4 Things You Should Never Say to a Suicide Attempt Survivor (Trigger Warning)

I've attempted suicide twice and the worst part of the aftermath was not that my loved ones said they'd miss me through tears, but that my own mother decided to guilt me the day after I told them (I did wait two years but that is another story) and I don't know if I will ever forgive her.

Here are things you should NEVER say to someone who is recovering from a suicide attempt.

1. Suicides go to Hell

This is my favorite here because it shows the person actually hasn't read the Bible or is completely twisting it. So the biggest one that people use to justify it is the sixth commandment. Now in the nice and tidy King James Bible it simply says thou shalt not kill. The problem is that this is a fucking awful translation of the original commandment; the original word wasn't kill but "Retzach," which was never used in the context of war, as it is generally accepted to actually be "Murder" but King James and his scholars weren't that good at translating (other parts that got fucked up throughout the years through translation include the verse in Leviticus referring to homosexuals, which was originally about prostitution. A harsh punishment for prostitution yes, about gay people, no.)

Now Suicide is NOT murder and they are very different things, murder is killing someone else. Now furthermore there are Suicides in the Bible. The biggest one is actually Samson whose suicide was an act of divine intervention in his favor. So stop using this phrase.

2. Suicide is Selfish

People who say this REALLY don't understand the thought process of those who are suicidal. You know that phrase, 'abandon hope all ye who enter' A person who is suicidal already has no hope. They feel like they truly are already in hell. All you are doing is trying to not feel guilty when you see someone who is suffering horribly.

3. People who commit suicide are weak

Depression is caused by problems in the brain. Let's say your friend has brain cancer. Is your friend weak because he has an illness he cannot control? This is pretty much the same thing. A person who commits suicide is not weak and I'd wager that people with depression are stronger than most people. People like me endure hell on earth, at times our very mind essentially wants to kill us. That's not something a healthy person has to deal with.

4. Just get over it

If I could just get over it I would. Now considering mental illness is an illness same as any, I'd support a law that enabled anyone who suffers from depression and is told by another person to "just get over it, its all in your head" to kick that person in the balls and tell them, "just get over it, it's all in your balls." You don't tell a cancer patient to just get over it, so don't tell that to a person with mental illness.

Things that you SHOULD say to a suicide attempt survivor

1. I will never judge you.

2. I'm here if you need me.

3. I don't want you to die.

4. I'm glad you are alive and someday I hope you are happy you are alive too.

To anyone who is going to complain about the trigger warning because of "stupid political correctness," consider this a preemptive fuck you.


9|2
12|10
Waffles731 is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Join the discussion

0/2500

Submit

What Girls Said 12

  • 1mo

    This is spot on. After several months of being depressed and making a suicide attempt, I remember my parents seemingly getting tired of it, and a few times my mum told me to 'just get over it', which only made me more upset.
    But, amazing take, I loved it.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 2mo

    Thanks mate! This also applies to people who have just told you that their depressed and suicidal.

    1|2
    0|1
  • 3d

    All the love and respect to you guys (I mean that as gender neutral) fighting depression <3 . And thank you Waffles for the trigger warning

    My boyfriend has battled suicidal thoughts and depression, and although it is obviously incredibly painful having to see him suffer and hear him say he wants to end his life, I would never, ever blame him for how I feel when he shares these things with me. I would rather know, and have him know he can trust me to love and support him. Anyone making someone else's mental illness about them, calling the ill person 'selfish', is being an ignorant arsehole. Yes, it's important to focus on self care too when trying to care for someone with depression, you can't pour from an empty cup and all that; but needing help is never something to shame someone for.

    I would add to never say that awful quote 'nobody can love you if you don't love yourself'. That and variations on it are so popular, and well meant, usually, but it's such toxic, untrue, ableist bullshit. People can hate themselves and still be so, so loved by other people, and able to love others as well.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    I love this! I think it is so important to think carefully about what is said to someone, especially if they are in a vulnerable state. I've had people tell me to kill myself before and I cannot believe anyone would ever say that to another human being. People can be vile.

    This article is amazing and I'm hoping people take it to heart and think twice before saying something nasty to someone else. A little kindness goes a long way!

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    Trust me I received the message for this and you did a great job nonetheless but what I also got out of this was reasons to follow through with commuting suicide because everything you listed although you're right are the reasons that fear and stop me as I'm sure other people from following through with it 😐

    0|1
    0|0
    • 1mo

      No, don't follow through I wanted to communicate that suicide attempt survivors need noting less than compassion

  • 1mo

    Yes, thank you for including things to say. Very helpful MyTake.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    This was a great take. I loved it
    And it has a really good point

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    Very nice, well-written Take. But there are some things that are a little off.

    1. To tell you the truth, the belief that people who commit suicide go to hell stems from Catholic tradition. And the King James Bible (though very influential to the formation of the English language) is a Protestant Bible, because King James was a Protestant King of England. English-speaking Catholics today use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which is in some ways based on the KJV. What the Bible says is one thing, but many denominations have different interpretations of what the Bible says (as you would if you read a novel or non-fiction work). The purpose is to understand something to the best of your ability. For Catholics, they have the Old Testament, New Testament, Deuterocanonical Books, and the Patristic Writings; and they have to make sense of all of that. Currently, the belief is that suicide is a sin, which is exactly what Apostle Judas did, along with the betrayal of Jesus. No wonder he is not made into a saint.

    2. "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" is a Dante quote. How it's related to your Take, I have no idea. I suppose you just look at the superficial meaning and take it. But in reality, it's referring to the hopelessness of hell, not the hopelessness of having a mental illness (depression).

    3. I see that you are looking at weakness from a free will perspective. From a free will perspective, I agree with you. Depressed, suicidal people are very strong, even stronger than normal people. But looking at the state of mental health, the brain is not behaving normally, so that can be seen as a "weakness of the brain".

    4. I agree with this completely. The problem is, many people use the "Just get over it" on men over women. Men are expected to just get over the stress and depression, while women may receive treatment and sympathy. The people's perception towards depression in men and women depends on their gender expectations.

    Finally, I love your 4 points in the end. Though, like with many things in life, they are hard to control. Sometimes, one can be judgmental by behavior or non-verbal cues. Personally, I think if one knows that one has this tendency, then one should keep a calm, expressionless face or a concerned, serious face. Number 2-4 are good conversation starters.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    I love this Take!! it's so true.

    I have a profound compassion for anyone who commits succide or who has attempted succide. They don't really want to end their life, they want to end their emotional suffering. It annoys me so much when I hear people saying" it's selfish or cowardly"

    I'd never judge anyone who ends their own life. How can you judge their choice when you don't know their reason. My heart goes out to them and their family

    No one knows the depths of another person's emotional pain and despair.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 2mo

    Well, I attempted suicide and barely survived and I do agree that it is selfish. When I woke up I could hardly look my mother in the eyes because I felt so guilty. She was absolutely devastated that her own daughter would rather wanna be dead than deal with life. You are not only alive for yourself, if you think you are that IS selfish. Doesn't matter what you tell yourself to make yourself feel better, but suicide is always selfish.

    3|1
    0|0
  • 2mo

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
    If I could like this a thousand times, I would.

    1|2
    0|1
  • 2mo

    Wonderful take and I understand fully (I never attempted suicide but I came very close).

    2|2
    0|1

What Guys Said 10

  • 2mo

    As somebody who suffers from depression and anxiety and OCD and ADD, and as somebody who has contemplated suicide before I agree with some parts of this but not others. For example, if telling someone they'll go to hell stops them from committing suicide, that's great. Whatever it takes. As for the part about it being selfish or not... suicide isn't selfish in the traditional sense, but oftentimes the person who commits suicide hasn't thought everything through either. They are no longer here. They don't suffer. Their family does. And oftentimes that can destroy someone else's life. And again, if telling somebody this stops them I think that's great. Really anything that stops someone from committing suicide and allows them to keep living is a good thing in my eyes. And, in the past, the thought of the pain it would cause my family has stopped me from actually taking action or making a plan.

    Certainly I agree you shouldn't tell somebody with depression to just get over it. It is not that simple. However, there are different types of depression. The type I have is circumstance based. So if I improve my circumstances I won't be depressed. Some responsibility falls on my shoulders.

    Certainly people with anxiety and depression who struggle everyday aren't weak. Mentally their brain isn't operating at max, but they certainly aren't weak. I have internal battles all the time.

    Truth be told, I don't think people say most of these things to a suicide survivor. I think they just say these things about suicide in general. It's a complicated highly complex topic. Naturally people are going to view it differently. A lot depending on circumstance, a lot depending on personality.

    1|2
    0|0
  • 2mo

    As a suicide attempt survivor, I approve this.

    1|1
    0|1
  • 2mo

    Extremely well said! Suicide is something not to be taken lightly.

    I don't understand how heartless other can be about this topic.

    0|2
    0|0
  • 1mo

    It's difficult for someone going through what they are going through when they are severely depressed to the point where they really are serious about ending their own life and feel that it's not worth living anymore.

    But sometimes it makes me wonder though, there's always two questions I thought about asking them "is there anything that will convince you to change your mind about this?" "Is there anything anyone can actually do to change your mind about this or make you feel better?"

    The other thing in my mind on what I want to say if I ever had a friend or close one that considers suicide is "You don't have to do this, there has to be another way, some other way, maybe something had been overlooked and we haven't figured out what it is yet, but I know we'll find it, we just have to keep looking for it. There is ALWAYS another way. I'm sure many other people have been in the same very difficult situation as you currently have, but they somehow still managed to turned everything around and eventually they're fine again. But if you give up now, then we would lose the only chance to ever turn this completely around. You can make it through this, you just have to be willing to try and not give up, because I am still willing to try and not give up."

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    I agree with everything except #2. my first suicide attempt was when I was 10 years old, children's aid and the police both decided it had nothing to do with my home life (?) It wasn't the only time though.
    I honestly do believe it is the most selfish thing I could do, but I have always had people that relied on me and taking myself from their lives would have had many bad ramifications.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 1mo

    "Things that you SHOULD say to a suicide attempt survivor," Nothing will make any diffirence. I am one of them. well i didn't kill myself but it was near. Life was bad. Life is still bad.

    0|0
    0|0
  • 2mo

    I completely agree, great Take.

    0|1
    0|0
  • 2mo

    Had a kid I went to school with attempt suicide and then some kids made fun of him for sucking at life so bad he couldn't even kill himself. And then he succeeded. Which hopefully made them feel like shit

    0|1
    0|1
  • 2mo

    Great take and so true

    1|1
    0|1
  • 2mo

    I attempted suicide because after my parents sent me to a mental hospital I was too afraid to seek help when things got bad to the point that I attempted an OD and survived because I threw up. When I finally started seeing someone a year later he said that the prolonged untreated stress exposure caused me to develop major depressive disorder so I disowned my parents for what they did.

    0|0
    0|1
Loading...