How can I tell if someone close to me is contemplating suicide?
“There are indicators,” Dr. Iyer said, including talking about wanting to die and looking for a means to accomplish it. A potentially suicidal person may talk about feeling trapped, hopeless or as if there is no reason to live, and could discuss physical or emotional pain. Other indicators include increased alcohol and drug use, increasingly dangerous behavior, changes to sleep patterns and isolation.
How can I help?
Ask them. “If you’re worried that someone is having suicidal thoughts, ask them,” Dr. Iyer said. “There’s a common myth that if you ask somebody if they’re having thoughts of suicide, you’re going to put that thought in their head. We know that’s not the case.” And when you ask, she added, “give them the space to tell you what they’re feeling.”
Keep them safe. “If they’re telling you they’re having thoughts of suicide, ask them if they’ve thought of how they would do it,” she said. If someone had considered buying a gun, “then help them plan for their safety by taking away the lethal means.”
Other things you can do: Be there for them, help them connect to resources, and then follow up. “Let them know that you care,” Dr. Iyer said. “That goes a long way.” (More resources can be found at bethe1to.com.)
What are things I shouldn’t say or do?
“It isn’t helpful to negate or invalidate,” Dr. Iyer said. “Like, ‘No, you’re not really feeling that way.’” That stops the conversation, she said. “Anything that will shut the person down and prevent them from letting you in isn’t helpful.”
Source : Nytimes