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September 17, 2006 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Help me console my suicidal girlfriend.

She's really depressed because she doesn't think she has any friends. For the most part, she doesn't. Besides me(her boyfriend) two kids at college, and her dad, but people at school DO like her. Her only friend at our school is not a very good one. We're seniors so she be going to college next year but right now she lives in a really bad enviroment. Her dad is 80 so she lives with her 50 year-old half-sister who doesn't really seem to care about her and is a real bitch. She's really stressed about school and college and friends. She tried to kill herself today(smothering with a blanket) but fortunately failed.
I am seriously NOT qualified to deal with this so help is really needed.

P.S. she won't call her therapist because she doesn't want to talk to someone who she pays $100 an hour to talk to on the phone.
posted by joshuak to Human Relations (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You need professional help, and you need it immediately. Please call now:

1.800.SUICIDE
784.2433

http://www.hopeline.com/
posted by fandango_matt at 3:25 PM on September 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Quit screwing around. None of the facts you posted are relevant or have anything to do with your current situation, except that your girlfriend is suicidal and made a suicidal gesture.

This is not something for you to handle or for you to be helped to handle. This is something that professionals need to handle.

Contact someone in authority at your school - your residential advisor, your tutor, your dean's office, your student health service - and let them know that your girlfriend is suicidal and needs help. Do it now. If you can't find any of those people, get your college phone directory and start calling the relevant numbers until someone answers.

I am a doctor, and I've seen enough twenty year olds permanently brain-damaged from botched asphyxia-related suicide attempts to last me the rest of my working life. Get help now, you're in college and that means you are SURROUNDED with resources.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2006 [3 favorites]


Sorry to sound like an echo, but you need to get professional help immediately.
posted by Netzapper at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2006


Most people are not qualified to deal with this sort of situation. Listen to fandango_matt and ikkyu2, find a goddamned phone and start calling people who are either qualified, or can get a hold of qualified people to assist your girlfriend.

Ask Metafilter? Seriously? It's a good resource, but entirely inappropriate for something like this. Please stop looking at a web browser and do something that will actually help her.
posted by purephase at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2006


You can't fix this problem by consoling her, not even with the advice of Ask Metafilter.

Call a hotline and/or visit a counsellor yourself for advice.
posted by winston at 3:58 PM on September 17, 2006


He's not in college, he's in high school.

Dude -- you're about to barraged by adults giving you the same advice. So call the helpline listed above, even if you're embarrassed, or if you think the gf is screwing around and not really serious. No SWAT team is gonna descend on your house or anything. Very cool and mellow people work on these lines (often college students) and they sit around all day waiting for just these kinds of calls.

Also, get the therapist's number from your gf and YOU call him/her. You'll probably get a voicemail message that says something like, "Please leave me a message, or if it's an emergency, call 310-xxx-xxxx.") CALL THE EMERGENCY NUMBER. Don't be embarrassed, as this is exactly what they mean by "emergency." Even if you get another voicemail, leave a clear message stating what you said in your post, and leave a callback number for you and/or gf.

The therapist will not charge her the $100, believe me. Again -- even if she says she feels better, make the call!
posted by turducken at 4:00 PM on September 17, 2006


ikkyu2, I think they are seniors in high school, not in college.

The others are right: you need help in order to help her. Call the number fm listed above. Or find your local suicide hotline in the phone book. Is there a teacher at school that you trust? Can your parents help? Could *you* call her psychiatrist and explain what's going on, in the hope that the psych will tell you what steps to take? (Even if the psych charged money for the phone call, paying $100 seems like a small amount if it saves someone's life, right?)

She needs to know that things will get *a lot* better for her in the next year, as she gets out of the house and goes to college. All she has to do is hang on. But if she's seriously depressed or has some other mental illness, she may not be able to make good decisions for herself even if she gets good advice. If she is serious, she may need to be in a supervised setting (checked into a hospital) for a while. You can help by getting her evaluated, trying to get her into a place that can help her.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:01 PM on September 17, 2006


joshuak, I hope you've read these answers and are acting on them. I've been there myself, but with no warnings and it is the worst horror you can imagine. Please get some help for her now. I don't mean to sound like a dick, but this is imperative.
posted by snsranch at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2006


High school is even easier: talk to your guidance counselor and the school nurse, and be sure to state that she has already attempted suicide. If you can't talk to them until tomorrow morning, call a suicide hotline and explain the situation to you; they'll have helpful advice.

It is extremely likely that the school people will be able to shine the relevant bat-signal and summon huge amounts of highly trained help.

You can be part of this help by being supportive, but before that can happen she has to be getting the right help. And you can help get her the right help.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:47 PM on September 17, 2006


what ikkyu2 said.

Call in some professional help. Life can seem so worthless when you are young, especially when it does not seem to be working out. Everything will change so many times over the long course of the average life that bad times now do not mean bad times forever.

One of the best ways of averting someone else's suicide is by letting them know that their death will crush you, that you want them to stay with you, that you value them. You are not lying, it's true, but it is so easy for someone who is feeling suicidal to forget this. They are so focused on themselves, so drowning in self pity, that they do not percieve reality any longer.
posted by caddis at 4:50 PM on September 17, 2006


joshuak, you're in L.A./the Valley, right? Here's the Suicide Prevention Center of Los Angeles. Call NOW if you haven't already.
posted by scody at 5:22 PM on September 17, 2006


"Quit screwing around. None of the facts you posted are relevant or have anything to do with your current situation, except that your girlfriend is suicidal and made a suicidal gesture.

This is not something for you to handle or for you to be helped to handle. This is something that professionals need to handle.

Contact someone in authority at your school - your residential advisor, your tutor, your dean's office, your student health service - and let them know that your girlfriend is suicidal and needs help. Do it now. If you can't find any of those people, get your college phone directory and start calling the relevant numbers until someone answers.

I am a doctor, and I've seen enough twenty year olds permanently brain-damaged from botched asphyxia-related suicide attempts to last me the rest of my working life. Get help now, you're in college and that means you are SURROUNDED with resources."
There is nothing more to say. Do this.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:33 PM on September 17, 2006


Ditto all above advice. Don't wait. Suicide attempts aren't something to "wait and see" about. Any attempt should be treated as an emergency. She may be "crying for help" or she may be serious about taking her life. YOU DON'T KNOW which is the case, and you're probably not qualified to make that judgment. You need to get people involved who can help her.

You should make sure to stay by her at all times. Classes and tests will wait. Your teachers WILL understand.

Explain to her that you care about her and that she NEEDS to see someone—a school guidance counselor, a doctor, or her therapist. Talk her through it, LISTEN to her reasons/for against, talk to her some more, and then take her to see that someone. DO NOT let her talk you out of it, and DO NOT let her leave with the promise that she's heading off to go see someone. If she's suicidal, she may well be driven by a compulsion to end her life that is beyond reason. Stay by her side until she's there.

I speak from experience.
posted by limeonaire at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2006


Definitely call the hotline and seek professional help.

Don't necessarily depend on school guidance counselors unless you know them, all the ones at my school were borderline retarded (YMMV).

As for what you can do yourself, mostly just try and be there.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2006


Hi, Joshua.

You're in a really shitty position here--there's pretty much NOTHING you personally can do without the participation of professionals that'll stop your GF from killing herself if she wants to.

So...CALL IN SOME PROFESSIONALS. Your GF might -say- she doesn't want to talk to her therapist because of the cost but speaking from personal experience she's probably ASHAMED of how she's feeling and acting right now and doesn't want to tell people about it.

I imagine that she's pretty anxious about leaving the (sounds like) messy situation she lives in now and going out on her own. And, yeah, going from a messed up/dysfunctional home life to a place where all your prior experience is useless IS damn stressful.

ANYWAY--what I am trying to say is you need to call her therapist NOW. You need to find help for your GF NOW. Google her therapist's name and the state you live in if your GF won't give you the number. If all else fails, go to the guidance counsellor people at your school.

NO, doing so will not mean that you're betraying your GF or that you are a tool. It means you're acting like an adult.
posted by mountain_william at 11:21 PM on September 17, 2006


I see that the poster is in high school, but has friends in college. Both institutions likely have many people available who would be able to help. I can't imagine a college suicide counseling center turning someone away because she was a high school senior, for example. Hopefully by now the original poster has found someone who can direct his girlfriend to the professional resources she needs to get better.

Delmoi's comment is ridiculous. Suicide counseling is protected by doctor-patient privilege and any such dismissal would be actionable under several different statutes. No school would want to expose themselves to the "liability" created by violating Federal laws.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:25 PM on September 17, 2006


Your friend is a danger to herself. As such, she needs some serious help. Calling the police is even an option, because they can also provide resources to get your friend to a safe place. Attempted suicide = not safe to be alone.
posted by bilabial at 5:28 AM on September 18, 2006


I've nothing to add to answer the original question but my best wishes for the OP and girlfriend.

However, I would like to say that, speaking from personal experience, Delmoi's comment is certainly not ridiculous, but painfully true for some (most?) private universities.

When I was in my first year (at a fairly major US university), I was still a cutter (see also 'self-injurious behavior,' see also 'self-mutilation'), though I kept it pretty well hidden most times. Unfortunately, someone found out, and informed their parents, who complained to the school that I was 'suicidal'. I was called in and given the third degree, questioned for hours, threatened with a.) the loss of my housing, and b.) removal/expulsion from the university, if I didn't "shape up" and fly right. The reason given? I was "disrupting the academic environment for other students." They can make up any kind of B.S. name they want for it - and will - in order to make it legitimate under their rules.

So I'm not sure how applicable this is to the OP unless they go to (a) private school(s), but there it is.
posted by po at 9:35 AM on September 18, 2006


If she is trying to kill herself, or thinking seriously about trying, then she needs help. Stories about how "seeking help can have negative repercussions" are counterproductive. Professional psychiatric help, stat, no quibbling about "yes but what if the school reacts stupidly", no "what if they charge money", no "I don't want to bother anybody at this hour of the night", no "the first person I tried wasn't helpful, so we may as well just give up" or whatever. If she seriously might kill herself, all objections to getting help are totally moot. Hopefully, JoshuaK, you've already gotten some help and are on to the next phase -- but if you haven't gotten help yet, please don't let stories about what some school somewhere did once dissuade you from getting help.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2006


Is this the same girl you were gonna dump because you wanted to play the field?
Get her help and get the hell out of there.
posted by klangklangston at 1:03 PM on September 18, 2006


Some hope for you: I tried a few years ago... went to therapy for a while. I'm now happier than I ever thought I could be.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:43 AM on September 19, 2006


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