Friends and Family

Coping with the Suicide of a Loved One

Coping with the Suicide of a Loved One

The grief, loss, and bewilderment following the suicide of a loved one can be overwhelming. Many reactions are common, ranging from everything from shock to anger to self blame to considering suicide for yourself.  There are questions, so many questions. “Why?” “What if…?” “What could I have done?” And there are few, if any answers. […]

Continue Reading

10 Reasons Teens Avoid Telling Parents about Suicidal Thoughts

10 Reasons Teens Avoid Telling Parents about Suicidal Thoughts

Teenagers often tell me that they do not like to talk with their parents about their suicidal thoughts. Some teens do not tell their parents at all. There are many reasons why teens lock parents out. The biggest reason that teens give me for not talking to their parents about their suicidal thoughts is a […]

Continue Reading

Why Prevent Suicide? Here Are My Reasons.

Why Prevent Suicide? Here Are My Reasons.

 “If someone’s life is so awful that they want to die by suicide, why stop them?” I am frequently asked some variation of this question, even by mental health professionals. Once, a therapist told me about a client of hers with schizophrenia. “He is miserable, and he will always have schizophrenia. I think letting him […]

Continue Reading

Uncovering Suicidal Thoughts

Uncovering Suicidal Thoughts

To help a person deal with suicidal thoughts, you first need to know they have them. The challenge here is that many people who seriously consider suicide do not tell their therapist, at least not fully.  What To Do? Shawn Shea, M.D., a psychiatrist and expert on suicide risk assessment, has described excellent techniques for […]

Continue Reading

Are You Afraid that Asking about Suicidal Thoughts will Anger the Person?

Are You Afraid that Asking about Suicidal Thoughts will Anger the Person?

Many people are afraid to ask a person if he or she is considering suicide, because they fear the person will get angry. The thinking goes, if I ask about suicide, they will assume I think they are crazy or unstable. I have asked dozens and dozens – perhaps even hundreds – of people whether […]

Continue Reading

Won’t People Spontaneously Disclose their Suicidal Thoughts?

Won’t People Spontaneously Disclose their Suicidal Thoughts?

It can be a daunting challenge for someone to bring up suicidal thoughts on their own. One study looked at 100 people who died by suicide the same day that they met with a mental health professional. Of these, only 22% discussed suicide with the professional. Of course, many people who seriously consider suicide do confide in others. […]

Continue Reading

Does Talking about Suicide Plant the Idea in the Person’s Mind?

Does Talking about Suicide Plant the Idea in the Person’s Mind?

  People learn about suicide at a very young age. They already know about it, so our asking about it does not give them the idea. Where you worry you may be planting a seed, a large tree has already grown. In case you have doubts, consider a research study  conducted with adolescents. In this study, two […]

Continue Reading

What to Tell Children of a Loved One’s Suicide?

What to Tell Children of a Loved One’s Suicide?

Often, adults agonize over what to tell young children when somebody in the child’s family dies by suicide. The question becomes even more painful when the person who dies by suicide is the mother or father of a young child. Some parents or other family members may want to lie to children about the cause […]

Continue Reading

The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

One night, a friend unexpectedly came to my house very late.  Only after we had chatted for 15 minutes did she roll up her sleeve and show me why.  Her wrist was bleeding.  I rushed her to the hospital and struggled not to faint as doctors stitched up what she had cut with a razor. […]

Continue Reading

If You Suspect a Friend or Loved One is Thinking of Suicide

If You Suspect a Friend or Loved One is Thinking of Suicide

You are walking with your best friend and she steps into the street without looking, forcing a car to swerve around her. You say, “Oh my God, you almost got killed,” and she says, “It wouldn’t matter anyway if I were dead.” Your son is home from college for spring break and has barely left his room. […]

Continue Reading

Top