To All Parents/Stepparents/Caregivers Whose Children Threaten Suicide


Well-Known Member
Do not let the incident pass.

Do not write it off to "hormones" or "moodiness."

Do not allow your child to minimize their statements.

Do not minimize it yourself.

My family is living proof that much more damage will be done by underreacting than overreacting.

I'm doing a lot of reflecting in the aftermath of my YS' almost-successful suicide attempt that has left him brain damaged, without functioning kidneys and a nearly amputated right leg.

In late February, I posted here that he made a suicidal statement at school. His parents took him to the closest psychiatric hospital for an intake.

He admitted he had a plan to take his life. He did not want to discuss it. He was not pushed to discuss it. He said he "didn't want to talk about it." Nobody made him.

Neither we, nor the hospital staff, took this gesture seriously enough. He minimized the whole thing, and we failed to take it seriously enough, given that he was not our Difficult Child and his older brother was dominating everybody's thoughts and concerns, as he usually did back then.

He went to outpatient therapy twice weekly. Things seemed to normalize. He was our Normal Child and so we forgot all about it.

Six months later he took 50 tablets of prescription cardiac medication, belonging to his Dad. And he died.

But he was in a top pediatric intensive care unit, and they gave him his life back. Were it not for the fact that he was already in this hospital and CPR was begun immediately I would be writing about his funeral.

We are grateful.

But he has brain damage, kidney failure, and has lost the use of his right leg for the time being.

Please do not be us.

Do not take it lightly.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member

Ferb lied to everyone about having a plan when he was hospitalized last January. I didn't find out what the plan was until he put the shotgun shell in his mouth in February. My brother gave him those shells years ago. I didn't even know he had them!

Please don't beat yourself up over something that YS kept hidden from you. Depression does that to people. It makes them draw inward, mistrust others, and most of the time they don't divulge what they are really thinking.

Warm hugs for all of you.


Active Member

Would you be okay with me copying and pasting your note to a private facebook group I belong to? I will take out dates, the info about his right leg and the type of medications he took (and anything else I think could be identifying). I have a friend who's daughter has made suicidal remarks. She's taking this all very seriously but...also isn't. If you say no I absolutely won't cut and paste. But if you have other words to share that I can use as a PSA for this group of moms, I would be grateful. Thank you. I'll wait to hear your response.



New Member
Thank you for sharing your story as hard as it may be. There are many people who look at those who say or threaten to commit suicide as "attention seekers" or "dramatic", or they feel it isn't going to really happen but it should always be taken as serious because you just never truly know until something bad happens. At least you guys did try to take him to doctors and tried to get him some help. I feel like kids have a way of making things not seem so bad when they are and it's hard for us as adults to know what to believe or do. It's not easy knowing what the right and wrong things are to do when we are faced with such burdens, but I feel you guys did the best you could at the time.
Thankfully things are slowly looking up for him and he is still here.
I feel this post is heartfelt, honest and real. something everyone needs to read and be aware of. It is never something to take lightly that is for sure. My heart is with you and your family, I pray things keep looking up for y'all. Xoxo


Roll With It
I went through the one attempt with the friend in junior high. It gutted me. Then the first Christmas I came home from college, a close friend from high school killed himself. That overwhelmed me with grief. I had no idea how to cope.

It was always the one threat I refused to cope with. Thank you for the warning. Your words are so very powerful.


Well-Known Member
hi culturanta

are the doctors clearer about the brain damage?

here is the thing. this forum brings to it, largely family of difficult children. like your oldest. these kids have a stereotypical story. we can almost tell it collectively with one breath. my own son is one of the most vulnerable here. but he is still a d c.

he has been hospalized for suicidal ideation numerous times. his depression began after age 21. he was impulsive but now less so. he does use threats instumentally. i believe he learned this as a means of coping and getting short term needs met.

of course he could have and still could kill himself. i can barely type those words. i pray he finds a way to live.

the way i learned to cope is to either call 911 if i knew his whereabouts or tell him i would cease contact if he made a threat. and do it, if i did not have any way to respond.

but for us threats or statements like i want to die have been an ongoing response to stress , conflict or circumstantial challenges.

there was no way i could have control except to not reward the behavior.

ys was not a d c. he internalized it all. the exact opposite of the d c syndrome. i think 2x a week therapy was not sweeping it under the rug. that he had a plan--should have triggered a response by professionals.

we could not have made him fork it up. but that is what suicide watch and psychiatric inpatient is for. this is not for parents to have to discern. we cannot. you could not have.

the harm came not from the suicidal statement. it seems to have come from a pervasive sense that he was not heard. and could not be heard. even. especially to himself (except by you) because we must be first heard as a child by a caretaker to be able to soothe ourselves. if we cannot do this in ourselves, how can we give this to our child. i torture myself this way.

i think this begins in relationship. i think i recall that the trigger was something with the girlfriend. this was but the match.

there was no lack by you. you overlooked nothing. you ignored and downplayed nothing. you failed at nothing. all you did was love that boy. i am wondering if you are going through the stages of grief and a bit turning the anger against yourself.

this is the child's real life. it is a real despair and sense of self-abandonment that i , you, and others know something about.

he (me too) learned to do this in his family. we can change. it is not too late.

the opening now is to learn how to find, nurture and nourish ourselves first ourselves and our true lives. there is no blame here. it is to first embrace. for ys, you, his mother, me too. embrace ourselves. first defining what that would be. each of us for ourselves. lifelong.

for ys there are therapists that can help him. not so much (or only) to focus on mental illness but self expression, communication, and the family. the wholeness, the voice is there to be reclaimed.

that is what i am learning about my own life. it is hard.

if you can prevail on his parents,a long term inpatient program would be a gift. music. art. nature. spirituality, meditation. family therapy. once he has stabilized physically.

how very sad i feel for us.
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Well-Known Member
Culturanta, you haven't checked in for awhile. I hope all is as well as can be expected, and perhaps even better. I'm sure we all want to know are things are going if you get a chance.