Suicidal Ideation and Attention Seeking

Whenever I’m helping out someone who is suicidal or struggling with mental illness, I’m often advised not to bother, because such individuals are most likely trying to draw attention to themselves, and I’ll only be wasting my time.

First of all, I’d rather make the mistake of assuming an attention seeker is serious about their problem, rather than the other way around – a lot of people have lost their lives that way.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that someone is so desperate for attention is itself a problem worth addressing. Anyone who threatens drastic actions such as suicide in order to get others to care about them clearly needs love and help. Obviously, their tactics will need to be confronted and addressed eventually, but ignoring them isn’t going to help.

I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t always have good advice, or any real solution for that matter. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say. But more often than not, all anyone wants – and I say this as a sufferer of depression – is just someone else to talk to, someone who cares. That much I can certainly offer. It may not be enough, but it may also be everything. It never hurts to try.

This is just what I’ve learned from experience. People are welcomed to share their own views and perspectives on the matter.