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People Who Survived Attempted Suicide Need You to Know 12 Things

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National Suicide Prevention Week is almost over, but many people are still unaware of the facts surrounding suicide prevention, especially when a suicide attempt has already been made.

Experts share the top 12 observations about people who attempt suicide but thankfully survive.

Michelle Stevens, a clinical psychologist said in an email that she made three suicide attempts in her earlier years, and eventually became a psychologist as a result of her journey learning about herself.

She shares six points to understand about people with failed suicide attempts:

1) “The first thing to know about suicide is that most people don't want to die.”

2) “Suicidal people are in excruciating emotional pain; they want that pain alleviated.”

3) “To the outside world, a suicidal person's problems may not seem that bad, but this viewpoint doesn't factor in depression. The depressed mind does not think clearly. It makes the depressed person feel overly pessimistic and guilt-ridden, not to mention tired and joyless. In this depressed state, a person has trouble imagining that anything can ever get better. Suicide starts to seem like the only option.”

4) “Let's face it, if a person really wants to kill himself or herself, it's not difficult. There are proven methods. Failed attempts are not really failures; they are generally indicative of the person's indecisiveness.”

5) “If the person receives genuine help after an attempt, it can eventually heal the depression and suicidality. If the person does not get the help and support he or she needs, the failed suicide attempt becomes a rehearsal, a lowering of inhibition.”

6) Sometimes you can do more damage if you attempt to help a person experiencing depression and suicidality without proper training. It is best to help a friend or loved one get the professional help they need (and of course be there to support them). This can include talk therapy, medication and, in some cases, hospitalization.

Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist, shared her three pieces of insight in an email:

7) “Just because a person survives a suicide attempt does not mean they are out of the woods.

Add a Comment1 Comments

THANK YOU for putting in this article that it is NOT OKAY to call a suicide attempt "selfish". People seem to fail to understand that, generally speaking, suicide attempts have various different thoughts, emotions, and psychological disorders that are factoring into the ideation and actual attempt. Often times, there is some piece of the puzzle revolving around trying to "unburden" loved ones, as they feel that they're potentially a nuisance. There are other reasons, of course, and I can only speak of personal experience and having lived with mostly-passive suicidal ideation for the last seven years without a clinically true attempt, but most attempts are not selfishly motivated.

I personally can't agree with number four, and I don't really like the wording: "Let's face it:...." It's really only known to the client/patient if they truthfully wanted to die, and they are not under oath (in a typical circumstance) to disclose that information truthfully. I don't think that generalizing an entire group of people in such a way is helpful. I understand that it can simply be what's called [as much as I dislike this phrase] "a cry for help", but there are those that did fail, as I am sure those that did succeed that changed their mind. I don't know which source that was pulled from, given the lack of parenthetical citation; however, I am curious as to which source that came from.

September 20, 2016 - 9:39pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.