Our expert says:
As you're noticing, suicide attempts have a range of really common effects. SOme of us feel guilty as though we should have prevented it, even if there wasn't actually anything we could have done, or where the individual would not have allowed us to prevent it.
And anger is also a common response. Its like the mother whose child temporarily disappears when you're at the Mall, who finds herself praying that the child is safe, and feeling she'd like to murder the little beast if indeed she is safe, for causing so much anxiety to her and others.
In significant ways, a suicide attempt is indeed selfish, or at least it is self-centred and excluding others, however loving, and that feels selfish.
There's evidence to confirm that as people become significantly depressed, maybe even more so in those who become suicidal, their scope and mode of thinking becomes increasingly narrow, rigid, unhelpfully focussed, and excludes others or any thought of the impact of their choices and actions upon others.
Its probably also more difficult to handle for those of us in any form of helping profession, as we feel we have a larger obligation to have been able to decipher the secrets she constructed.
Ignore the daft advice, which is well-meant and potentially dangerous, but evidence that others also want to feel useful. Hypnotherapiy can be lethal in a suicidal person, and would be a highly irresponsible option, further reducing her capacity for helthy autonomy and self-control exactly when those need to be promoted. And only a psychiatrist should assess and recomment treatments, whether medication or otherwise.
But you know all that well. I'd tend to respond by saying something like :" Yes, I'm also very anxious that she receive the best and most effective treatment, but of course none of us are fully qualified specialists in this field, so lets leave that to the expert ; its his job. Lets maybe later ask him what if anything we can do to help and support proper treatment."
And do remind them very firmly, that their amateur recommendations should NOT be given to the woman herself, as this would only be confusing and unhelpful.
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