Suicide is a particular form of violence directed against one’s person.
Suicide is a sensitive issue and extraordinary human suffering, as well as the next of kin.
It can also be a form of violence directed against others at the same time.
There is a gross emptiness in the political discourse on this disturbing social fact.
What are the causes of so many suicides, and why do those statistics remain untouched?
How do we deal with the debris that causes suicide in a family or a neighborhood? Are we going to clear, cherish or process the rubble?To clear is to push away, to keep silent, to burn all the photos.
On the contrary, to cherish is to leave the room untouched, keep all the letters, to start over again and again.The only fruitful way is to process the rubble after some time. It requires initiative and effort.
How can you deal with suicide in a serene way?
Can you get past the dogmatic of transgression and punishment? Can you go to forgiveness? Then know that in case of suicide or the threat of suicide, we can realize that our human hands are too weak or our arms too short to carry that person longer.
What can you ask the person to do if they have decided to take their life?
If you do want to die, make sure you are dead and don’t remain paralyzed for life, for example. Please write a brief message that I can deliver afterwards to the person who will suffer the most from your death.
Make sure your body isn’t found by someone you know.
Help the person find the support they need.
Find a suicide prevention line your friend can call for support. Please encourage them to talk to a therapist or counselor and help them find mental health contact information in your area.
In the Netherlands, you can call the suicide prevention line: 0900-0113. This hotline is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day. In Belgium, it is 1813.
There are an online text-based alternative to hotlines. Trained experts are available from 2 pm to 2 am, Mon-Sun.
Wikipedia has an international overview of suicide prevention lines.
Emphasize that you care about the other person.
Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that she is still important to you even if you break up. Make it clear that you don’t want the other person to hurt himself.
Say something like, “I still really care about you, and I’m sorry this is so hard for you.”
You could also say, “It saddens me that you want to hurt yourself. Even though our relationship isn’t working, I still think you’re a wonderful person.”
Understand that the narcissist will not believe you when you say this. Let them know what you want to do for the other person, but don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t support.
Take the person’s threat seriously.
You can’t ignore your boyfriend or girlfriend’s threat, or assume that he/she is bluffing. That may indeed be the case, but it is always better to prevent than to cure. Assume they mean it seriously and act accordingly.
If the person vaguely threatens suicide, offer to take him/her to the emergency department, or call the suicide prevention line: 0900-0113.
Call a friend or family member to come over and watch the person.
Don’t leave the person unattended, but don’t think it’s you who should stay with them. You don’t want someone like that to think that threatening suicide is the only way to get your attention.
Remind yourself why it was necessary to break up.
If you find that your resolve is wavering, know that nothing good can come from an unhealthy relationship. You will only start to feel trapped and resentful if you stay. Someone who tries to manipulate you by threatening suicide will eventually find other ways to control you.
Don’t hold yourself responsible for what the person does.
Your boyfriend or girlfriend puts you in a terrible emotional position by threatening suicide if you want to break up, but that doesn’t make their actions your fault. Remind yourself that they are their person. You cannot control them or make decisions for them.
If you’re struggling with guilt after breaking up, it may be helpful to talk to a counselor.
Call 112 in an emergency.
If you think your boyfriend or girlfriend is in danger of harming herself or someone else, call the police immediately. Don’t worry if you might have misjudged the situation — it’s always better to play it safe.
Try to find out where the person is before contacting the police. Do not let the other person know that you are going to call the police. This increases the chance that the police will be on site in time.
Try to avoid an altercation.
Don’t challenge your friend or start an argument about their suicide threats. If the other person feels like you’re not taking them seriously, they may be able to hurt themselves to prove you wrong.
For example, don’t say something like, “You don’t mean that,” or, “You’re just saying that to make me feel bad.” Instead, you could say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
You can also avoid an argument using “I” statements, such as “I’m unhappy in this relationship” instead of “You make me unhappy,” which could make the person defensive.
Keep your tone soft and low.
Use open body language, with your arms and legs relaxed at your sides. Raising your voice and using intimidating body language (e.g., standing or sitting with your arms crossed or with your fists clenched) is more likely to degenerate into an argument.
Remind the person to make their choice.
Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that you have no control over whether he/she hurts him or not. Don’t let the other person blame you.
For example, if your soon-to-be-ex says, “When I’m gone, it’s your fault,” you might answer, “I don’t want you to kill yourself, but that’s your choice to make, not mine. I have no control over what you do.’
Warn the person’s family or friends.
If you’re concerned about your partner’s safety, have someone look after your ex in the days after you split up. Reach out to one or two of your soon-to-be ex’s relatives, friends, or roommates and tell them about your concerns. Ask them to stay with the person, so they can provide additional support after the breakup.
Say something like, “Hey, I know this isn’t fun to talk about, but I’m going to break up with Emily tonight. She’s threatened to hurt herself, and I’m concerned. Can you come and support her as soon as I leave?’
Don’t leave until other people have arrived, so you can make sure your ex is safe.
Choose someone who has a perfect relationship with your soon-to-be-ex.
Make sure the breakup is final.
After you end the relationship, you need to move on and not look back. Do not return to your ex, even if you miss him or her. You will both need time and space to grieve the loss of the relationship, and letting the whole breakup process drag on will only make healing even more difficult for both of you. Remove them from your social media profiles. Ask mutual friends not to talk to you about your ex. If you need to communicate with your ex, choose one method by which they can reach you, such as via text or email.
Rely on friends and family for support.
You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. Seek help and support from friends and relatives. Ask them if they’re willing to talk to you when you’re feeling down. If you find yourself in doubt, they can convince you that breaking up is the best way.
Go to a safe place if you feel threatened.
Sometimes threats of self-harm can be a sign that a person is violent. If at any point you feel threatened while breaking up, leave. Break it up over the phone if there’s no other option. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has been abusive in the past, break up with them over the phone or in a public place.
Put your safety first in a dangerous situation, even if you are afraid of the other persons.
Guard your limits.
Let your boyfriend or girlfriend know that you don’t intend to change your mind. State again the reason why you want to end the relationship. Be as kind as you can, but not slack.
You can say something like, “I can’t sacrifice my long-term goals to stay in this relationship, even though I think you’re a wonderful person who has a lot to offer.”
Tell the person that they are defined by more than your relationship.
Remind your boyfriend or girlfriend of his or her good qualities, talents and interests. Tell the other that they don’t need another person to define or make themselves whole.
For example, say something like, “I know it’s hard to think about right now, but you’re much more than just half of our relationship.
You study to become a teacher and do good things with your life. Eventually, you will even be able to be happy with someone else.’
Remind the other that there are others who care about them. When you do this, you identify some specific people who could support them during this time.
You may not be able to convince the person in question not to commit suicide.
Those who regularly come into contact with desperate people know that they cannot influence a decision that has been made long ago. Perhaps those counsels to keep in touch with others can hold that person back. We can work on a safety net so that the most sensitive and vulnerable people can be taken care of in time. We can also become more attentive to signals that are being broadcast.
Can you also see through the deceptions of depressed people who were “resurrected” in the days before suicide? That cheerfulness can be the silent decision to say goodbye. Furthermore, we can break a taboo by flatly asking people how often they have already attempted suicide, when great sadness, disappointment, or despair are discussed in the conversation.
A study published in the journal European Psychiatry in 2015 claims that shame, particularly in vulnerability NPD (a form of NPD characterized by feelings of helplessness, anxiousness, victimization, and ultimately, fears of rejection or abandonment), is a key factor of suicidal ideation.