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if you are thinking about suicide..
and you've read the "read this first"..

Suicide - read this second.

Psycho-babble drivel What's really going on
"If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional -"
  although the author certainly sounds like one as the page progresses.. all the techniques are certainly down pat.
"only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.

I don't know who you are, or why you are reading this page. I only know that for the moment, you're reading it, and that is good. I can assume that you are here because you are troubled and considering ending your life. If"

Scary, huh? Web pages making assumptions. heh.
"it were possible, I would prefer to be there with you at this moment, to sit with you and talk, face to face and heart to heart. But since that is not possible, we will have to make do with this. "
Just another instance of "make do" because no one really wants to listen, no matter how you ask.
"I have known a lot of people who have wanted to kill themselves, so I have some small idea of what you might be feeling. I know that you might not be"
However, of course, in knowing these many people, somehow the webpage author managed to miss that the reasons for suicide are as varied as the people.
"up to reading a long book, so I am going to keep this short. While we are together here for the next five minutes, I have five simple, practical things I would like to share with you."
"share", implying identification with the person reading, trying to create friendship based on a viewpoint even more detached than the standard psychological arrangement - a *webpage*, for gods' sakes.
"I won't argue with you about whether you should kill yourself. But I assume that if you are thinking about it, you feel pretty bad. "
Refusal to acknowledge the other person's viewpoint, and setting up a baseline counseling criterion of a defined feeling necessary for suicide, thus in turn declaring that suicide is necessarily bad. If this author isn't a mental health therapist, well, sie sure does a great imitation of one.
"Well, you're still reading, and that's very good. "
positive re-inforcement, followed by:
"I'd like to ask you to stay with me for the rest of this page. "
the old contract routine.
"I hope it means that you're at least a tiny bit unsure, somewhere deep inside, about whether or not you really will end your life. Often people feel that, even in the deepest darkness of despair. Being unsure about dying is okay and normal. The fact that you are still alive at this minute means you are still a little bit unsure."
Of course it doesn't. It can mean many things, such as lack of a sufficiently reliable method to hand.
"It means that even while you want to die, at the same time some part of you still wants to live. So let's hang on to that, and keep going for a few more minutes. "
hang on to that fallacious conclusion from an equally fallacious premise..
"Start by considering this statement:

"'Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.'"

OK. This has been considered and discussed on the internet for years on end. Obviously the person who invented that little webpage never bothered researching much on USENET, or reading the things like the FAQ. It is only one of a myriad reasons for suicide.
[snip of reasoning following an incorrectly absolutist statement] 
"Now I want to tell you five things to think about.
1. The first thing you need to hear is that people do get through this -- even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope."
Actually, that information has often produces a sense of despair on internet suicide discussion groups. Which the author would know if he'd bothered to research, instead of preaching to an audience - you - that's had way too much preaching already.
"2. The next thing I want to suggest to you is to give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, 'I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.' Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions"
Contract # 2.
"3. The third thing is this: people often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. "
Of course not. Relief is simply an absence of pressure. Being dead gives relief from any pressure of life in a complete and absolute manner.
"4. The fourth thing is this: some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.

"But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you."

Uh, yeah. Obviously under-researched.

The "will not argue" is as specious as the entire web-page. Of course they won't argue. They'll state their own invented definitions that have no connection to reality - just like the web page - and drone it at you until you get frustrated enough to hang up.

"Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what's going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Call a crisis line (in NYC try the Samaritans at 212-673-3000, or call a branch near you, or look in the front of your phone book), call a psychotherapist, carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen."
Psychotherapists have to report imminent danger. This lie has been disproved numerous times by the experience of posters to They -will- send people to a hospital, which makes the webpage either a ridiculous farrago of ignorance, or (more likely in my opinion, given the well-designed psychological method) a deliberate lie designed to incarcerate people to receive psychological and psychiatric "help". Some crisis lines also report imminent danger as well.
"But don't give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.
Of course, you can do this by posting to through an anon service, such as anonymizer or nym. But then it'd be harder to get the address to send those white jackets to on a timely basis..
"5. The last thing I want you to know right now is this: Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. "
assuming they do, of course, subside.
"Therapy is a really good idea. So are the"
Sometimes it is.. sometimes it's not. It depends on the therapist. Many therapists are horrible.. a few are very good.
"various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet and various online services.

"Well, it's been a few minutes and you're still with me. I'm really glad. "

Sie is? Wow, the original webpage author must be a masochist or something to like this reply.


Psycho-babble drivel taken from a USENET post of the "if you are thinking about suicide read this first" webpage.

Last update: Sunday, November 25, 2001 13:26

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