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Old 09-15-13, 12:08 PM
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Housemate is close to suicide today

Hello,

I've known my housemate for about 1.5 year now. He's a guy in his early twenties, student, and he clearly has social issues and problems with depression. He's also a nice guy, but one that doesn't show his inner self to the outside world.

About 2 months ago it got worse; every time he walked around our corridor he looked like a zombie - very VERY depressed. So, finally, after knowing he must have some problem since about the time that I met him and seeing him in such a bad state for a month, I managed to connect to him during one conversation, that lasted for a few hours.

He told me he had problems with depression, he was lonely, nobody understands him, he already tried suicide at high school. But he also said he always tried to improve and find a way out. I told him that I didn't judge him, that depression is a serious thing, but also something that may be treated, that he needed to find help and stop trying to do it alone. Today I heard that he tried to look for help, but that the WORTHLESS student psychologists were already finished with him. I'm really angry about that, finally he took the step and they didn't follow through. Anyways, that is not important right now.

What is important is that he was close to attempting suicide today, and perhaps still is. We live on the 12th floor and he was sitting in his window, his head hanging down and a sweatshirt with the hood on his head - clearly in a depressed state. I found him there when the police came, apparently somebody called them and they were right on time. They talked to him for a long time. His sister and her boyfriend are here, and so is a friend. A psychologist and a psychiatrist are on their way, I hope they come soon. He doesn't open up to the people that are here now.

I hope that he will and that he will get the best help, preferably that they take him somewhere were he can get that and where they can protect him from himself. I decided to stay here all day and watch everybody around the corridor, so I'll keep doing that.

All advice is welcome. I wonder what I can do as a corridor mate today and for the coming weeks and months to make him feel less lonely and how to know when to call the police (they said that we should do that if we see signs that he is up to something) - in case he stays here.

So, it's a hectic day. By the way I myself feel a bit emotional today (but that's no problem, I can take this), a bit confused of what to do (but I do everything that I can think of), but the problem is not me - I will be fine. I think I've done what I could to be there for him with the knowledge I had at the time.

Update: the psychologist and psychiatrist are there now.

Regards,
Jasper
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Old 09-15-13, 12:10 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

call a suicide hotline asap, please. take her to the emergency room in your car. call her family.
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Old 09-15-13, 02:01 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksper View Post
Hello,

I've known my housemate for about 1.5 year now. He's a guy in his early twenties, student, and he clearly has social issues and problems with depression. He's also a nice guy, but one that doesn't show his inner self to the outside world.

About 2 months ago it got worse; every time he walked around our corridor he looked like a zombie - very VERY depressed. So, finally, after knowing he must have some problem since about the time that I met him and seeing him in such a bad state for a month, I managed to connect to him during one conversation, that lasted for a few hours.

He told me he had problems with depression, he was lonely, nobody understands him, he already tried suicide at high school. But he also said he always tried to improve and find a way out. I told him that I didn't judge him, that depression is a serious thing, but also something that may be treated, that he needed to find help and stop trying to do it alone. Today I heard that he tried to look for help, but that the WORTHLESS student psychologists were already finished with him. I'm really angry about that, finally he took the step and they didn't follow through. Anyways, that is not important right now.

What is important is that he was close to attempting suicide today, and perhaps still is. We live on the 12th floor and he was sitting in his window, his head hanging down and a sweatshirt with the hood on his head - clearly in a depressed state. I found him there when the police came, apparently somebody called them and they were right on time. They talked to him for a long time. His sister and her boyfriend are here, and so is a friend. A psychologist and a psychiatrist are on their way, I hope they come soon. He doesn't open up to the people that are here now.

I hope that he will and that he will get the best help, preferably that they take him somewhere were he can get that and where they can protect him from himself. I decided to stay here all day and watch everybody around the corridor, so I'll keep doing that.

All advice is welcome. I wonder what I can do as a corridor mate today and for the coming weeks and months to make him feel less lonely and how to know when to call the police (they said that we should do that if we see signs that he is up to something) - in case he stays here.

So, it's a hectic day. By the way I myself feel a bit emotional today (but that's no problem, I can take this), a bit confused of what to do (but I do everything that I can think of), but the problem is not me - I will be fine. I think I've done what I could to be there for him with the knowledge I had at the time.

Update: the psychologist and psychiatrist are there now.

Regards,
Jasper
What a lucky guy to have someone like you nearby handling it -you did good - hopefully your friend will catch a glimpse of what's being gifted to him - if he allows himself to really 'fall' from head to heart and allow his depression 'to be' - he'll have hit bottom and finally feel relieved to begin the real work most people never entertain as they have 'no issues' they believe

so this is a sacred and powerful oppty for your friend and for you who are witnessing something not understood or appreciated in society but nonetheless is a portal to one's own healing and happiness.

Bless you and your buddy - heck bless the life the life is blessed and so it is
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Old 09-15-13, 02:44 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

You are doing a great service Jacksper. You are acting responsibly: that's very edifying.

It sounds like your housemate needs professional help: not just today but on an ongoing basis.

Please make sure that your housemate has an ongoing help relationship with a top qualified professional. This is really a must.

Be vigilant, and please keep us posted on how things evolve.
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Old 09-15-13, 02:47 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Jasper, wow, intense situation. I'm glad he's getting help. He definitely needs it.
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Old 09-15-13, 02:59 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Geez Jacks, glad you've done what you have, he's very fortunate to have your support.
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Old 09-15-13, 03:50 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Jacksper -- What a wonderful person you are -- so glad your corridor-mate has a friend like you.

At that age, the time when you should be learning about yourself, your emotions, your life goals and learning social skills and spending all your youthful energy in activities and pastimes meant to widen your social circle, meant to introduce you to new ideas and all that energy going into dealing with depression. So sad.

As others have said, depression needs to be treated professionally and consistently over time. But, as you have seen, the school's psychology services are limited. From my experience, those with the most need for psychological services find it hardest to get help.

I hope your corridor-mate finds the help he needs.

You have done what you can do, keep on doing it. But, don't let the situation overwhelm you.

Take care.
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Old 09-15-13, 05:19 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Thanks for your advice! Good to hear that you think I acted well in the situation - I find it hard to concentrate on the daily stuff, but I think and act very focused during emergency situations. So, for me it's natural to try to do the best. The challenge is to know what to do. Because I didn't know what some of the times (there were a lot of people), I also did my laundry and dishes, cleaned parts of my room and the kitchen, just to stay active, while at the same time monitoring the corridor to see if everything is still ok. And I served tea for everyone, talked to people about this but also just chitchat just to fill up the time and maintain the morale. I did what I could and I'm content about that - I only do hope that everything that everyone did for him was enough to send him in a positive direction.

An update on the situation:
Everyone left during the last hours and he's alone in his room now. We offered to make dinner for him but he declined. He obviously wants to be alone now, so we let him. It is unfortunate that he didn't want to go somewhere else, I just hope that his decision to stay here is motivated by him not wanting to commit suicide anymore, I mean, I hope this is good for him.

I encouraged everyone on our 9-person corridor to just act normal, to take their responsibility to create a good atmosphere on this corridor and to call the police if they see signs that he's on the brink of suicide again. I also said that it is not our responsibility to watch him 24/7 - we can't do that, when he is in his room he can just jump, we can't control that. Also it would not be good for him if we watched him - we just need to relax and treat him like a human being, not a patient. Fortunately everyone wants to do all of that.

This week a new housemate came from Uganda. She's been abroad only once (to Kenya), so this is her first experience abroad. Now she's been here for only a few days and during this week the police visited the corridor and a housemate wanted to commit suicide. Not a good first week it is for her! I do think she'll be fine though, we have good contact!

Thanks again, it's really good to get feedback here, I can use it!

Last edited by Jacksper; 09-15-13 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 09-15-13, 05:47 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Let me add something: I think that some people with depression and/or suicidal thoughts may read this post. I wish to give you some advice:

-> Get help now. Professional help is a must. Accept that you deserve it, you do. Accept that what you are thinking about yourself, the negative thoughts, are not objective, that you are trapped in your own thought patterns - which is not your fault, it's how our brain works. Negative thoughts can expand and you can cross a point where they dominate your whole thinking. Then it's difficult to break through that, so it's only logical that you need all the help, including help from people and possibly medicine, to break through. Involve your friends and family. Or first post it on this forum, you're anonymous here so you can try it. There are anonymous phone numbers that you can call, google for them and call them. The journey may be a difficult one to start, but once you've started your life can change for the better and I know from my own experience and from many friends that life can be great again, that the bad times can end!

I am not an expert, but I do know these kind of situations from the people around me, and I've been through my own dark times - I never really saw suicide as an option but have wished to get out of this life countless times, and I did think about going there but I never dared to do it or even think it through completely - I've been depressed because of how bad my study was going. I never talked about it when I had those thoughts, I am sure that it would have been good if I did because it is such a heavy cross to bear all by myself. I got through it and my wish for life to be over is gone now. I now mentioned this to some friends, but not much (because it's outdated, but also because I find it difficult to tell them) -it was valuable though. So I understand it's a hard topic to raise, but I do think you need to consider it.

My housemate had this problem for years and I just would've been very happy if he opened up during the 1.5 that we lived on the same corridor. It only happened once about 6 weeks ago and not another time before or after that. I wished I knew more about him, not just because I want to help him, but because I think he's a fellow human that I want to be happy, that I respect and like and that has things that I admire. I don't judge him, and many people won't judge you if you open up.

And for the ones who do judge you? Forget about them! If they can only feel good about themselves by judging others then their opinion should not be of any value to you. Find people who care about you, they are there!

Ok, I hope that if you are perhaps recognise what I shared about depression and suicide that you found this useful

Last edited by Jacksper; 09-15-13 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 09-16-13, 01:53 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Update: so he is still here and looking very depressed. All my 7 other housemates are there too and we are unsure about what to do next. We didn't get much instruction about how to cope with this situation, so I will call the police tomorrow morning to ask them to connect us to some caregivers or somebody who can advice us what to do.

The issue is: he is feeling very bad about all of this, clearly, and he locks himself in his room and doesn't talk to anyone - so we could force a conversation with him to tell him that we don't judge him and that we are really there for him, or perhaps it's good to wait for him to take the initiative. I think we should tell him this, but then the next question is how. It's all so complicated now, we don't want to make any mistakes but we also don't think doing nothing is the best idea.

Advice is still welcome!
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Old 09-17-13, 04:10 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Jacksper -- was there no official reaction? Is the school (I assume you are in school) just going to leave him be without any future interaction?

While I do understand from the experience of some of my friends, that there is little anyone official or unofficial can do to help a consistently depressed person, I find it odd that the school would leave the student alone and leave his well-being to his fellow students.
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Old 09-17-13, 04:30 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Good for you for watching out for him. I wish you the best of luck and hope your housemate gets the help he deserves. Make sure there are not any things he could use to harm himself and just be the good friend you are.
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Old 09-17-13, 07:13 PM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Hello Jacksper,

From the sound of it..it seems like the bottom line is that he should get into an active ongoing help relationship with a mental health professional.

Health care systems vary from country to country so I'll just walk you through how it would likely play out here and hopefully that will be helpful to you.

If your housemate is unwilling to get help then its necessary to get help to him. This is a situation that is common enough for professionals because they deal with this scenario on a regular basis. So its about finding a specialist doctor who has room for, or is willing to, accept new patients. (Responding to emergencies and taking on new patients are not the same workload.) By specialist doctor I am referring to psychiatrists. Some of them require that you get a referral from a general practitioner. Others are more flexible when it comes to situations such as the one you described. At the point where you or some other individual are able to locate a psy who is willing to take on a new patient he will advise you as to how he wishes to proceed.

Finding a psy who will take on a new patient can be difficult depending on their current workload. However, often specialist doctors here will refer you to another specialist if their current workload does not permit them to intervene and take on a new patient.

Be well.

Last edited by RicardoBogie; 09-17-13 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 09-18-13, 07:04 AM
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Re: Housemate is close to suicide today

Thanks again. Let me respond and give an update again, this time with good news.

@MX - well the police came and talked with him for 2 hours. A psychologist and psychiatrist were called in and also talked with him for 2 hours. And his sister and boyfriend came here by coincidence about an hour after it started. And a friend came to him. So, there's a lot of people that know about this now and that try to help him, so that's good.
More about this in the update below.

@addthree - we live on the 12th floor and you can jump out from every room without, we can't control that. So, we have to accept that we can't do anything about that.

@ricardo - yes he really needs mental help, and I now know he wanted to get that. Apparently I convinced him when I talked to him 6-7 weeks ago.

---
Update:
Yesterday I talked with him (after calling suicide hotlines and the police (they say we could call them) for more than an hour to get exactly zero advice. Pretty bad). Anyways so I decided just to speak to him and say the most important things. Fortunately, when I arrived home, he was quite happy again and all day there were many people visiting him. In the evening I managed to talk to him and I said that he shouldn't worry about us being angry, that we are just worried and want to be there for him. I said that we'll always be there for him if he needs us. I also said that I could see clearly when he has a bad day and if I can ask about how he's doing on such days (normally he would just flee away or not answer). He said that he sometimes doesn't want to talk but that I can always ask.

I also said that I heard that after our conversation about 6 weeks ago he did go to the student psychologist (I advised him to go to a psychologist). I asked him about what happened there and he said that the psychologist didn't want to give him the diagnosis of being depressed. MAN I AM SO ANGRY WITH THESE STUDENT PSYCHOLOGISTS, THIS GUY TOOK SO LONG TO FINALLY TAKE THE STEP TO ASK FOR HELP AND NOW THEY DON'T DO THEIR JOB! I've heard DOZENS of stories like these and NEVER a good one. I've been to them often enough and from my experience I don't have much good to say about them. These are supposed to be professionals. Our university has many thousands of students - you'd expect good psychologists. I really consider sending a letter of complaint!

Anyways, he apparently wants medicine, wants psychologist and he's going to one (not from university) this week. I said that good psychologists are out there and it's just a matter of time to find a good one.

So, he's communicative again and he's working on it. Now we can move on and have a good corridor life here with the students that live here. We're eating together more now (I was already advocating that since I've been here and last week we started doing that again but now everyone wants to do that).

I hope he can benefit from all of this, that he can talk about his issues, break free from his feelings of loneliness and get meds.
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