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Don't Know What to Do/Say

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Both of my sisters, ages 16 and 19, have overdosed in the last three weeks. The first made a conscious decision and wanted to die, as a result of a traumatic experience late last year and problems with her body image/depression. The second was apparently doing drugs for several days straight then make a quick decision to try to kill herself; she's been having some mental health issues for the last year or two and it seems like she was self-medicating with the drugs because she wasn't getting good m.h. help.

I don't know what to do or say.  Of my six closest family members, four have had suicidal idealizations.  I never have and I don't understand it.  I don't know that I even understand depression.  But I want to know what to say, what not to say, how not to react, etc.  I just am not sure what to make of it, but besides that, it's shocking.  I could get into why but I don't need to... I just want to do the right things.

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I am so sorry for your troubles. How frightened and helpless you must feel. It's hard for anyone to know what to do or say. Being family must make it a nightmare. But the one thing I do know is not to run away. Part of feeling suicidal is feeling trapped; like there is nothing you can do and no way for anything to get better, and that no one even sees how awful and close to the edge you are. Stay close to them, talk to them, let them talk to you, let them know they don't have to hide from you, don't have to present a false self to you.

Don't let them brush this off. Make sure they get the help they need and deserve.

Here is a quote from Fiona on the pinned topics at the top of the Depressive Disorders. The first time I read it, it gave me chills. It is just so right.

Some useful bits about talking/chatting with someone who is suicidal:

# Express your concern and ask if they are thinking about suicide

# Don't give up if they're reluctant to talk, let them know you are there to listen

# Ask how long they have felt this way

# Ask if they have thought about how they would do it (not asking for details of a plan)

# Listen

# Don't act shocked or try to change the subject

# Encourage them to tell you how they feel

# Hear them out, don't jump to conclusions or make judgements

# Try to understand how they feel without offering simple solutions Respond

# Be direct, open and honest

# Let them know you care and that they are not alone

# Help them to understand that suicidal feelings pass and depression can be treated


Thinking hopeful thoughts for you and your family.


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