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

718 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 10h ago

I'm being abused, please help me

113 Upvotes

I can't take this anymore... My life is living hell. I'm trapped in this household where I get abused regularly. Today I was severaly beaten by my mother and sister and it's totally my fault because I'm evil and I'm the problem not them. I've been suffering for years, considering suicide, even planning it at some point... I know I wouldn't do it, I want to live and there's so many things I want to do in my future, but please, help me get through this.... I'm 16F, 2 years until I can move out, been counting for 4 already, please, I don't have anybody... I just don't wanna be alone... I need help, just one message telling me it'll be fine, I beg you.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

I have nothing to offer

36 Upvotes

I feel like an empty broken shell. I feel like I’ve lost my personality and identity and just never have anything to say. People think I’m stuck up , but the truth is I just feel no connection. I don’t know what humans want from me , and I don’t think there’s anything they can give me. I just feel empty and nothing will ever fill this void, no amount of cutting, gym, academic validation , friendships anything. I’m not under the delusion that obsessing over a person romantically will fill this hole, but I desire some form of intimacy, even though I know a relationship will not end well if I choose to embark on it. I am simply a robot following instructions I have told myself to try and live a peaceful , content life no matter how empty I feel. I shower , study , go to the gym , hang out with friends ( rarely tbh) but yet I desire nothing but to end this. I’m tired of living like this , there’s nothing more for me to give and there’s no more I can choose to endure. I am not suicidal , and will not kill myself. I have just resigned myself to giving up on life, and any hope for the future.


r/SuicideWatch 6h ago

wish i had a terminal illness sometimes

24 Upvotes

That way my death wouldnt have to be explained or blamed on anybody. Nobody would feel bad for not trying harder even though theres nothing that could have changed my mindset. Nobody would see my death as selfish or scandalous. Because it was just my time. Why cant they think the same for suicide? Im tired of life


r/SuicideWatch 10h ago

I want this shit to end.

38 Upvotes

I work 10-12 hours a day ( McDonald’s and a grocery store) to try to get my bills paid and I still have nothing in savings. I’m ftm and trying to get top surgery everyone acts like it’s easy to save 4,000 dollars these days. My body is falling apart from being on my feet and constantly binding. I’m probably going to have chronic pain later in life. My job is meaningless and I’m probably getting fucked over, but all my managers act like it’s my fault when they control my fucking pay. I work so much I don’t have a fucking life and can’t afford one. I also can’t afford to not work, and I can’t just switch jobs because I don’t have the time to learn how to drive. My brother uses my car because his is fucked and he makes most of the house income. My current future is looking like a life time of being in pain and poor. Don’t tell me it gets better because it’s never enough. Nothing I do is ever fucking enough. I’m so sick of faking my emotions and acting like I’m not completely fucking miserable. I hate my fucking job and hope all of those worthless fat fucks that eat there die of a heart attack. They can go fucking choke for all I care because I know they don’t give a single shit about anyone but themselves.


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

Theres no getting better theres no going back

11 Upvotes

r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

Feels like im drowning by just being alive

15 Upvotes

Everything is weighing on my shoulders. I do everything i can to please others and fake a smile and go on but i get nothing for myself. i feel like im drowning. I can’t keep my head above it anymore. No one knows or understands the battles im fighting every single minute of every single day. I don’t even know sometimes. I just know i want it to stop. It needs to stop.


r/SuicideWatch 10h ago

In the Midst of a Gruesome Panic Attack

35 Upvotes

Hey, I would really truly appreciate if someone could chat with me for a while-I'm in the Midst of a Gruesome Panic Attack.

Thank you.


r/SuicideWatch 6h ago

its 1:42 am. i get my grades today.

14 Upvotes

If i fail i wont be able to study the only thing i find interesting, my guitar will be taken away (one of few reasons im still alive). My parents will fucking hate me, and i will not be able to do. QUITE LITERALLY. Anything. Id QUITE LITERALLY be better off dead. And thats not an exaggeration. If i did pass my exams. My life will be the same miserable, dreadful, meaningless hell it always was. I just wish i didint wake up from my car crash last year. Then I wouldn't be able to even have these thoughts. Id literally be better off dead no matter what happens.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

I want to kill myself because no man is ever going to love me.

12 Upvotes

I’m 23 and have never been in a relationship. At this point I realize I am inferior to other human beings and am not meant to be loved. As he said, I am just someone that men shit on and pity. Love is for other women. For me I just get the object treatment. I want to die now.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

It feels like my soul is missing, because I should have died long ago.

9 Upvotes

An epiphany.


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

desperate

6 Upvotes

i don’t know if i want to die or if i want someone to hug me and never let go. i want someone to see me and take my pain away. i want to someone to notice me. i have no one. nothing matters when you’re nothing to everyone.


r/SuicideWatch 9h ago

Being such a disappointment makes me want to die...

21 Upvotes

TL;DR...Im out of a job for a while and running low on money, and my mom throws it in my face like Im not even trying, dismisses my depression and coping mechs for laziness, and I'm so done with it I want to die...

I don't know who else to talk to about this right now...I just need someone to hear me. My therapist has clients on an appt basis and doesn't have time for me today, my friends are all working or busy, and my family is one of the issues...

So...Im a person that puts alot of pressure on myself and has had alot of pressure put on me to "succeed" in life right? I try so hard...I get further sometimes. I make progress. People say they're proud of me. I can start to feel proud of myself and feel like maybe I can give myself a break for once...then it comes crashing down again and all those people see and talk about are how I'm just a fucking screw up. I feel like a waste of space and resources. I dont have any real worth currently...its all based on building towards a future where I do have worth. I'm just a useless sack of meat right now trying to be better than I am.

I try to do things to be happy or calm myself down, even when my anxiety and depression are through the roof. I rely on my coping mechanisms; reading/listening to books, watching shows I like, looking at cool pictures on Pinterest, etc. Even those are under attack right now. I dont feel emotionally safe in my house and I have no where to go, no one to go to right now.

My job is part-time and is helping set up my future career. It doesnt pay much, but its enough for me to maintain my expenses and have a little bit of fun money here and there. But it had to lay me off a few months until Sept and I'm starting to run low on money. Of course this makes my mom get on my case immediately, saying I spend all my time doing useless stuff and not trying to fix the situation. She starts criticizing the job I have because of this situation even though it's supposed to be helping me towards my future career and thats why I picked it.

I try to explain to her that I havent even been out of work for a full week yet and I'm planning on taking care of it, I just want some time to relax and get my mind off of it for a bit because it stresses me out...she acts like I'm not thinking about it at all. She dangles paying me to do chores around the house like its some kind of grand gesture, things she never takes the time to do anyways...

I tell her I dont want to do them right that fucking second because she's been on my case as soon as I walked in the door, attacking me about it like I didnt know anything about whats going on in MY life in MY bank acct. She blames it on me spending all my free time (remember just 1 week of not working is this free time) goofing off and doing stupid stuff or going out with friends (me trying to still amintain a social life and surround myself with people and things that bring me joy in a hard emotional time...how dare I?). So obviously I get upset...

Ive always struggled with severe depression and occasional suicidal thoughts...I told her maybe I wouldnt be such a fucking burden if I just killed myself. Itd fix all the problems shes worried about. She gets mad at me of course, lays out the whole "well how would you feel if I did that huh? Youd be really fucked then!" bullshit. Idky I think I can talk to her about any of my emotional shit. I always try and she always gets confrontasional, guilt trippy, and everything...

For the last hour now Ive just been laying in bed crying, trying to figure out what to do...I want to try to calm down but I dont want her to see me doing anything to calm myself down cuz I dont want to hear her criticize me for it. The only place I can ever be alone and free from her is when I take a bath.

I'm really tempted to just lock myself in the bathroom, fill up the tub, take every single pill in my cabinet, and hope I OD before she figures it out. I just dont want to deal with this stupid cycle anymore...Im tired of trying so fucking hard to be a successful responsible person amd when one thing goes wrong and sets me back, its like none of it ever mattered and I'm back to being useless...


r/SuicideWatch 9h ago

anyone want to talk or send some positive vibes?

21 Upvotes

Thoughts are getting worse


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

I am fucking done

9 Upvotes

I’m 14M and I can’t take this anymore I feel lonely even tho I’m surrounded with friends I can’t fucking take this I feel like no one fucking loves me and that I am a worthless piece of shit that people befriend out of pity the only emotions I feel now are fucking anger sadness and hate towards myself I have lost motivation to continue and the only fucking reason I won’t kill myself because my parents will be sad and that is starting to not be a good enough reason fuck it I’m fucking planning to make my parents hate me just so I can kill myself and not feel guilty of making them sad every day I wake up disappointed that I did and I have to get through another day why can’t god just take me and let me die I don’t wanna continue in this hell we call life tf am I supposed to do when I grow up be a slave to a fucking paper spend my whole life doing that shit might as well end it


r/SuicideWatch 9h ago

i dont have friends

20 Upvotes

i thiught in highschool i would have friends, i thought i would have more than middle school where i had maybe 2. but now i am a sophmore and i still dont have friends. i thought highshcool was when you find your clique or group. but i guess i dont have looks, money or personality and i would need atleast one to make friends. i have some people that i can have casual connection with, but they are not people close enough to make time to hang out outside of shcool. so summer is hard. i have bpd so the loneliness is definetly stronger than for normal people. bpd is also something that drives people away because i have sh scars and mood swings that i try to control with meds but still happen alot. i miss the teachers because they were nice to me, i think they just felt bad because of my cuts; but still they were nice. sorry for the ramblings i just wrote this thinking it would make me feel better


r/SuicideWatch 16h ago

what are you supposed to do when you won't heal?

60 Upvotes

I have been diagnosed with depression. I've had it since I started puberty. Yeah, there are better periods, but those last a few weeks tops and it's a long time until the next one. I've tried behavioural psychology, but even if I do everything "right" it still doesn't get better. I've tried a bunch of different meds, higher doses too. Just doesn't work. This is not a situational thing. It's just something in my brain that doesn't work. I won't heal, ever. And everyone always says you need to hold on because everything will get better eventually. But what if it wont? What's the answer then?

I mean obviously suicide is an option. I think we all know that. But what else is there? My therapists seem to want me to just go on. One more day and then one more after that. I don't really see the point though. Even if I wanted to I couldn't keep doing that for the next 60 years. So what the fuck am i supposed to do then?


r/SuicideWatch 7m ago

Just me?

Upvotes

I think I understand now, that the only way I’m ever gonna live on is too live my life for others, yet even so, my mind still tells me that I’d be a lot better killing myself instead. I guess it’s all a little clearer now. Just gotta find somebody to live for.

I still wanna die, but I feel like I finally have found my escape. I can only hope that once I get there I will see a little more light


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

Can't sleep, freaking out and need to talk to someone

Upvotes

I want to talk to someone that aren't my friends. I don't want to drag them down. They don't deserve it. I'm really close to the edge but I don't want to die, not yet.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

Ghost

6 Upvotes

I feel like a shell of a person. Just a ghost of who I used to be. As if that person died years ago and left just a whisper behind. I hate it.


r/SuicideWatch 14h ago

I want it all to be over

38 Upvotes

I want to be free from this hellscape. The fact someone could enjoy living is unfathomable. I'm disgustingly awkward and lame, but it's ok, I won't be here for too long.


r/SuicideWatch 44m ago

Please god if you’re there, kill me.

Upvotes

Kill me. Please. Kill me. I’m too scared to do it myself. I never believed in you but I want you to kill me. Please. Just kill me. Do whatever you want as long as it kills me. Please god just kill me already I can’t take it anymore


r/SuicideWatch 46m ago

Tired of talking to people I know, tired of being the burden

Upvotes

I’m so tired of just being the crazy person and sad person I just feel like no one cares or believes me anyways since I’ve been sad for so long I just want to disappear and die but quietly so no one ever misses me or cares /:


r/SuicideWatch 51m ago

do y’all ever get jealous and angry when you see a group of friends having fun and hanging out?

Upvotes

i swear this happens to me all the time. seeing people have so much fun and making memories and posting them on ig while i have no one to be friends with lowkey hurts everytime