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Recent Break Up and Ready to Call Life Quits!

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a video that discussed responses to suicidal threats. You see, over the years I have either met or heard of couples who have decided to call it quits on the relationship, and one of those partners felt that living another day was too much. Whether this threat of suicide happened in my presence or happened to an audience member or a caller, there is much anxiety in dealing with people who are or may be suicidal!

Although, I personally refer these clients immediately to psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or a health care practitioner, I have come across too many situations that friends, friends of clients, and friends of people in my audiences are faced with a friend threatening suicide. What do I suggest for someone to do if a friend or acquaintance threatens suicide? Personally, I take every threat as a reality. I have decided for myself that I will always take action. First of all, I will ask if they are thinking about it, talk to them, and call for reinforcements. I personally have the adage that I’d rather have an ALIVE friend who hates me for calling for help with an intervention, then a DEAD friend because I chose not to take the threat seriously.

Research studies show that asking someone about suicide does NOT put the idea in their heads, rather they are likely already considering it for you to have been concerned. Often the suicidal people are pleased to have someone care enough to ask. If you genuinely show you care about someone, they are more likely to confide and share what is honestly going on. There are four core Principles of Suicide Risk according to Joiner et al, June 2007, Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviors. These Principles are:

Desire for Suicide: They may say, “I want to kill myself.” They exhibit hopelessness, helplessness, talk about being a burden on others, feeling trapped, and feeling alone.

Intent to Commit Suicide: They may say, “I am going to kill myself.” They may have a history of attempts, exposure to suicide, history of violence to self or others, intoxication and drug abuse, extreme mood changes, sleeplessness, and agitation.

Capability to Commit Suicide: They may say, “I am able to kill myself.” They may have an attempt in progress, method is known, prepping for death by making arrangements, and expressed intent to die.

Reasons for living: They may say, “I have ____ to live for.” They may have friends and familial support, plans for the future, core values, and sense of purpose.

Realistically, during a break up these feelings of depression, lose, and the inability to go on living result from a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence as often we blame ourselves for someone else falling out of love when the opposite is true. Partners often do not break up with us because of us. They are telling you the truth when they say it is not you. It is not you! It is within them that they feel that physical chemistry with someone else, avoid commitment as they cannot handle it, or desire more commitment because they fear being alone, etc. We can attempt to change our behaviors, our hair color, our jobs, our lifestyles, but then it is difficult to love ourselves at that point because we do not even know who we are anymore. A little change is healthy such as, being less bossy or being healthier. At the core, “you deserve to be loved as you are, not because you can be what someone else thinks they want you to be.”

Often what I hear is that the desire of the partner  left behind wanting to kill themselves is to punish the partner who left. The ultimate revenge is living your life, happy, fulfilled, and full of love and joy! This article was not written for the people threatening suicide, it is written for the people who know them or come across them. My main advice is to get help from professionals; you did not sign up to be in this situation. You certainly did not sign up to do this alone. Frankly, you lack the training to help them anyways. Err on the sign of caution and prevention, and most likely you will make a difference in someone’s life, but ultimately, they are the ones that have to live theirs, so be a friend, be a supporter, and refer them to the professionals.

Andrea Adams-Miller, The Leading International Authority of Healthy Relationships, is the CEO and Founder, LLC. As a relationship consultant and business relationship consultant, speaker, and radio show host, Andrea reveals the secrets to create, sustain, and retain real relationships for life by igniting the spark, fire, and passion in your personal and professional relationships. For a FREE gift, sign up at

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