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Scared Silent – Breaking the Stigma Around Suicidal Ideation

Phrases I Have Heard

“Please don’t call the hospital.” 

“Don’t be scared, it’s not that bad.” 

“Don’t freak out.” 

“I don’t know, I don’t want you to panic or worry.”

“I don’t know what you’re going to do so I don’t know how much I want to tell you.” 

*sigh of relief* “…. Yes.” 

All of these above statements are things clients have said to me in response to my question “Have you recently had thoughts about killing yourself?” That sigh of relief though in that last statement happens almost every single time eventually in the conversation. For someone to see your pain and recognize it for what it is, that can mean so much for so many people. It feels like someone gets it and at least for a moment, you don’t have to hold that weight all by yourself. 

Suicidal Ideation

Unfortunately, often as human beings we skate around this idea of suicide in our day to day lives, almost like pretending it doesn’t exist will make that true. In reality however, this only makes it worse. Most of us live with suicidal ideation experiences either throughout our lives, or only have them come up in parts. 

Talk with your friends about these thoughts, ask them if they have ever thought of these things, and share if you are going through them. Don’t panic if you are the one hearing them. Breathe, stay calm and listen to what your friend is going through. Encourage them to seek professional help and reach out. Most people think counselors will automatically call the hospital to have someone committed if they even breathe the word “suicide.” That’s not true.

What Does Counseling Look Like for Suicidal Ideation?

There are policies and procedures in place for if we believe someone to need that type of professional support, but they aren’t the first line of defense. We first want to listen and understand what you are going through, to try and help you do what you can for yourself in that moment. We know that hospitalization will only temporarily fix the problem. Sometimes that is needed and very much ok! Hospitalization is what some people need to help them get through the darkest moments. Often though, just talking things through and creating a safety plan of what you can do during those moments is enough. When the dark moments get darker, and it feels like the only way out ends at your funeral. Those moments exist and they are real. I know that. Let’s talk about what we can do together to help you get through those moments successfully. It can’t get better if we don’t give it a try. 

Let’s talk. Call Amy Wine Counseling Center at 832.421.8714 and ask for Alyssa.

 

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Alyssa Webb-McCune

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