View Full Version : S: Talking down a suicidal girl
A girl I met last night through a friend ended up in the bathroom with cut wrists last night.
I got called in to help her because of how "nice" I am, as my friends put it. I got to talking about why she was doing this, and after learning that she used to model for Elle and a few other magazines, I could understand why she was conditioned to hate her body. She had been harrassed all night because she went to a rival school (drunk boys being inconsiderate over something stupid)... but I never found out why exactly she did it last night.
I was glad to know she cut across and not down; a mistake a lot of beginners make. I just prayed for her last night that she never destroys herself to the point of death... that's all I could really do. I think she just wanted to make a mark for attention without chancing death... I don't know about you guys, but I've been through a stage where I'd destroy part of my body, but always limiting it to non-fatal injuries. What I'm getting at is if she had cut down her wrists, I don't think I would have been able to sleep last night... I don't know, I'm sure that some of you think that cutting your wrists is cutting your wrists, but while cutting across is still bad, cutting down means you're not asking for attention... you're asking for death.
Have you ever talked anyone down from suicide or had to deal with it?
10-09-2004, 03:01 PM
Yes, I have talked with multiple people who sliced themselves. It is a fairly disconcerting feeling to have to talk with them as generally they are already so far gone that nothing you say really helps the problem.
First off, your friends who called you in, not only did you an extreme dis-service but also the girl. They should have called in professional, whether it be a doctor or an officer. The girl should be placed under at least 72 hour compulsory observation, which is for her own good.
Secondly, there are several different types of cuts. From your description, you only said she went horizontally across the wrists, but said nothing about the depth, whether or not the cuts were tenative and shallow or deliberate and deep. Women who attempt suicide generally do not choose a messy method (such as gun/slicing wrist) and instead choose overdosing on pills. While its not completely unheard of, this fact, does cause one to question what she was really trying to do and whether she was in fact just a cutter.
"Cutters" people who slice themselves because the pain is the only thing they can control in their lives are not trying to kill themselves, but rather just control something in their life. Sometimes they will cut their wrists, but they are familiar with the depth of the cuts they can make without truly endangering themselves. (Although in later stages, cutters have been known to start cutting deeper to get the same levels of pain and sometimes kill themselves accidentially)
The cuts weren't too deep... no prolonged bleeding. She was intoxicated at the time too unfortunately. It was so strange... we were having a great time playing a game (she was getting into it) then she shuffled off to the bathroom and the rest was history.
10-09-2004, 05:00 PM
i had a drunk friend that wanted to get in his car and commit suicide. took an hour or two in the freakin' parking lot to settle him down and get his keys. major suckage.
10-09-2004, 05:40 PM
Years ago when I was in High School, twice my sister came to me and told me that she had a friend talk about suicide. Both times I went to the family's house and told the mom what was going on. At least this got her parent's aware that there were problems so that they could talk about it and try to fix it. The families that I know went to counseling and while I have lost track of them, at least the girls made it through school.
Unfortunately you can't fix this, and if she doesn't deal with her problems that led her up to this, she may try again. At least you helped her get through last night, but she is going to need more help from professionals to help her find another way to deal with her problems. I am sure that she will always be grateful that you helped her out.
There was also a boy in school who no one was able to help. No one ever thought that he really had any problems (he was a football player, cute and well liked) until we all got the horrible news. More girls try it, but boys are more likely to follow through or use a method that there is no recovery from. Her friends need to take this seriously and get professional help
10-09-2004, 11:04 PM
I deal with suicidal people all the time.
I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that experience. That can be scary. Next time (God forbid it happens again), call the police and/or ambulance. I wouldn't trust the direction or depth of the cuts as indicators of intent. It's often an impulsive act and people don't think about those things. Regardless, I've seen tendons cut several times (people think they're cutting vessels, but they cut the tendons to the muscles in the forearm that allow you to make a fist) severely limiting the patient's use of his/her hand.
The girl needs help. There's too little information here to know exactly what kind of treatment, but please advise her friends to encourage her to see a psychiatrist. Something's going on, and her next attempt may not be so benign.
Also, depending on where you live, some laws allow people to file an order of protective custody, forcing evaluation by a psychiatrist that may or may not result in committing the person for a length of time.
10-09-2004, 11:29 PM
being an RA for 3 years, we were trained to deal with suicides, but i never thought i would actually have to use what i learned...on an ex.
fortunately, as ufcrusher pointed out, my other RA friends were there and kept me out of the situation. they called in the professional, and it was dealt with "properly"...but i was very emotional about it for a long time afterwards.
i'm sorry to hear about your experience, i hope your friend gets better.
10-11-2004, 05:46 AM
this is just too sad... :neartears one of my aunt's committed suicide when i was like 4 years old and I didn't really understand what was going on but I seriously think that suicide is one of the most selfish things a person could ever commit to - leaving your mess for your loved ones to deal with... :disa: i think that maybe your friend needs therapy... or at least some kind of special attention that will get down to the cause of why she treats herself so destructively
they say that people who commit suicide, usually have attempted it more than once
10-12-2004, 01:37 PM
I can't add much beyond what everyone has said here, but I have to strongly echo what uf said-- your friends brought you into this "because you're nice??" This isn't exactly like someone needing assistance in picking out a video card for their PC or something. Professionals should have been brought in immediately.
I've experienced the suicide of a loved one, and it was a long process the led up to it. Professionals were involved early on, and even then it didn't change the result. I couldn't imagine what would have happened if I pulled in "someone nice" to see what they could do-- that's just wrong.
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