- 6 months ago
- Wedding: City, State
Posted as a Public Service Announcement.
Also wanted to add a sign that is often missed, even by professionals.
Always be alert when the person struggling with depression and suicidal signs shows a sudden improvement. This can be especially marked if they’re in therapy of any type.
You may observe a new sense of calm or the person seeming more at peace. Their energy levels may come up, appearance may improve, and other indicators of getting better might be manifesting all of a sudden.
All red lights are flashing!!!!!
Sometimes, treatment will cause the person to feel just well enough to carry through a suicide plan. A severe enough depression can hold the energy levels so low as to keep the patient from carrying out a plan.
This is a very high risk time. A sudden turn around into a manifestation of peace and serenity should also set off alarms. That can be a signal that the patient has made the commitment to suicide and no longer feels conflicted.
Take nothing for granted.
And never be reluctant to just straight out ask someone if they are thinking of harming or killing themselves. Forget silly notions about how you can put ideas in their heads. You’re not that powerful.
Someone struggling with suicidal thoughts will feel relieved to finally be heard. Let them talk. Don’t immediately tell them what to do or not do. Listen. Acknowledge the kind of pain they must be feeling. Look for a hook to keep them interested in staying alive, eg a child, a beloved pet, a hobby, anything that matters to them. There’s your point of focus. Encourage them to talk to someone at the hotline.
My very first mental health job, many decades ago, was on a suicide hotline. These sudden flights into mental health are very easy to overlook and people around the patient invariably misread it as improvement .