Getting help for suicidal thoughts online

Let me try to explain why I had a knee jerk negative reaction to the news that Facebook is launching suicide prevention tools on its site the other day. First off I think it’s praiseworthy that the company is trying to help people who are suicidal, of course. That goes without saying. But I had a trigger response to the idea that someone like me might one day feel suicidal and post something there that would be policed, and I felt scared all of a sudden. Really scared. Though I’ve often been truly suicidal, I don’t actually want to die. And when I’m suicidal, I’m not thinking rationally at all. I got scared that I might see or read something that though it’s intended to help, might scare me into doing the very thing I shouldn’t. That’s how suicidality is for me. Sometimes when people try to help, I run the other way out of fear. That’s why I often end up hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and ideation. For me, suicidality is it’s own mental illness, if you will. If I were able to think clearly, I wouldn’t want to take my own life in the first place and I wouldn’t need psychiatric help.

But that’s just me. I know everyone doesn’t have my experience. However this is why I reacted so poorly when I read the news and why I got so frightened. It’s why I’d still be scared to post anything on Facebook if I were ever suicidal again. I can’t be sure how I’d react to any type of help that didn’t come from a person talking to me face to face, in a safe environment. For me, it’s too precarious and I may make a permanent mistake that I don’t intend. So though I thoroughly support Facebook in their mental health efforts, I know I can’t utilize the services if I’m feeling suicidal. I just can’t take the risk.

4 Comments

  1. This is new? There have been options to report suicidal content on Facebook and have someone reach out to the suicidal person for a while now.

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  2. It’s where someone’s post can get flagged and fb will respond with either moderators or comments asking if the person needs help. Like a hotline or something. And I think there’s video assistance too but I’m not sure

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  3. That’s a good perspective! Hadn’t thought of it that way. A few weeks ago I was in full blown PMS hormone induced existential depression with a good old fashioned bout of anxiety and panic — like curled up in the bath tub sobbing for an hour wondering why people were crappy to each other and if this is all there was to life.

    I’d mentioned it on FB, noting nothing about feeling suicidal, because I wasn’t but just… not wanting to die but at the same time not wanting to be here. Typical flight behavior. I got input from several friends going through something similar and it helped. Now, it makes me think, would me talking about a bout of depression and panic attack on FB land me in a 72 hour mandatory psych hold? It may keep people from reaching out out of fear that it will happen to them.

    Very good observation!

    Liked by 1 person

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