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How do I cope with having a suicidal friend?

My closest friend suffers from intense depression, and is dangerously close to suicide. She has been committed to one of those urgent care hospitals for people in danger of suicide once before, was released, and has only worsened since then. I do my best to listen to her, talk openly about her feelings, let her know she's loved and appreciated, watch out for her physical well-being; I've done everything I can think and then some to be a supportive friend as much as I'm able, without going overboard and putting my own life and needs in jeopardy. My question for you all is, what are ways I can try to cope with knowing my best friend may die at any time? I suffer from anxiety, myself, and experience it mostly through feelings of guilt over even small things. I know that I'm in danger of feeling guilty or like it's my fault if she does take her life. I try not to panic when I think about the reality of the situation, but it's very hard to stay strong about this. Ultimately, I can't control what she does, and I'm trying to accept this and stay calm. When I was in high school, my mother passed away from breast cancer, and I've had 10+ years to accept that and grieve. I hope that this is able to help me, if the worst comes to pass. Thoughts?
Category: Depression 4 years ago
Malachyte
Asked 4 years ago

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I would first like to echo the above answer but also add that feeling suicidal and even making attempts may not actually end in the person dying. I spent many years unfortunately being suicidal (even making MANY attempts to end my life) but obviously was not successful and in fact now no longer suffer with those feelings. You are a great friend to help this person! Be aware though that they are in such a dark place that they see suicide as their only way out (or away from the feelings that plague them). Hopefully this person will also find the help they need, just hang in there, do what you can within your boundaries and never feel guilty because it is really about the other person and how hopeless they feel. I feel like I lost all those years due to the feelings and crises it caused. I lost several friends over it and I know it was very stressful for them but unfortunately my recovery was too late to recover those relationships.We really never know what the future holds. Honestly if you had told me then that I would EVER be free of those feelings, I would not believed you but here I am. I wish you peace and comfort as you walk alongside this person and sincerely hope that it turns out well for this person as it has for me. I hope that this helps you some, just remember always, no matter what it is NOT your fault or responsibility it really is the depression talking and the lack of light the person sees..
newcatlady
Answered 4 years ago
newcatlady

It really sounds like you're doing everything you can to help her out. Take me seriously when I say that anyone would be lucky to have a friend like you. Unfortunately her decisions are out of your control no matter how painful that realization is. But please don't blame yourself for whatever happens. Know that you are an amazing and caring person and are doing all you can. I have been in your friend's position before but didn't have the support you're giving her, until I found my boyfriend and best friend, for which I'm so grateful. Keep doing what you're doing but remember that you have no reason to feel guilty. If you ever need someone to talk about it more I'm here!
victoriarose
Answered 4 years ago
victoriarose

Saying I am suicidal is just a cry for help. If they weren't looking for help, they wouldn't of said anything. You sound like a great friend. The answers above are awesome and helpful. I suggest 2 things: 1) you can not be the only support she/he has. It is too much of a burden on you. She/he needs an extensive support system: therapists, friends, family, boards like this, etc.. You need to delegate and still be a supportive friend, just taking it a bit easier on yourself. You need a support frame too. 2) why don't you both attend therapy together, a moderator who can direct the discussion is a great thing. Its almost like marriage counseling . You may not be hitting all her/his needs, and vica versa (not meaning any sexual activities). You both may see more in common, it may open his/her eyes to what he/she is doing to you, and I am sure you both need to build up your self respect and confidence. Concurrently, doing fun activities instead of focusing on the negative stuff when you are both outside of therapy. This could be best done together with happy thoughts and things to do, replacing some of the weight of issues you each other have. It will get easier. I suggest I would start with the subject of developing that support foundation for each of you, even if it may overlap a bit. I would hate for either of you to miss some of the exciting stuff that will be occurring in your lives by pulling each other down into the deep end. Vince
Answered 4 years ago

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