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Is is inappropriate to have thread titles talking about suicide?

(107 Posts)
seeyounexttuesday Wed 14-Oct-09 10:39:53

There have been a few over my time on MN, and whilst I understand these people are quite clearly in a desperate situation, I do not think they are appropriate.

Feeling low/depressed etc no problem but active talk of thinking of suicide IMO is wrong.

Am I a minority?

I know i could press the hide button, but those are the threads where other vulnerable people may get too involved.

TrillianSlasher Wed 14-Oct-09 10:43:16

I think there is a suicide policy - but I'm not sure what it is.

seeyounexttuesday Wed 14-Oct-09 10:44:46

Yes, at the top of the mental health topic there is advice, which I copied and pasted into a thread this morning, but i just think MNHQ should delete such threads where they are actively talking about doing it.

hobbgoblin Wed 14-Oct-09 10:46:00

if other vulnerable people get too involved then whose look out is that? part of recovery is less dependency and more independence.

meltedmarsbars Wed 14-Oct-09 10:46:02

When one is that low, one needs help fast, and the best way to get it is to shout it out loud.

There is definately a need to put the key word in the title. These threads are usually very positive towards the op, trying to bring them out of the depression.

hobbgoblin Wed 14-Oct-09 10:51:25

Reposting the blurb is very insensitive Tuesday, I'm sorry to say. I know you didn't mean to be but really it is.

When you feelsuicidal you tend to feel like nobody would give a damn if you existed or not and often that plenty would prefer you to not be around. So, posting generic advice with a total lack of feeling will unfortunately heighten those feelings of insignificance. Like you are a burden on others in RL and a burden on here; "ohhhhhh dear another suicider to deal with, cut paste, kerching"


Deadworm Wed 14-Oct-09 10:54:11

I think that is a little unfair hobbgoblin. The capacity for MN to provide genuine help in these cases is limited. And the dangers of inappropriate help, damaging to op and respondents, are very real.

I don't know what is best thing for MNHQ to do, but I do feel that suicide-mentioning threads are dangerous.

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 14-Oct-09 10:54:51

This one goes backwards and forwards, I think the general consensus is that they should not be stopped/deleted as that could push a vunerable person too far but that response should be limited to "please call this number and get help" type thing wherever possible...

Of course the general consensus is a fluid thing and so always changing, people could have reached a different conclusion now.

My concern is actually a bit back to front, whilst I do not want to see these threads deleted for the good of the person asking for help I am concerned that having people saying things like "be careful people saying these things could be trolls" and the subsequent discussion on that point could be more harmful than just having the thread deleted with an email from HQ of support numbers etc.

A point I have made before is that I don't think it would look good for MN in general if it ever came out that someone had come here for support but been turned away and had then gone on to go through with the threat....

seeker Wed 14-Oct-09 10:55:02

Oh yea, incredibly inappropriate. How dare people be sad and desperate - it might upset the rest of us.

Hide the thread and thank your lucky stars.

"There but for fortune go you and I"

corblimeymadam Wed 14-Oct-09 10:56:39

Message withdrawn

wannaBe Wed 14-Oct-09 10:58:11

"When one is that low, one needs help fast, and the best way to get it is to shout it out loud." If one needs help like that, mn is not the place to get it.

IMO people place too much faith in mn's ability to help people.

If someone is suicidal they need professional help, not the "help" of a bunch of women on the internet who are not at all qualified to deal with someone who is suicidal.

People should give numbers for professional organizations on these threads, nothing more IMO, and then the threads should be deleted.

hobbgoblin Wed 14-Oct-09 10:58:15

deadworm, how have i been 'unfair'? i thought i gave my opinion kindly. <perplexed>

InaneHouseholdObject Wed 14-Oct-09 11:02:34

Yes, what Seeker said. It's a mental health issue - we would not bat an eyelid at someone coming on with a physical problem, whereas obviously there should go to the GP, and needed talking through it etc. We cannot brush people who are desperate like this under the carpet like some sort of underclass.

hobbgoblin Wed 14-Oct-09 11:02:37

help from a bunch of women on the net is good.
really, you wouldn't know how pivotal that can be. doctors are paid to fix you, that is an all too glaring reality when you feel like poo on everyone's shoe

daftpunk Wed 14-Oct-09 11:03:06

agree with deadworm..

little anyone on here can do..

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 14-Oct-09 11:04:56

I just think deleting them smacks of "oh I don't want to know about that sort of thing, lets get back to the fluffy happy side of parenting and ignore the sad and desperate side that can go with it"

Burying your head in the sand doesn't mean it is not there, as we claim to be open to discussing everything then why not suicide? We would not say to someone in a DV situation "call this number" [delete] so why does someone desperate enough to feel suicidal deserve less?

I agree that we cannot offer professional support but then that is true of a number of things including BF (with a few exceptions) childbirth, mental health in general, cancer, DV, berevment and so on yet we offer support to people dealing with those issues daily.

InaneHouseholdObject Wed 14-Oct-09 11:05:08

I think it would be OK for someone suicidal to confide in a friend first, and for alot of MNers, other MNers are their friends. Or they want someone between a friend and someone anonymous. People don't have to respond, and the people who do clearly feel they can help and be able to 'handle it'. It's not great, but it's life. Deleting these threads while active would be utterly wrong IMHO.

bibbitybobbityCAT Wed 14-Oct-09 11:05:27

Just hide them. Don't get sucked in, don't get upset.

JodieO Wed 14-Oct-09 11:07:40

I don't think it's wrong no. Sometimes people need that initial help BEFORE they can talk to a gp or trained professional. Taking away this lifeline for them could ultimately cause their death. Even if you think you can't help, that doesn't mean other people aren't willing to try or even just to be there to listen and talk to them.

I really dislike the attitude that there is nothing we can do though, I know from experience that that is utterly wrong. I knew many people that survived and got through mental illness with the help of online communities, they literally were their lifeline. Sometimes this was alongside help from gps, mental health professionals etc but other times it was the advice from people going through similar circumstances that really helped. It's talking and thinking things through with "real" people that helps; so you know you aren't alone.

The internet is an amazing tool in my opinion, even if you're alone at night or during the day; you never really are because of the amount of people you can connect with. In some cases it really does make a difference.

Disenchanted3 Wed 14-Oct-09 11:08:38

Maybe those pesky women who have suffered miscarriages should sop posting about that? Or all those moaning women who keep prattling on about the affairs there husbands have had?!

All highly innapropriate to talk about really isn't it?


whats up with some people??

hobbgoblin Wed 14-Oct-09 11:08:57

some of the opinion here is like saying "oh yes i feel that for migraines the best thing to do is ignore it and it'll go of its own accord. phoning nhs direct is also good"...and then admitting you've never HAD a migraine.

daftpunk Wed 14-Oct-09 11:10:57

disenchanted....that's not talking about suicide is it..

sb6699 Wed 14-Oct-09 11:11:08

My dh lost his father to suicide so this is a topic fairly close to home.

No, I do not believe that the average person sitting at home on the pc has the knowledge to deal with a genuinely suicidal person but sometimes declaring you want to commit suicide is just a cry for help and discussing your problems can make things a little easier to cope with.

I do think advice though should be limited to just letting them get it all out and responding by saying although you're finding life overwhelming these things can be dealt with for instance if you have an abusive partner you can leave, if you have money trouble there are organisations that can help you sort them out, then giving a helpline number or urging them to contact their gp.

Deleting a post by someone who is genuinely suicidal and feeling they have nowhere left to turn could just be enough to tip them over the edge.

Tis a difficult one.

wannaBe Wed 14-Oct-09 11:11:58

the issue I have though is that these types of threads can be hugely enabling. Let's be honest - lots of people who talk about suicide don't actually intend to go through with it, but do so as a cry for help. And talk of committing suicide is something that does get them attention when sometimes nothing else has.

So someone feeling low hasn't got much support by saying "I feel low." after all lots of people have been there. but saying "I'm considering committing suicide" soon gets people sitting up and taking notice. people who don't actually have the power to do anything. and the more people spend time on these threads, the less likely the op is to get professional help - why should she - there are these people online that are talking to her now.

And then she goes away. And everyone is left wondering where she is. Did she, didn't she....?

And tomorrow she comes back and has a general chat. and the next week she is suicidal again...

And so we are enabling this behavior...

She should be encouraged to seek professional help..

Mn hq have the power to contact posters.

JodieO Wed 14-Oct-09 11:15:06

Oh and I tried to commit suicide when I was 19. My nan (dad's mum) killed herself when I was 15 so I am talking from (some) experience.

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