Tips to try to get yourself out of an anxiety attack:
Answer: By sitting them down and first getting used to the word suicide coming out of your mouth, it’s hard to say, much less talk about! Yet, by talking about it, you are showing your family or loved one that it is ok to talk about it and you want to help them if need be. ALL of our trainings teach us one major point. Be direct. If you are concerned about someone, you need to ask the question directly “Are you thinking about suicide?”. Yes, you need to say the actual words…why? Because if you say things like “Are you thinking of hurting yourself?”, in their minds, they don’t see it as hurting themselves, but stopping the pain, so they may so no. Wording and directness is IMPORTANT! Watch your body language! Oftentimes, our facial expressions tell more than our words ever will. Be prepared for them to say yes! As hard as it is (believe me), if they say yes, do not panic, keep your body and your words calm so they feel they can continue to open up to you! Safety (theirs and yours) is the no. 1 concern. If anyone’s safety is in danger, seek emergency services immediately. If safe, discuss how often they think of it, are they on any meds and if so are they taking them regularly, if you feel you cannot go on with the conversation at this point, ask them for their permission to call for someone who can help with this conversation such as the suicide hotline no. (1-800-273-8255) because it’s NOT just to be used for suicidal people, you can also call for questions or resources! If they prefer to text, they can text “start” to 741741 for a free counselor also who can help you. Discuss healthy ways to handle those thoughts such as (will depend on what they are into) journaling, exercising, hobbies, setting up regular times to talk, talk about when it happens and look for patterns/triggers, anger management strategies, and most importantly talk to them about getting some help by setting up a counselor. Again, if in immediate danger call emergency services. If they discuss a means they’ve planned on using, get the items out of the house. DO NOT SAY THINGS LIKE “YOU SHOULD DO THIS….”, DON’T TELL THEM HOW TO FIX IT OR PROMISE THAT YOU CAN FIX IT, DO NOT GIVE ADVICE!! Instead, say things like “I can’t say I can fix this for you, but I’ll be here to help you through it”. The more control and choices they are able to make for themselves, the better it will go. Offer to help them set up counseling services and give them the 1-800 no. above and the texting no. CHECK UP ON THEM, DO NOT JUST MAKE THIS A ONE AND DONE TYPE DEAL, IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.
What are the signs/symptoms to look for in someone who may be suicidal/highly depressed?
Simple answer: Drastic changes in personality. If they are normally outgoing, but become distant, if they normally are active and become lethargic and unsocial, etc.
Detailed answer: Changes in eating habits (begins eating a lot, begins not eating much at all), changes in sleeping habits (begins sleeping a lot, begins not sleeping at all), becomes very at peace with everything, becomes highly risky (promiscuous, adventurous, fearless, wants to do things they’ve never wanted to before, skydiving, learn to shoot a gun, etc.), socially withdraws from friends, all the sudden wants to be the life of the party, easily angered, emotions easily triggered, has no emotion whatsoever, talks about things such as “no one will notice if I was gone”, “I’m a burden”, “the world would be a better place without me”, etc. The biggest signs to look for include drastic changes to that person in particular, if they veer from their normal personality, talk to them and see what’s up. *It’s important to note, one or all of these signs DO NOT mean someone is suicidal or depressed, but it does warrant a conversation to check up on them and let them know IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY.