to lose a client to suicide. The tragic loss of life can be devastating to a therapist. In addition, the therapist could get sued. For these reasons, there are therapists who become very anxious when a client is suicidal. Some may move toward hospitalization to relieve their anxiety, rather than to provide the client with the appropriate and necessary care given the level of risk.

      For tips on avoiding therapists who may be inclined to overreact, see this post, “How to Find a Therapist Who Does Not Panic.”

      Thanks for chiming in. It gave me the opportunity to try to allay fears of, I would presume, many people who read this post.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t realize it until I read the words above, but my heart quickly realized that I’ve waited 28 years to receive those words.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” your comment is profound and moving. I wonder, what will you do now with those words?

  97. Ann says:

    Thank you for this letter, its nice to know there are therapists who try to understand suicidal thoughts, just as I do as a patient. Yet, speaking those words, “I feel suicidal” are absolutely the hardest to express. I feel so ashamed. I have a good life compared to so many in this world and yet I still feel this way. I overdosed in 1991, after I took the overdose, and truly thought I would fall asleep and die, I felt the greatest sense of peace I had ever felt. It didn’t work and there have been many times in my life since then I have been grateful for my life experiences. However, today, I crave that peace. To be free of my feelings I think. I know I can’t today, I have too many responsibilities. I have a therapist but feel ashamed for her to know, even when she asks. I am a nurse, I take care of others, but can’t find the strength to take care of myself. Thank you, thank you for your page and words.

  98. Stacey! You are a poet! This is so lovely – so open and welcoming! Thank you for sharing!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Thank you, Tamara! You are so sweet. I appreciate your kind words.

  99. Hurting Mom says:

    I am writing as a Mom of a suicidal son. My 15 year old has attempted numerous times with suicide, and has almost succeeded this last time, ending up on a ventilator for a few days. Standing by his bedside holding his hand, praying over him to live; wondering where I went wrong, what I did wrong. I have had him in Therapy since the age of 4-5 years old when he has shown signs of a Mental illness. I adopted him and his brother who is only 10 months younger than him. Both have a form of mental illness; the older son having a much more severe case though. He will not open up to anybody; his Therapist, friends, me; nobody. He just acts on his impulsiveness. I fear for his life. This article is wonderful. I passed it on to my son and he just chucks it away. He lives a very “I don’t care” life. However happens, will happen, is his motto. It scares me, his attitude about life itself. Any suggestions that I can pass on to him, or ways that I can help him? Please, I want to help him live. I wish I could somehow help him get the will to live.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hurting Mom, I am so sorry for your son, you, and your family for having to endure this intense battle with suicide. Your comment, “I wish I could somehow help him get the will to live” is heartbreaking. If only a will to live were contagious!

      Without knowing your son, of course I am limited in the possibilities to consider. And, sadly, nobody has definitive answers when it comes to preventing a person’s suicide in the long term. The short term steps that professionals can take to prevent a person’s suicide are not sustainable over the long run (e.g., hospitalization).

      Speaking generally, important things to consider in the case of mental illness are, first, effective psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment. Has your son tried dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)? It has shown effectiveness in reducing suicidal behavior. So has cognitive behavioral therapy. A psychiatrist or other physician is an expert on medications, but I can say that there is evidence in research studies that antidepressants and lithium reduce suicidality, although the study methods and results are contested by some.

      Leaving aside the issue of mental illness for a moment, I find that often when someone is suicidal, they experience intense feelings of self-hatred (“I’m a bad person”) and they lack meaning and connections in their life. Those might be some things to explore.

      Perhaps the following posts would be helpful. It sounds like your son wouldn’t really want to read them, but perhaps you could impart the information to him in other ways, while, of course, being on the ready to listen, to fully listen (see “How Would You Listen to a Person on the Roof?” for more in this).

      Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

      What are Your Reasons for Dying – and for Living?

      What’s Your Pleasure?

      Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?

      This last recommendation is for you, Hurting Mom. It is not meant to be discouraging, in describing our limitations to prevent suicide. Rather, I hope that it will help you to feel freer in considering your son’s pain without the added anxiety of wonder “where I went wrong, what I did wrong.”

      “You Can’t Do Everything”: Limitations in Helping a Suicidal Person

      My best wishes to your family, Hurting Mom. Please let us know sometime how your son is doing.

    • Hurting Mom, I am so sorry for your difficult journey. I cannot quite imagine the terror that you live with every day.

      Stacey has offered you some really thoughtful ways to possibly help your son. And, even while your are deciding how to support him on his journey, I want to encourage you to be aware of how you are / are not taking advantage of getting your own support for your own difficult journey. It’s important to do so right now . . . for his sake, for your own sake, as well as for the sake of your family and friends that love you.

      All too often I find loved ones so strung out in fear and frustration related to others’ suicide attempts that they have failed to recognize and attend to their own needs. It’s important that your son’s “I don’t care” attitude about himself not be a reflection of your own attitude of “I don’t care about myself.”

      I am keeping you and your boys in my thoughts and prayers – not them at your expense and not you at theirs. Blessings to you on your journey.

    • Hope says:

      I am the same way with my mom. I share a few things with my friends but I can’t tell my mom how I feel. I have been hospitalized 10 times for suicide attempt. I ran away from her a month ago ever since a therapist supervisor betrayed me by having me talk to a person for a few minutes while she had a time to call the cops on me. I stopped eating for 19 days because I am so scared of therapists. I live in fear they will hurt me. I thought that not living with my mom would be best for me. But I still hurt myself almost everyday. I am going to try to see a therapist in a few weeks. But it is a struggle. I just will lie to her. My case is just so complicated. So many people could not help me with what was is going on with me. I have been jumping from therapist to therapist. I have been running and running from cops, paramedics, RNs, DRs , therapists and etc.. for the past 2 years. I am tired of running but I run because of fear. I am tired of being in pain and scared. I cant believe I left my mom. I keep thinking I am the worst daughter ever. Its my fault that i have P.T.S.D, boarder line personality and Bipolar. I hope that God can help me and a really good therapist that just doesn’t send me to the hospital!!!!

  100. Yvonne donaghey says:

    That is sooo true….im wonderin if the post has actually been down the very same path herself.

  101. Lost at 51 says:

    I am afraid to share my thoughts. The hardest part is that there are times now that suicide is a thought that I may actually act upon. It is scary. It is frightening. I fear I am losing control of my mind. Thank you for the encouraging words here.

    • Yvonne donaghey says:

      You MUST share your thoughts…I eventually did….and I am suicide survivor 3 times around…I have a wondrful therapist…when life is upsetting my 1st thought is 2 end it all…would b so easy…BUT…I am eventually tryin 2 regain control but COULD NEVER HAVE DONE SO WITHOUT MY THERAPIST…she has kept my heart beating and has helped me 2 close the voice in my head that tells me all those same negative things as that letter stated…yes like 2day the voice returned…as it does occasionally BUT my therapist helped me smother it!!!! PLEASE TALK 2 A PROFESSIONAL.XX

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Lost at 51,” I am sorry you are having such struggles, and I hope you will overcome your fears and share your thoughts, whether with a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, a religious figure (minister, rabbi, etc.), or someone else who you trust. Giving voice to our secrets can help disarm them of some of their power.

      It truly is frightening to experience suicidal thoughts, especially if they feel foreign. (For some people, they give comfort, but for others, fear.) Perhaps the following posts on this site would be helpful, too:

      Are You Thinking of Killing Yourself?

      Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

      Like Clouds Before the Sun: Mindfulness and Suicidal Thoughts

      I wish you the best, “Lost at 51,” and please feel free to leave another comment at some point telling us how you are doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to sound obnoxious, but isn’t it great to feel scared of wanting to die? In retrospect, I now think the scariest times have been when the idea just hangs around like a potential lunch menu option that i might order by accident one day. As long as it is scary, I won’t forget it is there.

Top