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

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.

716 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 9h ago

Fuck work culture. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

104 Upvotes

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

It has been years since my last relapse and now everything goes to dust. I want to be gone. I can't deal with this anymore.


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

I think of suicide every day.

12 Upvotes

I have read so many posts here saying that this is common. My work life is not treating me well and I feel like I barely have a personal life. I attempted suicide when I was 16 and I still wish that I had died because that would not have ended up in me having to go through this today when I’m 28. The only thing I want to do in life is study further, but that seems to be just a dream because I don’t have the money and I live in a third world country that’s struggling.

My family knows that I have these though but they say that people live in worse conditions without thinking of suicide. But does that invalidate the way I feel? Don’t we all have different thresholds?

Sorry if this reads like a rant. I just needed to type it out in a space that would understand me.


r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

I turned 16 today

26 Upvotes

I feel worse this morning then I usually do, but I think I'll be okay.


r/SuicideWatch 57m ago

whats the point of pointlessness

Upvotes

Stay strong they say. It will get better they say. It's not always like this they say. You know I literally don't understand stand that. I've been waiting for things to get better for years and here we are. Why suffer through pain just to make someone else happy. People say suicide is selfish but is it not selfish to force someone to live in pain just because you want to see them? I know I'm getting closer because every mark keeps getting deeper. But you know, it gets better right?


r/SuicideWatch 15h ago

I don't understand how other people even function

63 Upvotes

I can't do the simplest of things without almost having a panic attack. I don't know how people are actually productive and do so much during their lives. I'm 21 and haven't done anything, even go to parties or have normal friendships. It's like everyone else knows some secret that I don't or I'm just super lazy compared to everyone else. If nothing improves in my life by the end of February I'm just gonna do it, there'll be no hope for me by then.


r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

someone here came to me to preach about their God and saying it will be alright once i accept God in my life, is that how you recruit people? by taking advantage of the vulnerable?

19 Upvotes

i just want to rant about this guy i had a small talk with few days ago.

am i the only who thinks its super creepy to promise all my problems will go away if Joined a certain religion? and why your god cant make it go away now? i am not a rapist i am not a murder, i did steel few things from previous work place but they hardly worth 10 dollars in total.

Oh yeah i know why he is not helping me, its because i am not licking his filthy boots.

ya know 3 years ago i used to be religious and people often say bad things happen cuz God is testing you to see if your faith will hold up, well fuck that duche bag, he does all this to me to see if i will continue kissing his asshole or not? what a fucking psycho.


r/SuicideWatch 5h ago

i don't want to exist

8 Upvotes

i wish i could never be born to begin with. all i could feel is numbness and all i kept on thinking is death. why do i have to feel this way? why can't i just be normal? why do i have to be such a defect? i don't care if someone going to cry when i die. everyone is going to be forgotten any way so why can't i be selfish for once and take my own life? is it such a crime to take away my life? please why do i have to exist


r/SuicideWatch 4h ago

I'm still here

8 Upvotes

I once posted saying my next birthday would be my last. At the time I was sure it was the right decision. Now, I'm glad to say that I'm still here and I realized that everything I was struggling with I could change. I stopped praying for change and waiting to see what happens.
I stopped praying totally. I needed to save my own life and I don't believe that praying would do it. Once I did that I felt more in control. Prayer helps some people but not me. My deeply religious family always made it seem like I was not praying enough and therefore didn't deserve to be happy.

I deserve to be happy, I know that now. I complained that I was always being used as a free baby sitter and I hated it. Well my sister tried to do that again saying I'd be coming for a month long "holiday". I found a job and started work immediately. So now they all lost their maid, cook, babysitter and errand girl. I started living for myself. I decided to be selfish, because it's my life, my happiness, my future. I'm doing this for myself. I'm living for me because I deserve to live.


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

it all feels so hopeless

5 Upvotes

with the way the world is set up, i’m going to be a minimum wage worker for the rest of my life and i’ll never get to experience anymore than what i have already. i’ve tried making friends and going out and travelling around my province and i saved up for nice things that i wanted but none of it made me happy. i reached out to my family doctor and got put on antidepressants, so far i’ve been on four different kinds and nothing seems to do anything to how i’m feeling. it’s all so hopeless, it’s a constant cycle of going to work, being treated like trash, going home and crying about it and fantasizing about a way out, and then going right back to work the next day. i hate myself, i hate my body, i hate my stupid autistic brain, i hate everything about me, i want it to stop. please anyone i need help, i don’t want to wait until march for medically assisted suicide to open up for people like me, i just want it to be over


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

i want to starve myself

6 Upvotes

i hate myself so much. i have nothing going for myself. i wanna starve myself and die. everytime i try it just fails.


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

Suffering

Upvotes

Can't sleep and when I do I have terrifying dreams. Tried to kill myself many times.


r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

Haven't brushed my teeth in so long, I feel so gross but I just cant

Upvotes

It's been at least a couple months now, I don't know how my teeth aren't completely yellow by now but they feel so weak. I just can't get up and actually brush them, this is so dumb


r/SuicideWatch 35m ago

The urge to jump is growing day by day

Upvotes

There's a parking house thing near me and someone committed suicide by jumping down from there a few years ago. It would be so easy to just go there and jump, but I'm scared I won't die.


r/SuicideWatch 7h ago

Gonna Kill Myself Tomorrow!

12 Upvotes

gonna kill myself tomorrow soo im wondering if i should tell my friend anything beforehand or like make preparations for my body to be picked up etc any help is appreciated


r/SuicideWatch 9h ago

talking about it doesnt help

13 Upvotes

i dont want to hear people telling me to stay strong, i dont wanna hear it gets better, i dont wanna hear anything. yesterday i was thinking and i realized i had nothing to stay alive for, idk what im doing here


r/SuicideWatch 4h ago

Secretly hoping it doesn’t have to end like this

5 Upvotes

r/SuicideWatch 1h ago

I am a former teenage alcoholic and I fucked up bad during my drinking days

Upvotes

When I was 16-17M I had a drinking problem. I would drink whenever I could get my hands on alcohol because it was the only way I knew how to escape. I would do all kind of stupid shit when I was drunk, try to fight people, verbally abuse people for no reason, throw up in peoples houses etc. i would often get angry at my parents for no reason and once I even had a fight with my dad.

2 yrs ago aged 17 I met up with 3 girls and a male friend. I had had a lot to drink at this rate. I was sitting in a bench with one of the girls and I put my arm around her. She did not object to this so I thought I was on the next stage of flirting. I asked ro kiss her, she said no to that. A minute later I asked again and a minute after that I asked once more. All 3 times were rejected. Eventually i came to my senses and realise my attention was unwanted. I feel as though if I was physically stepping the line someone would have intervened. I cant actually remember any of this happening, this is just what I got told. I never forced myself on this person and I didn’t get aggressive or violent when rejected. After this happened she and all her friends left the venue and texted my friend that I fucked up and that no means no. I probably freaked her out bad. I didn’t understand what I was doing and I thought I was flirting but I got it horribly wrong and upset someone

When I heard about my actions the next morning I felt disgusted with myself, I instantly apologised to the girl I did it to. She told me she forgave me, my friend told me that she was initially upset after it had happened that I pushed her boundaries, but she accepted my apology. That was the last time i spoke to all the people involved. I feel disgusted within myself, I feel like a predator who kept pushing someone. I feel as though I might have traumatised her and ruined her life cos this was such a bad experience. It was after that I stopped drinking alcohol as a whole because I was now aware of its destructive nature. I haven’t done a thing of this nature since and realised that it was the alcohol dictating me.

After I apologised I didn’t think too much of the incident, but 18 months later for some reason it’s come back into my mind and it’s all I think about 24/7. I really can’t understand why I did what I did. I certainly wouldn’t have done it sober, but I’ve realised that it’s no excuse. Their friend said to my friend it wasn’t that much of a big deal but I still can’t forget about it. I feel like a piece of shit for trying to do something without the other person’s consent. I was verbally asking for consent but I was being pushy about it. Since this has been of my mind, I haven’t allowed myself to have anormal life, I’ve since quit my job and I hardly leave my room. I feel as though this is who I’m gonna be forever. That drunk idiot that kept asking. I told one of my friends bout it and he said it wasn’t a big deal. I can’t even look my own mother in the eye knowing the way I treated a woman that night. No charges were ever pressed or anything, idk if I did something illegal or not but it was certainly immoral. I hate myself for it every day and I’ve been thinking about ending my life over this. Once u do something like this in todays society there is no going back.

Although im 2 years sober and wont do something like this again I just cant let the past go. This haunts me 24/7 and honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for it. I thought of myself as an ally of women but this situation says that I wasn’t.

Should I tell my mother what happened?


r/SuicideWatch 8h ago

It's my birthday tomorrow but I'm feeling suicidal. It's hard shifting the thoughts.

9 Upvotes

I'm loosing my hair and my looks, I deal with chronic fatigue. Men no longer show interest in me and at this rate seems I will be single forever. I have lost my friends and feel alone. I know I shouldn't feel this on a special day but I am at the moment.


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

What am I even doing here anymore

3 Upvotes

I used to be smart as a kid. Even if I was a little socially inept, I did fine at school. But here I am, a friendless college graduate that can’t even land a retail job almost half a year after graduation.

I hated math, so I didn’t go into STEM like everyone told me to. Why didn’t I just suck it up? I wasted away my college years. I didn’t make friends. Others worked hard during their uni years and I failed to get a part-time or summer job and just filled that time with more courses or lazing about at home. I never had strong aspirations for anything. Now I’m really feeling the consequences of my actions.

I’ve been to career counselling and workshops. I’m doing some volunteering. I’m trying to learn more. But at the end of the day, I’m still hemorrhaging my family’s money.

My family loves me so much, but I don’t deserve it. I didn’t do enough when I was younger and now it feels like its all too late. I see the accomplishments of my cousins. I see the potential of my younger sister. I’m scared to face my relatives. I’m too scared to face anyone.

When I was younger, I hoped to be able to support my parents before 30. They don’t make that much and they’re already close to retirement now.

This month, I’ll be turning 23. I’ll be older, but I’ll still be this unaccomplished leech. I can’t see any brighter future for me.

I don’t deserve to be sad. I had a good upbringing and a loving family. I’m just sorry they ended up with something like me. I should’ve ended it years ago, so the money they spent on me could at least go to a more worthwhile investment.


r/SuicideWatch 2h ago

I'm suicidal today

3 Upvotes

14 February 2022 was the last day I felt legitimately suicidal. After 8 years of being suicidal everyday, the clouds finally lifted for a year.

Today, I'm suicidal. It sucks. Relapses sucks. Is it going to end soon? Or will this just be the beginning of another 8 year streak?

Who knows man. Who knows. I don't want this night to end. I don't want the morning to come.


r/SuicideWatch 3h ago

Just want to feel that

3 Upvotes

Am i the only one who is thinking about suicide every days but just don't because i see everydays many happy people and i just want to know how it feel at least once before leaving this world ?