He just said he wanted to hurt himself

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 05, 2010 8:40 AM GMT
    My prospective Bf just confessed to me that he wanted to kill himself tonight icon_sad.gif I've never gone through something like this and he confessed he has tried 5 times in the past! Among other things all I could think was: "its over". I am being a asshole for thinking that way?

    Of course Im worried about him, and I insisted in him talking to his therapist, but he really bared his soul to me tonight and said he has tried to hurt himself 5 times before!! Now, Im still getting to know this person that is something I did not expected to hear, I really dont need someone like that in my life.

    Im I wrong to think that way? is the right thing to do To help him through this? As you can see, I dont have many people to talk about this, and thats why Im recurring to this forum. Looking forward for your intake.

    By the way, Obviously offered all my support tonight but I dont know how much more involve I want to get.
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    Aug 05, 2010 8:55 AM GMT
    ShaDoWhn saidMy prospective Bf just confessed to me that he wanted to kill himself tonight icon_sad.gif I've never gone through something like this and he confessed he has tried 5 times in the past! Among other things all I could think was: "its over". I am being a asshole for thinking that way?

    Of course Im worried about him, and I insisted in him talking to his therapist, but he really bared his soul to me tonight and said he has tried to hurt himself 5 times before!! Now, Im still getting to know this person that is something I did not expected to hear, I really dont need someone like that in my life.

    Im I wrong to think that way? is the right thing to do To help him through this? As you can see, I dont have many people to talk about this, and thats why Im recurring to this forum. Looking forward for your intake.

    By the way, Obviously offered all my support tonight but I dont know how much more involve I want to get.


    You sound really selfish and have come across as a total douche in this post. I can appreciate that your emotions must be all over the place, but this isn't some random guy off the street, this is your BOYFRIEND for fuck's sake. Of COURSE the right thing to do is to help him through this, not just bail out because the going gets tough!

    If you really can't handle it though then it might be better if you do bail, he probably needs someone he can really rely on and that doesn't sound like you.

    Sorry if this comes across as harsh but fucking hell, your post has really pissed me off! icon_evil.gif
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    Aug 05, 2010 9:04 AM GMT
    i can't imagine how you try to kill yourself and not succeed...so i don't believe him, he just needs your attention

    and don't be selfish, if you like him, show him your love and he will be happy
    good luck!
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    Aug 05, 2010 10:40 AM GMT
    Google and read up on depression. It is a recurring mental challenge that many people face, and they cannot stop it. Talking to a therapist only works if the person wants it to, and even then that's no guarantee.

    You need to drop your selfishness and help him. That's what boyfriends are for. What you sound like is a fair weather "friend" who only likes people when they're happy.
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    Aug 05, 2010 11:39 AM GMT
    I tend to agree with NickFit & PaulFlexes; if you like the guy & your dating, yes, you would be sort of a douch bag to drop everything because he was Honest with you
    Now if you proceed with your involvment and this relationship becomes a codependant kind of thing, where he can't funtion without you telling him which box of cereal to buy, then yeah, I think that may warrent a big conversation and, if things get worse, possible relationship reevaluation.
    We all have rough spots.
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    Aug 05, 2010 11:52 AM GMT
    This is a really difficult situation to deal with and I commend you for admitting your true feelings. This is an exceptionally hard issue to deal with for anyone.

    I really think you should find a counselor to talk to ASAP. While my personal feeling is that you should stay with him and get him through this rough patch, I really don't know if you are capable of doing so.

    Please take this seriously and speak to a professional to get some advice on how to proceed. As his boyfriend, you owe him that much.

    You can get the names of therapist from your closest gay community center. If you cannot pay for the service and you are unable to find a free service, speak with the therapist, they will often lower their fees.

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    Aug 05, 2010 11:56 AM GMT
    First, where you having difficult time with him before he told you he is suicidal ?

    If he confessed to you in order to keep you, then you need to have a long talk talk with him. Because a golden rule is to NEVER ACCEPT EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL.

    Now, if it was not the case, and that he instead told you because he thought your relationship is so important he had to tell you the truth, you should be supportive. Just don't try to handle that alone, and tell him you need counseling yourself to handle that unexpected stress level in your relationship.

    The way he feel, and what he did, is not unusual at all for guys your age.
    The '5 attempts' mean he did the very classical call for help, making attempts who failed, in order to yell to everybody how bad he felt.
    It's doesn't mean 'calling for attention' in a immature way, it mean calling for attention as in desesperalty needing help to get better.

    You said 'prospective BF', does it means he is just a fuck buddy or a guy you are starting to date, not emotionally linked to yet ?

    If you love him, help him, if you don't love him, don't drop him in a way that will make him feel worse about himself.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:03 PM GMT
    Now is not the time to bail on someone who is emotionally unstable. If u feel like this is to much baggage for life I agree that u must evaluate and do whats best for u. However u stated he was ur bf and that's gotta mean more than a friend w/ benefits. If u run frm this will u run when the next bf has a crisis and it doesn't fit into ur life. He opened up to you as he thinks he can trust u, closing that door abruptly might lead to devestation. Becareful and aware of how u decide to move on
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:08 PM GMT
    ...understanding the decision to suicide is complex...and it is never taken over one issue...

    the best thing you can do is to get him to seek professional help - you can do no more and no less...it is ultimately his decision on all fronts..

    some of the comments made on here in relation to this situation are not particularly helpful and are abusive.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:08 PM GMT
    That's a really difficult thing to hear someone say. And while it's a really tough situation to be in, the fact that he has opened up and told you how he is feeling is a positive sign - and may indicate that is open to seeking help.

    There are some good resources about with tips on how to deal with this kind of situation (both in terms of looking after yourself as well as good strategies for supporting someone who is feeling suicidal). Check out the fact sheet on ReachOut.com: http://us.reachout.com/get_help/suicide-and-self-harm/when-your-friend-is-talking-about-suicide/s/50/f/136

    Also while I don't know much about it, I'm aware that there is a suicide prevention phone line in the U.S. which is available 24/7: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It could be helpful to talk it over with folk who are trained in supporting people in distress.

    Take care and good luck.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:12 PM GMT
    oh, and I forgot to mention a great quote I came across at work the other day 'suicide is a permanent end to a temporary problem'.

    Even if he's being feeling this way for a while, it's really important to let him know that effective help is available and that, without dismissing how difficult things might be right now, those feelings will not last forever.

    - Atari.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:15 PM GMT
    ozmuscle2 said
    some of the comments made on here in relation to this situation are not particularly helpful and are abusive.


    Well having been in the same situation and knowing how I responded to it and how I would expect any decent man to, I can't help but feel angry when I read something like that - it wasn't meant to be abusive, more incredulous!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 05, 2010 12:18 PM GMT
    You have received some good advice above above on how to help him... the question I have for you.. do you want to help him or just wash your hands of him?

    Sometimes in a thread, things on conveyed that the original poster really didn't mean to communicate. It sounds like you want to assist, but that it is really his issue... you'd rather not do it. Is that right or wrong?

    I would agree with what was said above, he may or may not really mean it, he might be playing on your emotions. I wouldn't determine his real intentions.. anybody who would talk like this has some issues and needs help. Either take the initiative to help him or encourage him to take the initiative and get help.
    I wonder what him family is like or if they would be supportive.

    Good luck with it.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:21 PM GMT
    NickFit said
    ozmuscle2 said
    some of the comments made on here in relation to this situation are not particularly helpful and are abusive.


    Well having been in the same situation and knowing how I responded to it and how I would expect any decent man to, I can't help but feel angry when I read something like that - it wasn't meant to be abusive, more incredulous!



    ...I understand... if it is a case of emotional blackmail (and I am not saying it is)...or for that matter...any other reason..support from a friend or family member often makes no difference...they are left with just the guilt and the lack of understanding as to why someone has suicided...

    I just don't think abusing this poor guy seeking advice is the way to respond...just simple advice to urge his friend to seek professional help - it can make a difference - cheers
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:48 PM GMT
    As someone who has been through this with most recent ex. It was for attention. Nothing more.

    You aren't married to him since you say he is your BF.

    He has tried before 5 times. Why did he stop. He's afraid of something and also afraid of following through.

    Hmm. a guy that follows through and held those standards high, in this case, he would no longer be in your presence and you would not have met him. Because he would have been successful the first time he tried.

    I see a drama train with your name on the front bumper heading your way.

    Point him out in the right direction and give him lots of space.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:53 PM GMT
    ozmuscle2 said...understanding the decision to suicide is complex...and it is never taken over one issue...

    the best thing you can do is to get him to seek professional help - you can do no more and no less...it is ultimately his decision on all fronts..

    some of the comments made on here in relation to this situation are not particularly helpful and are abusive.


    Totally agree. That's a very tough situation to have to face with a "potential" boyfriend". Especially (apologies for patronising) given the OP is 21?

    Calling him selfish and uncaring is a knee-jerk reaction, and I can understand why some have responded that way.

    But give it a little more thought. It's a really tough situation for anyone to be put in, with a heck of a lot of responsibility, knowing a "secret" like that, whether it be with a friend, partner, sister or brother.

    I'm sure the anxiety that might cause could make the best of us wonder whether it might be best to just walk away.

    And some of us are better equipped for these situations - natural carers/counsellors, if you like - than others. I'm one of those people. And whilst I'd offer him assistance, I may well be pondering, in the back of my mind, whether a relationship would be possible, once he'd gotten over this particular "hump". (Assuming the relationship is in the very early stages). Especially if I was 21!

    Encourage him to get help, as said above, and be there for him for as long as you want to be. You're under no obligation to do anything at all, though.
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    Aug 05, 2010 12:56 PM GMT
    wi2sd saidAs someone who has been through this with most recent ex. It was for attention. Nothing more.

    You aren't married to him since you say he is your BF.

    He has tried before 5 times. Why did he stop. He's afraid of something and also afraid of following through.

    Hmm. a guy that follows through and held those standards high, in this case, he would no longer be in your presence and you would not have met him. Because he would have been successful the first time he tried.

    I see a drama train with your name on the front bumper heading your way.

    Point him out in the right direction and give him lots of space.


    It could also be that your are judging someone you don't know out of one experience.
    Unlike you, I have respect for guys who struggle to stay alive despite unbearable pain and desire to quit.
    And feel sorry for those who 'gave a permanent end to a temporary problem', as Brave_new_world pointed out.
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    Aug 05, 2010 1:04 PM GMT
    You are not a douche bag for feeling this way. This is why you date a guy. To get to know him. If you truly can't/don't want to handle this kind of a situation in your life, break off the relationship. You dint have to be Morher Teresa. Let him find someone who is willing to handle his situation. I would say be gentle in dropping him, but also be honest. If possible, stay his friend...especially while he works thru this rejection.
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    Aug 05, 2010 1:10 PM GMT
    I was married to a clinically depressed person for the last 13 years. It may not be easy for that person, but it is very hard on the person on the receiving end as well. So you guys telling the OP what a shmuck he is, back off!! At least he's honest enough to come forward with how he feels about the situation.

    First of all, he's a prospective boyfriend. They have not entered into this commitment yet.

    Second of all, as some others have pointed out, clinically depressed people usually threaten suicide for the attention. If they really wanted to kill themselves, they would do it. My ex wanted to do herself in on various holidays, so "that the family would always remember." How selfish is that? She proclaimed she wanted to get better, but besides trying the newest drugs on the market, she never did anything else but bitch about how miserable her life was. She blamed me for it in the end, but she was miserable before I even met her.

    If you decide to stick it out with this guy, it takes a person who can take a beating and is not overly self-confident and self-assured to do so. (I speak from experience as I am/was that kind of person.) Plus it takes real love and commitment for that person. You have to find enough in him to make up for a lot of potential pain. But just the fact alone, that he told you that he had tried to off himself in the past is a HUGE red flag. Again, it's for attention and pity.

    Now, this said, for the immediate time being, it would be unwise to break it off with him suddenly. He needs to see a therapist (if he truly wants help.) Find out if he has other friends who he can go to when things get tough. He will otherwise be VERY focused and codependent on you for his mental well-being (even though in the end he will blame his mental state on you) which is unhealthy for anybody.

    Proceed with caution and be aware of the long term consequences.
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    Aug 05, 2010 1:33 PM GMT

    I'm sorry the OP and his bf are going through this. When someone admits suicidal feelings it often provokes VERY strong and often negative emotions and reactions in the person hearing them. This is an issue even for experienced therapists. So please don't feel guilty about feeling repulsed or very angry, etc about your friend's suicidality.

    As others have suggested, it would probably be a good idea for you to seek your own therapist.

    You definitely did the right thing in insisting that your friend contact his therapist.

    Even if his previous instances of self harm or attempted suicide did not result in his death, you should not dismiss his talk of suicide as manipulation, bluffing or idle threat. One of the reasons you need to have a therapist is to find ways to both treat seriously any threat of suicide or self harm without falling victim to being manipulated by the threats and so making them more likely. But the bottom line is don't ignore threats of suicide. The risk of being wrong is too high and the consequences could be deadly for your friend and leave you terribly burdened with guilt, regret, etc.

    If you have any belief that your friend's suicidal thinking has gone beyond thinking about it and involves elements of planning his suicide (i.e. how he would do it, where, when etc) or if he actually starts accumulated the means to kill himself (a weapon, rope, drugs, etc), then there is no question that you should call your local emergency services and have your friend taken to a hospital for evaluation. You can also call his therapist and tell him that you think your friend may need to be hospitalized. The therapist probably can't tell you anything about his or her work with your friend but there is nothing to stop you from conveying information to the therapist.

    Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic's article on "What to Do if Someone is Suicidal": http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/suicide/MH00058/METHOD=print

    Best of luck.
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    Aug 05, 2010 1:44 PM GMT
    Andreas73 said:
    "If you decide to stick it out with this guy, it takes a person who can take a beating and is not overly self-confident and self-assured to do so. (I speak from experience as I am/was that kind of person.) Plus it takes real love and commitment for that person. You have to find enough in him to make up for a lot of potential pain. But just the fact alone, that he told you that he had tried to off himself in the past is a HUGE red flag. Again, it's for attention and pity.

    Now, this said, for the immediate time being, it would be unwise to break it off with him suddenly. He needs to see a therapist (if he truly wants help.) Find out if he has other friends who he can go to when things get tough. He will otherwise be VERY focused and codependent on you for his mental well-being (even though in the end he will blame his mental state on you) which is unhealthy for anybody."


    I would SUGGEST that you heed these words very closely. This guy has been through this and obvioulsy knows what he is talking about.
    Many things need to be examined closer here. How long have you known him? Over what period of time have these previous attempts occured? How old is HE? Is he currently on any meds? Has he or will he seek professional help?
    You, I believe, are NOT equipped to handle this on your own. You can be there for him... as a friend...but YOU can't fix him. If you even try, you will be setting yourself AND him for some pretty rough times. Tell him that you want to help, but first, see if he really wants help or just attention. If the case appears to be the latter... understand that he will do this with others should you not be there.
  • Celticmusl

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    Aug 05, 2010 2:09 PM GMT
    When you say "boyfriend" does that mean you've been together for a few years and you also live together? Or do mean you've been dating him for a couple of months?

    I've had this situation happen to me a few times in my life. I don't know why I attract this kind of guy, lol. I break up with them, tell them that I am no use to them as a BF in this situation because I would be selfish with my needs, and commit myself to being a friend and helping with the issue as much as I can.

    Many times in the past the person would use the threat of killing himself in the intimate relationship to control or manipulate me, and I put a kibosh to that right up front and say we are just friends at that point. It really is best for both parties.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Aug 05, 2010 2:09 PM GMT
    He is/was a prospective boyfriend. Obviously he is not ready to be in a relationship until he sorts out his own issues. Set clear boundaries. You don't need to run away, but you don't need to marry him either. Be a good friend to him, to the extent that you can.

    I am sorry that so many people here have been so quick to judge you when you reach out for advice.
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    Aug 05, 2010 2:27 PM GMT
    People always think those who want to kill themselves have some form of emotional/mental issues boiling under the skin, I never understand that ideology, as it's just not the case at least with those I interact with.

    People love to claim their depressed, emotionally fucked up, blah blah blah.
    i WANT TO DIE! ARGH! ARGH! Give me some meds to make me numb! I'm on Zoloft! Bitch I need my anti-depressants! Supress and depress! Supress and depress! Lexapro!

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to die. I think about dying all the time but it's not tied to any sort of depression I have. I imagine death to be a completely fun process, especially watching all of those who care about me cry, bitch, moan, and complain about what they are getting from me when I die. I want his TV! I'll have his car! You cant have anything, you're not in his will! I raised him, I get everything!

    I imagine the soul of me watching the funeral and laughing my ass off at everyone taking my death so seriously. "Poor kid, he died too soon. He had so much to live for."

    I've always looked up to those who take their own life, not sure why, but they are the real heros to me that people always think are the weakest. I find those with fear of death are the weakest links. So it goes...

    I personally don't think you are selfish at all for the way you feel about your prospective boyfriend wanting to kill himself, but maybe you need to question your own belief system and figure out why you just want to drop him because he has suicidal thoughts. Maybe it's your own fear of death or not wanting to deal with such a dramatic situation?
  • spunkywasabi

    Posts: 126

    Aug 05, 2010 2:35 PM GMT
    Hi, I have worked closely with suicidal individuals for over 3 years now. First and foremost, any expression of suicidal thoughts or behaviors need to be taken seriously. Myths that people are being attention seeking, or don't really mean it are just that, myths. If he has attempted in the past, the likelihood is he will potentially attempt again. The good news is he is reaching out to you, he wants some help. Have you asked him what he has done in the past when he has felt this way? Has he seen a doctor or a therapist? Has he sought out counseling? Is he willing now? How is he thinking about doing it?

    The key here is to not judge him for feeling this way. But to empathize with his feelings of hopelessness, or whatever the case may be. Saying things like "you shouldn't feel that way", or "why would you think about doing that" is judgmental and isolating for the suicidal individual. Give him your support and provide him with resources.

    In terms of, is it wrong to feel like you don't want to deal with this, I don't think it is. No one wants to deal with situations like this. I'm betting your boyfriend doesn't want to feel this way. But life is about dealing with things we don't want to deal with, especially when we care about a person. Honestly, the majority of people have all at least considered suicide or held suicidal ideation at some point in their lives. I know I have. This doesn't mean I was suicidal, I just thought about it when times were tough. I'm sure you have had too before if you are honest with yourself.

    If you still don't think you want to be in this relationship, know that you need to handle this situation carefully. I imagine that your boyfriend is experiencing alot of pain right now and a breakup may make things worse. This is not your fault though, because their are two peoples needs in relationship. Before you do any of that, I would express your concern for him and give him these numbers for national suicide hotlines (I volunteer at one), call 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433; or call 1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255. It will allow him to talk with experienced license suicidal/crisis counselors who are willing to help him. It may just take the pressure off of you a bit, and really help him.

    Good luck!
    -Dave