Living with someone who is suicidal?

Egbam
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby Egbam » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:24 pm

Hi,
are there others like me who are living with someone who is suicidal?
For the past eight years my daughter has struggled with suicidal feelings and has made a number of attempts on her life. I am her main support and emergency help and am grateful that we talk about it openly, but it is a constant strain to live with.
Are you in a similar position?
Would you find it helpful to be part of a support group within this forum?

MikeScott
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby MikeScott » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi,

I'm in a similar situation so why not, but where do we start??

Regards,

Mike

lynneriley
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby lynneriley » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:16 pm

hello all
i am new here my son attempted suicide 4 days ago and still says he wants to kill himself and not be here being his mum i do not have a clue how to cope with this i am at my wits end i know it sounds silly but i do not know what to say to him i just agree with him and give him what he wants i know that is silly but i am scared to upset him again i have 2 more sons living at home and a hubby but they are just angry all the time any helpful suggestions anything would help at this moment

MikeScott
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby MikeScott » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:58 pm

Hi,

My Daughter is an inpatient under a MH section primarily due to her suicide risk.

My sense is all you can do is your best to ensure he has the appropriate professional support, my experience is that you will need to be very demanding of his GP and wider team. Again, and just from my personal experience, recognise this is not your fault, it is an illness much like any other and try to simply be his parent. I suspect there is no harm in being open about it and also ensuring he is aware of the impact of suicide on the wider family.

The other thing is his age, if he's over 18 the professionals have duty to maintain his confidentiality but in my experience the approach varies, there seems to be an increasing willingness to share if it is felt it benefits the sufferer. Secrets are rarely helpful.

The Samaritans are always there to listen and it may be that Papyrus can offer some more specific support (I've not looked yet).

Happy for anyone with better experience to tell me I'm talking nonsense.

All the best.

Mike

Egbam
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby Egbam » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:33 am

Hi Mike and Lynne,

it's good to hear from you, but at the same time saddens me knowing that it's such a painful situation that brings us together. My heart goes out to you both and others in similar situations.

Lynne, I guess that you are feeling very frightened and would love a simple remedy to make everything alright again? I hope that by having contact on here you will at least know that you are not alone and it will give you a safe space to express how you're feeling. As your son made an attempt before Christmas, I hope that support has kicked in and he is safe for now? Don't forget that Papyrus is as much for him as it is for us.

You don't mention how old your son is or whether there is anything that has pushed him to no longer want to live? It's my experience that at times we have no idea why something that seems so temporary and insignificant can cause our loved one to want to end their life. Sometimes with my daughter, there is nothing specific, but I guess a combination of hormones and a building up of little things - comments, things going wrong, feeling lonely - that leads her to want to finish the constant pain she feels inside.

My daughter has a recognised mental health issue, which just makes life a battle to survive. She is loved and has managed to get a good degree, against the odds, but still feels the continual desire to take her life. Each day she has to decide to fight to live. Sometimes the fight is not strong in her and she makes attempts at suicide. Alongside all this, she has things she wants to do with her life, and the desire to make a difference. It is a tension within her, a battle that fluctuates as to which side wins.

I have two other children, who find the whole drama of their sister too much at times. It can seem selfish and like a personal undervaluing of their love. As we've come to understand the illness, so these attitudes have diminished, but it is still hard to live with the worry day after day that she might take her life. It impacts on my life and my marriage too. I worry about going away and leaving her without support. I try to be there for her, yet at the same time encourage her to live her life to the full. I know that any day might be her last, and my heart cries out. There have been a couple of incidents in the past few months when I watched from the sidelines, unable to do anything, as she had to decide whether to live or die.

As Mike says, it is important that you don't blame yourself. Do all you can to support and listen to your son. Take him seriously - it's far better that he feel he can talk to you rather than close up and internalise how he feels. If it's possible, talk openly together as a family. That might not be easy, but is recognising that your son's reactions are due to an illness, not a desire to hurt the family. My daughter genuinely believes that if she is 'out of the picture' then everyone would be much happier - how wrong can you be!

I've said enough. I don't want you to think I've sidelined you Mike, but recognise that like me, you have professional support. The tension and exhaustion I feel with the everyday holding of my daughters welfare is immense, and it is for this reason that I hope we can support one another and anyone else who is out there. As to how this goes forward, is really up to those on this site. Ideas welcomed...

Helen

MikeScott
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby MikeScott » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:44 pm

Hi all,

All makes sense to me, in many respects the situation is easier for me as my daughter is an inpatient so her his is being managed by a great nursing, psychiatric and psychological team.

Again, all I can suggest is you get all the help you can for both your son and yourself.

Regards all,

Mike

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papyrus
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:55 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby papyrus » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:22 am

We are pleased to see this forum thread taking off.

Please don't hesitate to contact us at HOPELineUK for suicide prevention advice.
Confidential phone: 0800 068 41 41, text: 077 86 20 9697 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Best wishes
PAPYRUS

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papyrus
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Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby papyrus » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:24 am

Please do let others know about this forum too.
Thanks
PAPYRUS

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papyrus
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Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby papyrus » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:44 am

Mike
Thanks for your post.
MikeScott wrote:The other thing is his age, if he's over 18 the professionals have duty to maintain his confidentiality but in my experience the approach varies, there seems to be an increasing willingness to share if it is felt it benefits the sufferer. Secrets are rarely helpful.

Confidentiality is a real issue, as you say. One of our key campaign areas is to address this. A Consensus Statement which was agreed between the various Royal Colleges (GPs, Psychiatrists etc.) and other national associations which helps set out the principles of why we must prioritise patient safety over confidentiality where there is a risk of suicide. Sadly, in the view of PAPYRUS, this is rather a 'best kept secret' and needs to be pushed at the highest levels to ensure that local practice improves. As a member of HM Government's National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, PAPYRUS continues to campaign on this front.
Our view is simple:
PAPYRUS wrote:Confidentiality between patient and doctor is an important principle. However, the safety of the patient is paramount and therefore sharing of information may well need to happen in order to save life. The Government's Suicide Prevention Strategy for England states that, ‘there are clearly times when mental health service practitioners, in dealing with a person at risk of suicide, may need to inform the family about aspects of risk to help keep the patient safe.’ Where the individual is under 18, the issue is even clearer: GMC Guidelines for all doctors dealing with 0-18 year-olds state that they should disclose information if this is necessary to protect the child or young person, or someone else, from risk of death and serious harm. The guidelines make clear that the doctors' ultimate responsibility is safeguarding and protecting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Further,
Mike Scott wrote:The Samaritans are always there to listen and it may be that Papyrus can offer some more specific support (I've not looked yet).
PAPYRUS does offer HOPELineUK specifically to address young suicide prevention issues. Do make contact if you need to.

Egbam
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Re: Living with someone who is suicidal?

Postby Egbam » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:23 pm

Hi Mike,
you're very gracious in suggesting that your situation is in some way easier as your daughter is an inpatient and getting great care... I suspect that it's an equally difficult and distressing situation, just different.

It's like someone saying to me that they wished they'd known that their son had been feeling suicidal because it would have been easier... It's my observation (and I'm happy to be shown to be wrong) that knowing about our loved one's struggles isn't easier, but again is just different. We live with the continual awareness that they might not win their fight. That we might not be able to keep them safe. It's life changing, but yes, does give the possibility of supporting and helping them be better at staying alive.

You mention getting help for our loved one, but you also imply that there is potential help 'out there' for us? Have you found something helpful? I tried to find a support group, but could only find ones for after a suicide - hence this forum.
Any insights would be very welcome
Thanks
Helen

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