Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tiredof33, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Detaching is hard and to the outside world it can appear that we have turned our backs. That we are cold hearted and uncaring.

    If they only knew the pain in our difficult child has taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

    My 34yo difficult child loves the drama and does not like to be alone. He posts dark poetry on facebook and has posted about depression and suicidal thoughts. Last Sunday he was posting about being suicidal and a friend told him to message her. He has threatened suicide for years and he is taking medication. He cuts himself and has since his teen years.

    I don't go on facebook - my family has told me. There is not one thing I can do but pray. A 21yo male relative committed suicide two years ago and Monday a 45yo male cousin committed suicide. It has been a very emotional two weeks for me and my family.

    When he told me they were starting a new job in TN last week he talked about visiting soon. He seemed more upbeat.

    What will be will be... I read this passage from a book daily.

    'Every suicide preventable by outside forces was indeed prevented. What this means is that if the suicidal person has the slightest openness to changing their mind, the Universe will stage an intervention. It could be something as simple as a bird flying by and distracting the person, or something as dramatic as an angel assuming human form and physically interceding. If you have lost a loved one to suicide, know this: There was literally nothing you could have done to save them. You are not to blame.
    You are not at fault.
    You did not fail them.
    Therein rests your healing. Therein lies your peace."

    May we all learn to detach and turn our lives and problems over to a higher power.
    (((hugs for us all)))
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry. I think you should seriously consider calling the police and ask if they have any trained personnel to visit him. If they don't, you might ask for their advice re: this serious matter.
    Explain that he tends to write this dark stuff, but that he has specifically mentioned suicide and that it seems a little darker than usual.
    And yes, since he is an adult now, other than a phone call, I would do your best to detach from the drama/emotions....give it to your Higher Power...and even though this mess is the background, enjoy life to the BEST of your ability.
  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member


    I am so sorry to hear about your two family members that committed suicide. That is so very sad.
    And I really appreciate the passage you shared.

    My young difficult child, like your son, has expressed suicidal feelings and has engaged through taking pills and stabbing himself in the arm in the past 3 yrs or so. It is terrifying to think about but I am reminded that, those who do go through with it, often don't tell anyone, they just do it.

    I have tried to plant seeds in my young difficult child's thought life. I have told him of times over the past 20 something yrs when I myself felt that suicide was an answer. But...I was brought back to reality because I had children to care for. I have tried to use this same reasoning with my young difficult child. Whatever works.

    I think I will write this passage down for myself and keep it in a safe place as my young difficult child should be returning home from prison in the next 3 months and things could get to that point again if he gets too anxious and scared.

    Thanks again,
    and hoping that your son's pain, as well as your own, will lessen with time.

    caring hugs,
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Tired, you're view is correct.

    Those who want help, with threaten and talk about suicide. Those who are done, totally, don't talk, don't threaten, they just do it with no warning whatsoever. I'm not going to say there aren't instances of those crying out for help accidentally succeeding, because it often happens. But those who are determined to end it, keep it to themselves and get the job done regardless of efforts of outside forces.

    To me, suicide is a person's right. I have no right to judge how utterly miserable their life might be or if their reasons are valid. I haven't walked in their shoes. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't encourage help and treatment or whatever.......but I think you get the idea. Nichole was suicidal for a quite a long while. Being underage, I got her help and made sure she followed through, but like I told her.....if that was her decision, I couldn't stop her. Thankfully Nichole's was a cry for help and an accurate indication of how bad her mental state was than a true desire to follow through.

    It might be that it is that way with your difficult child as well. But as you said all you can do is pray and detach.

  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I did call the police about a year ago during an episode and when they checked on him he said he was not suicidal. The police officer called me and let me know. He then Baker Acted himself about 3 months later, I told him to be completely honest with the docs and he was released after two days.

    I have only known one person (44yo) that was in therapy for years and made threats that actually committed suicide. She had young children and they were all in weekly therapy. The many others I have known may have been thinking of it, but didn't tell anyone.

    We also had a missionary from Australia hang himself this week. I was 'trained' to believe suicide was the ultimate selfish act and was a sin. As I have matured I agree that it is the person's right, I don't judge, and I no longer think of it as a sin.

    My 'gut feeling' is that my difficult child was drinking again, leading to depression, and is passed the moment now. When I was talking to him he told me it still hurt that his own dad didn't love him. He said that he learned from his deadbeat dad what NOT to do when he has children. Until my son can find a more stable path in his life I feel we are blessed that there are no children.

    His life, his choices.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Have to disagree. Of course it may be cultural but at least here it is total myth that those who are really going to commit suicide are not talking about it. Most people committing suicide talk about it beforehand and we are very strongly encourage to take all talk about suicide very serious by professionals. We tend to have much more suicides than you do and at least here it is considered a very dangerous myth that those really planning to commit suicide wouldn't talk about it. Most do, around 60 % of men and almost all women who commit suicide did talk about it beforehand. Of course many who talk about suicide don't even attempt and only 10 % of those who do make an suicide attempt commit suicide after failed attempt (despite the treatment) and only every third person who commits suicide has at least one failed attempt before it but still talk about suicides and suicide attempts are clear sign of being in high risk for suicide.

    This figures are from our stats and as said, we have much more suicides than you, almost a double I think, so they may be different also on other matters, but still I would be vary on counting to the myth that those talking about it won't do it. Our figures used to be even worse 20 years ago. Suicides have come down over 30 % in that time after these kinds of myths have been dispelled.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    SuZir you can disagree with me, you won't be the first.

    Those stats are skewed by those seeking help (whether consciously or subconsciously) who accidentally follow through successfully. I've worked in a psychiatric unit with docs with 20-30 yrs experience dealing with suicide. I'm not saying that they might not *think* they want to end their life, the difference is that the true desire to do so is not there. When it comes down to doing it they back out or make sure they're caught out. Once that desire is there, and they've set their mind, there is no stopping them. They go silent because they don't want to be helped, they don't want to be stopped, they're simply done. It's this "silence" that psychiatrists and tdocs actively watch for with a suicidal patient, that and other unusual behavior changes.

    I'm not even going to get into those persons who use the threat of suicide as a manipulation tool. A vast number of people do this, and unfortunately a vast number of people lose their lives using this form of manipulation because they accidentally succeed. I'm well aware there are those who believe these people don't exist, but I've dealt with more than my fair share and can tell you for certain there are many many people who use it for sheer manipulation.

    I think the real myth lies in the fact that all persons seriously considering suicide want help, because they don't. And it's not caused necessarily by their mental illness either, not even depression. I think it is because it is ingrained in us (rightly so) that all life is precious, therefore we simply cannot grasp someone wanting to, in our eyes, throw it away.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't take their threats seriously. All threats should be taken seriously, all talk of suicide should be encouraged to seek help. But you also have to somewhere along the line as a relative / friend of someone who is suicidal make peace with the fact that the decision to end their life rest solely upon that person, that you have no control over that decision or their actions. If they were to emotionally react to it every single time, they'd find themselves over the edge in short order themselves. You just cannot keep yourself on an emotional roller coaster like that.

    Perhaps for me it is a cultural thing, and I'm not talking because I live in the states. My native culture doesn't have the same view of life and death. Death isn't the end, so it isn't feared, it's embraced. So that may be why I view suicide a bit differently as far as it being the person's right if they feel it's necessary.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lisa - as far as the going-silent stuff? That's the baseline here. If they are talking about it - not writing secret notes to be found later, but actually talking about it, there is hope for successful intervention. Too many of the suicides I know about were not accidental, but were made to look that way. These don't show in the stats, because only a handful of friends and family know... officially, it's an accident. But if you know the person and what was going on in their life before they committed suicide, AND know their skills and abilities... chances of it having been an accident are zero. Every case... they did NOT talk. No hint, except... with what was going on in their lives at the time, they should have needed to talk... to somebody, anybody.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yes, this was also common idea with those working in our ER's and psychiatric units 20 years ago. Not only with general public. After they were educated and suicide threats were not handled as empty threats any more and those committing suicide after threats/earlier attempts as ones accidentally following through, our suicide deaths started to come down. They are still much higher than for example yours, but still over 30 % drop is huge.

    I have to say that my personal experience also don't really support idea of accidentally following through. I have personally known 6 people who have committed suicide. One didn't talk about it beforehand but just felled from the bridge while drunk. It seems it was not something he had really planed long, but fight with the girlfriend and being drunk probably made it sound a good idea. Can also be he was only looking for attention and accidentally fell. Don't know. Two others had had some non life-threatening attempts during the year before suicides, but there is nothing accidental in going under the train in the curve or shooting yourself onto the head with shotgun. Other three had not made any attempts before but had all talked about it. And again, taking heavy overdose of insulin (especially when you are a doctor and have all the needed knowledge), hanging yourself or driving your car as fast as possible to the solid rock are not something that get you killed only accidentally. They all knew what they were doing. That doesn't mean that they couldn't had been helped in few weeks and days leading to these actions.

    In health care your view becomes easily slanted if you just believe your own eyes. It may seem that those same people are there in ER over and over because of failed suicide attempts that were not meant to succeed or empty threats. And there is truth in that. There are some conditions (mainly Borderline (BPD)) that cause people to self-harm a lot and commit a lot of non life-threatening suicide attempts. That still doesn't change the fact that most of the people who will commit suicide talk about it beforehand.

    And yes, there are people who talk about suicide to manipulate.

    Still over 90 % of those committing suicide have suffered from some mental disorder. Many serious mental disorders have very high suicide mortality. Over 10 % of those with schizophrenia will commit suicide. 8-10 % of those with Borderline (BPD) will do so. People with bipolar disorder have much higher risk for suicide than general population. Also addicts are in high risk. For example 25 % of gamblers who seek treatment have had at least one suicide attempt.

    As a relative or friend of someone talking about suicide, you of course can not shoulder the responsibility of someone else's life. And to prevent manipulation you shouldn't even try. I don't know your health care well enough to give any advise, but around here, if someone calmly talks about suicide, you can take them to ER or if they 'just speculate' just tell their family doctor. If someone threatens suicide, just call emergency number. The police will check them and if needed take them to the hospital. Being very matter of fact with it helps to prevent manipulation. Just telling that suicide talk/threats are serious and you have no choice but contact to health care over it discourages those who are just trying to manipulate. And lets face it. It is not like one could just listen their child to talk or threaten with suicide and not to worry. So calling 911 and reporting it doesn't make the parent or friend feel any worse or more responsible over other person's actions.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I cannot post the non-accidental deaths that affected our family - no way do I want someone else to use what I write, to figure out how to do it. But... I'm serious: these were not things like driving into a cliff at high speed. Much more subtle... and yet, WE knew it wasn't an accident. There is some percentage out there who give NO warning signs, and succeed. Had we known beforehand what was going on in their lives, we might have been able to help... even not knowing about the suicide plans. But... everything was kept inside. There's no way to capture these in the statistics, but that doesn't make the situation any real.