How to Help the Suicidal Build a Positive Lifestyle?

Lucy Walton  2019-09-13 01:26:16

Autistic people are especially vulnerable to mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts present a significant problem in around 14% of them. If you love an autistic person, you can indirectly fight the autistic person's suicidal thoughts by supporting them and making their world a happier place.

  1. 1Watch them. Since they may have trouble understanding how they are doing, you can help by keeping an eye on them. If you notice a relapse or dip in mood, you can check up on them and figure out what's going on. It may be worth keeping a journal to show doctors how they're doing.
    • 2Cut away bad influences from their lives, including anti-autism ones. Some people and groups feel that autistic people are tragic burdens that need to be normalized at any cost. When autistic people feel like they are burdens, or when their bodies are constantly controlled by others, they are more likely to feel depressed. Stay away from forums and other sites on the internet, even the YouTube comment section, that may have a negative effect on your autistic identity. Some internet users feel so insecure about their lives that they come up with the most irrational, toxic nonsense that they could think of to bring others down. Don't feed the trolls. You're an important person with friends and family who love you for who you are.
      • 3Help them feel useful. If they feel like they're making a meaningful contribution, they are less likely to feel like a burden. Some ways they can be helpful: First, ask them to babysit (or co-babysit); Second, go volunteering together; Third, encourage them to engage in their special interests, such as writing articles for wikiHow about their passion; Fourth, ask them to take their younger sibling(s) out for a walk.
        • 4Gently encourage them to do something about a problem. If they get moving, it will help keep their anxiety at bay. If they can do something about their problem (even something small), suggest that they do it, and try offering to be there with them while they do it. Otherwise, take a walk with them. This will help convince their brain that something has been done and it can stop worrying. Suggest that they do a small part of a task they're worried about, such as writing a paragraph for their upcoming essay.
          • 5Help them stay engaged. If they are depressed, they will probably feel very tired and may self-isolate. Moderate amounts of interaction and attention will keep them from being stuck alone with their bad thoughts from too long. Even if they decline sometimes, keep inviting them to do things, and encouraging them to get out of the house (or at least their bedroom). There's nothing wrong with saying "I love you and miss spending time with you, and it would make me happy if we could _____ together." Here are some ideas: First, go for walks, or sit outside together, so they can soak up some sunshine; Second, take them out to eat; Third, do quiet activities together, like drawing or reading to them; Fourth, sing along to their favorite songs; Fifth, find good movies to watch together; Sixth, engage with their special interests. Talking about their passions can help autistic people feel more energized and happy. Paint with them, visit a space museum, listen to a monologue, or watch their favorite movies together.
            • 6Carefully introduce them to the autistic community. Autistic culture in general is very supporting, positive, and welcoming. It may help them get rid of some of their self-hatred about autism. Sometimes, the autistic community talks about serious issues, like abuse and human rights violations. This is not good reading material for a person fighting depression. Encourage them to be careful about the links they click, and heed trigger warnings.
              • 7Be accepting of who they are—autism and all. Loving actions show that they are not a burden, and you are okay with them the way they are. Autistic people who hide their autistic traits are at higher risk for suicidality so start encouraging them to be themselves. Here are some ways that you can show that you accept them: First, let them stim as much as they want. Forcing an autistic person to stop stimming may make things worse, especially if they’re suicidal or have difficulty with accepting who they are as an autistic person. Second, honor all forms of communication (echolalia, AAC, behavior, etc.) and do your best to understand. Third, be patient with their struggles. Fourth, Support their special interests. Fifth, respond compassionately to meltdowns. Don’t tell them things such as "You’re being silly!" or "You're ruining our day!" Help them learn how to avoid meltdowns, but respond supportively when they happen.