How do YOU handle people online who claim to be suicidal?

What do you GaG:ers do when a *random* person online wants to talk about their depression and how they want to or have tried to kill themselves.?

I want to know because I usually answer "Hope things get better" and if they persist then I basically tell them to Google for a therapists number because I ain't one. Maybe I have a cold heart or I just don't see how I would make a real difference since by my logic people in that situation would seek real help not an online person to "feel their pain". But I want to know how you would behave.

Keep in mind I'm talking about people you have barely talked to or just recently started talking to. Not someone you have been in communication with for sometime.


Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm in treatment for major depressive disorder. You're right to tell them to find therapist, your'e not responsible for the lives of strangers (or anyone else for that matter unless you have kids). Just make sure to say its not because you don't care, but you're scared of effing up and making them feel worse. Depression is tough. Best advice to give; Get off the chair, and take a walk outdoors, even if its just to take out the trash.

    If someone's suicidal, ask them to call the samaritans or local emergency phone number.


What Girls Said 1

  • I try to avoid them at all costs, especially if they chat you the first time and start talking about it. It's not that I am insensitive, it's just that I don't want to hear about it. I get attached to people quickly, and I had a friend a little while back that did commit suicide. I think instead of talking to people online about it, they need to get some serious help if they really feel that way!


What Guys Said 1

  • Challenge them (not like daring them to do anything). Despite stupid myths, people do cry out before stuff like that goes down but depending on the rhetoric used, some are just fed up with feeling bad about something rather than life. What might be seen as a pity party to some is reassurance and empathy to that person. However, it's not good to play into this game. Stand up and challenge them, but don't be a jerk- just be firm. Don't give them the speech about how others have it worse because they don't care. You need to establish yourself first as the firm presence, so that then they'll listen to you and actually let your words sink in.

    On occasion, when the person was being conpletely childish about it, I would let them know that I'm clearly offended at their behavior since I had legitimate suicidal thoughts frequently in the past. That snaps some people into reality but not usually.

    But yeah, basically that's what you're trying to get them to do- snap back into reality.