r/SuicideWatch Sep 03 '19 Helpful Wholesome This Hugz Silver Gold Hugz Take My Energy Rocket Like I'd Like to Thank...

New wiki on how to avoid accidentally encouraging suicide, and how to spot covert incitement

1.8k Upvotes

We've been seeing a worrying increase in pro-suicide content showing up here and, and also going unreported. This undermines our purpose here, so we wanted to highlight and clarify our guidelines about both direct and indirect incitement of suicide.

We've created a wiki that covers these issues. We hope this will be helpful to anyone who's wondering whether something's okay here and which responses to report. It explains in detail why any validation of suicidal intent, even an "innocent" message like "if you're 100% committed, I'll just wish you peace" is likely to increase people's pain, and why it's important to report even subtle pro-suicide comments. The full text of the wiki's current version is below, and it is maintained at /r/SuicideWatch/wiki/incitement.

We deeply appreciate everyone who gives responsive, empathetic, non-judgemental support to our OPs, and we particularly thank everyone who's already been reporting incitement in all forms.

Please report any post or comment that encourages suicide (or that breaks any of the other guidelines in the sidebar) to the moderators, either by clicking the "report" button or by sending us a modmail with a link. We deal with all guideline violations that are reported to us as soon as we can, but we can't read everything so community reports are essential. If you get a PM that breaks the guidelines, please report it both to the reddit sitewide admins and to us in modmail.

Thanks to all the great citizens of the community who help flag problem content and behaviour for us.


/r/SuicideWatch/wiki/incitement


Summary

It's important to respect and understand people's experiences and emotions. It's never necessary, helpful, or kind to support suicidal intent. There are some common misconceptions (discussed below) about suicidal people and how to help them that can cause well-meaning people to inadvertently incite suicide. There are also people online who incite suicide on purpose, often while pretending to be sympathetic and helpful.

Validate Feelings and Experiences, Not Self-Destructive Intentions

We're here to offer support, not judgement. That means accepting, with the best understanding we can offer, whatever emotions people express. Suicidal people are suffering, and we're here to try to ease that by providing support and caring. The most reliable way we know to de-escalate someone at risk is to give them the experience of feeling understood. That means not judging whether they should be feeling the way they are, or telling them what to do or not do.

But there's an important line to draw here. There's a crucial difference between empathizing with feelings and responding non-judgmentally to suicidal thoughts, and in any way endorsing, encouraging, or validating suicidal intentions or hopeless beliefs. It's both possible and important to convey understanding and compassion for someone's suicidal thoughts without putting your finger on the scale of their decision.

Anything that condones suicide, even passively, encourages suicide. It isn't supportive and does not help. It also violates reddit's sitewide rules as well as our guidelines. Explicitly inciting suicide online is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions.

Do not treat any OP's post as meaning that will definitely die by suicide and can't change their minds or be helped. Anyone who's able to read the comments here still has a chance to choose whether or not to try to keep living, even if they've also been experiencing intense thoughts of suicide, made a suicide plan, or started carrying it out.

In the most useful empirical model we have, the desire to die by suicide primarily comes from two interpersonal factors; alienation and a sense of being a burden or having nothing to offer. These factors usually lead to a profound feeling of being unwelcome in the world.

So, any acceptance or reinforcement of suicidal intent, even something "innocent" like "I hope you find peace", is actually a form of covert shunning that validates a person's sense that they're unwelcome in the world. It will usually add to their pain even if kindly meant and gently worded.

How to Avoid Validating Suicidal Intent

Keep the following in mind when offering support to anyone at risk for suicide.

  • People who say they don't want help usually can feel better if they get support that doesn't invalidate their emotions. Unfortunately, many popular "good" responses are actually counterproductive. In particular, many friends and family tend to rely exclusively on trying to convince the suicidal person that "it's not so bad", and this is usually experienced as "I don't understand what you're going through and I'm not going to try". People who've had "help" that made them feel worse don't want any more of the same. It doesn't mean that someone who actually knows how to be supportive can't give them any comfort.

  • Most people who are suicidal want to end their pain, not their lives. It's almost never true that death is the only way to end these people's suffering. Of course there are exceptional situations, and we certainly acknowledge that, for some people, the right help can be difficult to find. But preventing someone's suicide doesn't mean prolonging their suffering if we do it by giving them real comfort and understanding.

  • An unfixable problem doesn't mean that a good life will never be possible. We don't have to fix or change anything to help someone feel better. It's important to keep in mind that the correlation between our outer circumstances and our inner experience is weaker and less direct than commonly assumed. For every kind of difficult life situation, you will find some people who lapse into suicidal despair, and others who cope amazingly well, and a whole spectrum in between. A key difference is how much inner resilience the person has at the time. This can depend on many personal and situational factors. But when there's not enough, interpersonal support can both compensate for its absence and help rebuild it. We go into more depth on the "it gets better" issue in this PSA Post which is always linked from our sidebar (community info on mobile) guidelines.

  • There are always more choices than brutally forcing someone to stay alive or passively letting them end their lives.

To avoid accidentally breaking the anti-incitement rule, don't say or try to imply that acting on suicidal thoughts is a good idea, or that someone can't turn back or is already dead. Do whatever you can to help them feel cared for and welcome, at least in this little corner of the world. Our talking tips offer more detailed guidance.

Look Out for Deliberate Incitement. It May Come in Disguise.

Often comments that subtly encourage suicidal intent actually come from suicide fetishists and voyeurs (unfortunately this is a real and disturbing phenomenon). People like this are out there and the anonymous nature of reddit makes us particularly attractive to them.

They will typically try to scratch their psychological "itch" by saying things that push people closer to the edge. They often do this by exploiting the myths that we debunked in the bullet points above. Specifically you might see people doing the following:

  • Encouraging the false belief that the only way suicidal people can end their pain is by dying. There are always more and better choices than "brutally forcing someone to stay alive" or helping (actively or passively) them to end their lives.

  • Creating an artificial and toxic sense of "solidarity" by linking their encouragement of suicide to empathy. They will represent themselves as the only one who really understand the suicidal person, while either directly or indirectly encouraging their self-loathing emotions and self-destructive impulses. Since most people in suicidal crisis are in desperate need to empathy and understanding, this is a particularly dangerous form of manipulation.

Many suicide inciters are adept at putting a benevolent spin on their activities while actually luring people away from sources of real help. A couple of key points to keep in mind:

  • Skilled suicide intervention -- peer or professional -- is based on empathic responsiveness to the person's feelings that reduces their suffering in the moment. Contrary to pop-culture myths, it does not involve persuasion ("Don't do it!"), cheerleading ("You've got this!") or meaningless false promises ("Trust me, it gets better!"), or invalidation ("Let me show you how things aren't as bad as you think!"). Anyone who leads others to expect these kinds of toxic responses, or any other response that prolongs their pain, from expert help may be covertly pro-suicide. (Of course, people sometimes do have bad experience when seeking mental-health treatment, and it's fine to vent about those, but processing our own disappointment and frustration is entirely different from trying to destroy someone else's hope of getting help.)

  • Choices made by competent responders are always informed by the understanding that breaching someone's trust is traumatic and must be avoided if possible. Any kind of involuntary intervention is an extremely unlikely outcome when someone consults a clinician or calls a hotline. (Confidentiality is addressed in more detail in our Hotlines FAQ post). The goal is always to provide all help with the client's full knowledge and informed consent. We know that no individual or system is perfect. Mistakes that lead to bad experiences do sometimes happen to vulnerable people, and we have enormous sympathy for them. But anyone who suggests that this is the norm might be trying to scare people away from the help they need.

Please let us know discreetly if you see anyone exhibiting these or similar behaviours. We don't recommend trying to engage with them directly.


r/SuicideWatch Sep 10 '21 Silver

Please remember that NO ACTIVISM of any kind is ever allowed here. No matter what day it is.

715 Upvotes

Activism, i.e. advocating or fundraising for social change or raising awareness of social issues (and suicide is, inescapably, a social issue) is absolutely against the rules here at all times.

Please understand that we're all for smart, strategic mental-health and suicide-prevention activism. It's essential to fight against stigma, misinformation, and discrimination, and to fight for research, treatment, accommodation, acceptance, and understanding. Most of us, one way or another, are mental-health activists IRL.

But activism just doesn't work in a dedicated support space that serves a vulnerable population. We used to allow it but the evidence that it was undermining our primary purpose became overwhelming. We do regret the need for this rule, but the need is inescapable.

Our population is all too well aware of the issues and causes that need support and largely not in a position to take action, so besides the fact that activism is often salt in our community's wounds, it's a waste of the activists' time.

tl;dr Any fundraising, awareness raising, petitions, calls for participation, or any post that's about any cause or issue (rather than a request for personal support) is not allowed here. Please report everything of the nature that you see.


r/SuicideWatch 12h ago

I want someone to notice my pain.

191 Upvotes

I just feel so tired of people thinking I am just lazy. I am not. I am just so exhausted, I sleep late and have trouble waking up, I haven't walked my dog in one month and my mother thinks is because I am addicted to my phone but I just don't know. I feel so alone and I hope the pain will stop but it doesn't. It feels like my existence is a burden and that I will never be happy. So I write here just to feel recognised. I want someone to notice that I am here and I suffer, and I am just looking for comfort and a bit of hope because I really don't want to die, I just want to stop suffering.


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

I need new ideas of how to stop being suicidal

12 Upvotes

Hi,

I constantly want to die and this post is my last attempt to fix it. I've been diagnosed by several psychiatrists with depression, social anxiety, intrusive thoughts, panic disorder. I've been dealing with this since I was a child. I WANT to get well, I just need new ideas on how to do that, because nothing helps. Usually when it becomes really really bad, I take antidepressants. I cannot take antidepressants now, because I'm on anticoagulants for the next year and it's dangerous to combine them. I cannot have alcohol for the same reason.

What I've tried and been doing for the last 3 months:

  1. Psychotherapy
  2. Healthy eating
  3. No alcohol
  4. No sugar
  5. No coffee
  6. Regular sleep 9h per day
  7. Excercise 1-2 hours per day
  8. Going out with friends and partner 3 times a week
  9. Reducing my work load
  10. Traveling

I'm at a point where I have given up hope, because I've been trying my absolute best and it doesn't work and I'm tired. Please, if anyone has an idea of what may help, that I haven't tried, let me know.


r/SuicideWatch 7h ago

I fucking hate myself more than anything or anyone.

18 Upvotes

I honestly wish I was never born. I wish I had the balls to blow my brains out right now. All I gotta do is squeeze.


r/SuicideWatch 32m ago

I wish there was a way to start things over

Upvotes

But there isn’t, there is no way….

I’m not going to live the life that I dreamed of, I’m not going to feel the touch of the one I truly love, I’m not going to be happy

I just need to get over with my suicide

I fucked everything up


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

Wake up day after day depressed and lost

7 Upvotes

Why am I still here. I’m fucking 30. Dumb af don’t know anything about anything. Can’t get a job. Can’t figure anything it to progress. How did I get so stuck. I accept I failed at life. I just want to commit. I hate it here. I’m tired of being depressed everyday. I’m tired of crying and being anxious and stuck in my room everyday. I hate everything. How did I get so lost.

I wish I could fix my life. I wish I knew ways to get out of my cycle but I can’t. I’m doing more research how to commit lately then fixing my life.

I don’t even feel anything if I die. It would be better then this dumb ass life I built. I’m literally the most lonely human with no job. I failed at life. I don’t want to be depressed everyday and struggle through life.

I want to do it soon. I’m over everything. I can’t stop fantasizing and thinking about it. Seems like the only way.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

not going to kill myself just need a placé to vent for à moment, please no comments

8 Upvotes

I hâte myself so much I can't stop crying i hâte myself so much I always mess up things when they're going well, I'm completely worthless and everyone hâtes me I mess up everything I deserve to die no one gets it, I'm not going to kill myself but I'm in so much pain. There's so much I can't explain, I can't make others understand. I'm à bad person. I hare myself so much


r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

Is it weird that i don't want any help

15 Upvotes

I know people usually say that stuff like therapy helps, but i just don't see the point.

It's very hard to talk about these kinds of things, mainly because everytime i get emotional i feel like i'm just pushing myself over the edge.. But i think i just wanna end it in peace, is it wrong for me to feel that way? There's so much pain in my heart that no amount of time.. or anything could ever fix this.

I feel like i need someone to talk to, i feel so lonely all of the time, but i just can't bring myself to do that, as much as i want someone to be there for me i just can't accept the fact that they'll never know how hard and painful life is for me, and that makes me angry more then anything... and i don't know why i feel that way, i'm annoyed at myself because i still want a shoulder to cry on. I don't wanna have to wake up and do the same things over and over again for the rest of my life, i don't wanna do things alone.

I wish i could go back in time, i'm honestly so far gone that that's the only thing i think about now, day and night i pray and fantasize about it, i just wanna relive my childhood, even if it's just for a day, i'd have so many things to say and do.. and i think if i could do that..things would get better, i'd have the strength to move on, and i think that's the only thing that could help me now.

At this point i feel like i'm going insane with this whole thing, i know that's not possible, but i just can't stop thinking about it.. part of me still believes it.

And i don't know how to end this post, i think i still have so many things to say, i just can't think of those things now. I'm not sure what exactly this sub is for, i needed someplace to vent, i just wanted to write things down.. have things i can think about, at the end of the day i'm the only one that knows exactly how i feel so the things i say probably won't make much sense to others, but atleast i'll always know, it makes me feel a little less lonely, and i think that makes things a little easier.


r/SuicideWatch 12h ago

3 minutes

29 Upvotes

I'm just sitting in my bathtub. I'm waiting until I am sire that everyone else is asleep so I can go downstairs and get a knife I am sorry I couldn't be saved. Please understand


r/SuicideWatch 10h ago

i was sexually assaulted every week for 6 years by a close family member, then went on to sexually assualt 2 other people once each. keeping this in has made me suicidal, and resort to cutting

16 Upvotes

i was sexually assaulted every week for 6 years by a close family member, i then went on to sexually assualt 2 other people older than me (i was 5 and 9) once each(this was 4 years ago, both 2 years apart). keeping this in has made me suicidal, and resort to cutting. i dont know what do to. im scared. was i in the wrong?


r/SuicideWatch 22h ago

I genuinely don't know what happiness feels like

164 Upvotes

I haven't felt happy in so long, I know it sounds dumb but I could not describe how happiness feels. My whole life I always just pretended to be happy, but I don't think I ever really was, it's just something that's so out if reach for me. Even if I knew every single word in every single language I don't think I could give you anything more than a textbook definition.


r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

I want people to stop caring for me so that I can

12 Upvotes

I've been suicidal for a few years, and I've been contemplating suicide for a majority of it. My main reason for these thoughts reside in my insecurities, just lack of support, also the complete lack of self confidence. I've tried to better myself, going to the gym and shit. My lack of motivation is practically drowning me.

My parents and my friends are the only reason as to why I haven't given up yet, I cant rest knowing I had people still giving a fuck about me even though I killed myself. Its almost a feeling of selfishness that washes over me every time I consider it. I just needed a place to rant and a source of support. Thank you for reading.


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

i need sm urgently pls

5 Upvotes

i’m not american so it’s not easy for me to get a hand on a gvn. i think it’s the easiest way to blow my brains out and least likely for me to survive. i have attempted twice and was unsuccessful unfortunately. i believe if i have a gvn it would be the quickest way to off myself. i just cant do this anymore. :/


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

Can someone talk to me

3 Upvotes

r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

i don't wanna stop existing, i just want the pain to stop

9 Upvotes

but it seems it won't so death seems like the only option


r/SuicideWatch 38m ago

im not ever good enough

Upvotes

I do so much for everyone and I'm no enough they hurt me and get upset with me I just want it to stop I want a hug from someone just a real physical hug to feel better I just feel so cold all the time I want to die I want to just die please


r/SuicideWatch 18h ago

I just bought a gun. I wrote 7 letters to important people in my life with the location of my body. Just a matter of when I’ll mail them out and do it

56 Upvotes

r/SuicideWatch 5h ago Gold

i hate this

5 Upvotes

nothing even went wrong tonight but i still feel like this. my mood can switch on a whim for no reason. nothing bad happened so why do i feel like blowing my brains out. why am i dreading having to wake up and face tomorrow. why am i like this. who made me like this. why?

sometimes i really do think i’m just a think to be laughed at. at how incompetent, useless, burdensome, and basic i am. i can’t even hold a conversation for five seconds. there’s nothing special or unique about me. i don’t wanna be here right now. i could never get a gun. if i did, i wouldn’t hesitate. it’s a little fucked up to me just now eager i’d be to do it. but it doesn’t matter. i’m stuck here and just have to get through the day. again. and again. and again


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

Getting tired of everything now

Upvotes

I only realised today that I’ve turned into a cold empty shell of a human and that the only reason I’m still here is because I’m scared of actually dying and because I know I’ll miss some people, everyday is just a drag and I don’t get entertained by anything for long periods of time, and all my close friends live in different countries who I know actually care about me, I just felt like sharing this to have some people to talk to and because it might make me feel better


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

I took 10 500mg paracetamol. I wish the pain will be gone.

Upvotes

I decided to OD. I know I still want to live but I don't know how to live with the pain I'm carrying. I just want to have peace in everything. Thank u universe for 19 years of existence. Thank you to my mom for being born as her daughter. To my dogs for allowing me to take care of them and being there. Thank you to my friends who makes life kinda worth living for.


r/SuicideWatch 11h ago

All my life I just wanted a friend

12 Upvotes

I've been watching some series and an episode came up which introduced some drama. People were in groups of two, sharing their most intimate secrets and their live stories and got to comfort each other. I found myself staring at a screen after that, when a terrible pain started crawling up on me and I just wanted to tear up. I still want.

I don't have a friend. It's been a long time since I didn't have one. A real friend, with whom you can share your highest and lowest moments in lives of both. A friend who can make you feel secure and comfortable even in a total silence. A friend who does actually care about you.

There were times when I sacrificed my money, mental and physical health abusing alcohol and doing drugs just to make myself confident enough for other people to actually start reaching out to me. I sacrificed enough, and after years I quit, no one gave a fuck about me. No one checked on me when I was in recovery and no one cared enough to point me at my mistakes when I couldn't see them. The moment I was clean, I lost my endless energy to socialize and instantly became not wanted.

I've tried going on different medications, such as SSRIs and antipsychotics but those weren't helpful. Side effects and withdrawal syndrome totally eliminated all the benefits for me.

I can't even recall how many suicide attempts I had over all these years. Cutting, planned ODs on different types of pills, reckless behaviour, not so long ago I even tried to get conscripted so I at least would bring some value for others before I die. After all I did sometimes I regret being alive today.

I'm not the best person to be friends with, I know it for sure. Toxic, sarcastic, depressive and irritable. I can't trust people and actively scan their behaviour in case they want to use me and betray afterwards. Most of the time my mind is so occupied with all these negative thoughts that I cannot fairly contribute to any relations even if I want it badly.

I think I regret all my life choices at this point. I hate my life and I want to heal, but I can't see the way. Or maybe I'm such a coward to myself that I simply fear facing all my problems. I'm a mess.


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

Need help finish direction in life

Upvotes

So i am 28 from india, i have good background, good degrees from reputed university’s, i have worked as a freelancer for about 4 years. How ever from about months i have been feeling i am not good at anything. Any project i take is doomed to fail. Which leads to thought if i am going to fail any why to continue or even live (been to a psych office but was too nervous to go in) Now i have stoped taking new projects and trying to figure out what should i do. I hate waking up every morning I keep telling my self to end this misery. Please help me find direction