Worried about the life a friend (quick help please)

I know this is a long story, but if anyone has any quick suggestions, I’d really appreciate them.

I met a friend about 5 years ago in college. He’s 10 years older than me so about 38 now. Truthfully he kind of latched on more than me choosing to become friends, but he needed friends and I wasn’t very good at saying no.

While he has some friends with me and a few others, he’s been lonely as long as I’ve known him. He has been in relationships, but they haven’t worked out and all he’s wanted is to be married.

He’s got bad health problems including high blood pressure and about 5 weeks ago stopped taking all medication. I tried to get him to take them again and to get him to go to the hospital (or at least a counselor) without any luck. He asked me to stop talking about the medicine and I’ve reluctantly stopped. I thought about calling all his friends together at one point and together saying we cared about him, but wasn’t sure how he’d react. When I mentioned I had thought of this, he said it might be time for him to disappear (he’d planned something similar a few weeks ago before his money situation improved (got a full time job); he’d planned on being homeless and cutting off ties so he wouldn’t have to feel like a burden on anyone else (long story)).

He wants to die and has text me on a lot of nights saying he thinks this is the night. I think the only reason he hasn’t directly done it is because he is a strong Catholic.

A few nights ago when I got a bad string of texts from him. I tried to calm him down or get him to go somewhere with me, but he said nothing mattered and didn’t take up any offers. In one text he specifically said that after 7pm on Friday nothing would really matter. At the time, he sounded like he thought his high blood pressure would take him that night and I thought he was saying his funeral would be Friday. I didn’t sleep much that night, but he was still there in the morning.

Last night (Thursday) I talked to him and he said he still remembered Friday (today) at 7pm. I’ve been trying to figure out what in the world this means. He’s also talked about plans for the weekend. I text him this morning and asked him to promise me that he wasn’t going to hurt himself. His response was, “I never promise anything. What happens will happen. I will tell you that I don’t intend to.” It took about 30 minutes for him to respond with that (quicker on last couple of texts before that). He’s frankly unbelievably honest in this stuff so I’m not sure how to interpret that.

I’m not sure what he has planned for tonight. I’ve thought maybe he plans on running again, just leaving us behind and live homeless till he dies. Maybe he does plan on killing himself directly and he is just hoping it happens before then. Regardless, I’m not sure what to do besides pray. I’ve offered to meet him on his break for lunch, but haven’t heard back yet.

Lord please help this friend to grow in loving consideration of others, including not putting a caring and concerned friend through this kind of seesaw emotional torture. Help him to find meaning by trying to make others lives more meaningful and pleasant instead of stressing about himself. Guide and inspire him to desire to become, and determine to become, a person who contributes to others lives, and in this way he himself will find peace, meaning, and happiness, and other will respond more warmly to him.
Please bless Ohio for this generous and loving concern, and grant rest and peace and hope to them both.

I think you should impose yourself on him for the evening, and then some. Regardless of how much he asks you to leave, you cannot abandon him when you think he’s in danger.

This honestly sounds like semi-suicidal behavior to me. If that is the case, then it is your obligation as his friends to get him help, even if that help may be seen as you betraying them. (I’m talking about calling the men in white coats here, just so we’re clear)

Refusal to take life saving medication it a big deal, and certainly indicates a desire to kill yourself. On that basis alone I would be worried about leaving him by himself.

Who exactly are the men in white coats though? I talked this over with a few family members when he stopped taking medicine and was told that since he’s an adult, if he refused treatment there’s not much calling an ambulance or something could do. I’m really not sure who exactly I can call that he couldn’t just refuse help from.

I finally text someone else he knows (one person I know he wishes he was married to). I didn’t get into everything (by a long shot), but said he had mentioned 7pm tonight and I was worried. She’s asked him about going to a city wide prayer meeting or something tomorrow and he said yes. He also said yes about coming over Sunday to my house to spend the night (a few days ago).

Simply being there at 7pm isn’t something I’m sure will do any good, but I’ll think about it. It might delay something, but I’ve literally seen him almost everyday for the last 2 weeks. It’s impossible to be around him 24/7 and his mood on the subject of his death (something he’s wants) hasn’t changed in weeks.

Refusal to take life saving medication it a big deal, and certainly indicates a desire to kill yourself. On that basis alone I would be worried about leaving him by himself.

I have someone very close to me that says he is doing this. His poor wife is crazy worried. He won’t listen to anyone.

If they don’t WANT help and won’t ACCEPT help, not much you can do, but pray.

Prayers offered.

“Hello, 911? I think my friend is trying to kill himself. What can I do?”

Then answer their questions.

Look online for a Suicide Hotline on your area and get their advice or call your local ER dept and talk to a doc on call there. This situation is not one you should be dealing with, bring in the medical professionals. This is my husbands advice as an MD. The last Thing you should do is tell noone but us. People who talk about suicide this much need more help than friends alone can give.

I would try to find and speak to someone in this man’s family who can have him committed for a 72 hour mental health hold. He needs help, but he may also be playing a game with you and other friends, stringing you along in order to get attention and company. Only a mental health professional can evaluate whether he really is suicidal. You don’t even know for sure that he really did stop taking his meds. The “crying wolf” about taking his life can cause people to eventually stop trying to help him, and then he might really take his life. But he does need help in any case. Do any of his friends know where his family is?

He’s got no family besides a sister I’ve never met in another part of the state (and he doesn’t really know her that well). I’m sure he’s not taking his meds and his blood pressure (saw him take it once) certainly proves it unfortunately.

OK. I’ll try this. I keep worrying about making things worse (because he will cut me off and just leave), but I guess they can’t get a whole lot worse.

Praying for you and him… you are on an emotional roller coaster… I would call 911 and askf or help on this … This is a heavy burdeon you are carrying… I am going to say the Divine Mercy for both of you.

I tried the suicide prevention hotline. I explained everything, but it really doesn’t amount to more than I’ve already tried. She was friendly and good to talk to, but all suggestions ultimately required consent and if I could get that, he’d have been in counseling and/on depression drugs a long time ago.

That’s always the problem in these cases. We see people who need help, and yet, we can do little to help them unless they want help. Pray for God to change his heart, and then know that you have done all you could possibly do. You can’t commit him. You can’t stay with him 24/7 and if he is determined to die, he could still manage to end it even with you present.

You don’t mention where you live, but many states have laws whereby those who have directly threatened to commit suicide can be put on awareness and treatment programs.

In your case I would go directly to the police with your cell phone and ask what can be done to get him help. Will he get mad at you for it? Probably… but doing what is best for a friend sometimes is a far cry from doing what they WANT… and you certainly want to exhaust all options before he does something rash!

Thanks everyone for the help and prayers. He didn’t do anything last night. I had a hard time getting him to answer me a lot yesterday so I did go to his house to make sure I was with him before 7. He wasn’t home and wasn’t going to do anything last night as it turned out. I found him and he was angry at me for coming without him inviting him and missing class, but we did spend some time together. He made it very clear that if decides to do something, I won’t be able to stop him and that he is not going anywhere. According to him, unless the love of his life drops onto him very quickly there is nothing that is going to convince him to live (and he’s not actively looking).

His real initial plan for Friday was to take a bus and just leave to somewhere no one knew him and wander around there till he died. He didn’t feel he had the money for that yet though.

I’m praying for him still and trying to spend time with him, but I’ve hit the wall here and am going to switch approaches… I called suicide prevention and didn’t get much. I’ve talked to aunts in the medical industry who tells me calling 911 isn’t going to be able to do much without consent (and I can guarantee if he’s not locked up immediately with a call, he’ll leave town money or no money). I’ve found out even my friend can’t get a hold of his sister for awhile, which scratches off that for now (she’s moving and has pretty much cut herself off for a little while, hasn’t returned any of his calls in better than a week).

I’ve been spending time with him, but most of it has been at our houses or just together elsewhere. For now, I’m going to try to get him more places where he can meet new people. It’s not the best strategy, but its the one I can come up with some semblance of a chance. Other than that, I’ve hit the wall here. This has dominated my life for weeks and I need to take my mom’s advice and do what I can and leave the rest for God.

Thank you everyone for your prayers. They are very appreciated.

Please call the appropriate authorities. Your friend has clearly stated to you a desire to end his life and can be held for a 72 hour evaluation (at least here in Canada that’s the way it works I can’t speak for your particular state). Depression is a serious illness and should not be treated lightly. Your friend needs proffesional help now before it is too late.

If he doesn’t take his blood pressure medicine, he may get a stroke and be heavily paralized. If he thinks it is bad now, if he has a stroke he will know what bad really means.

Just a thought.

Yeah, your friend TOLD YOU he intended to kill himself. You have texts on your phone? If they need proof show the medical professionals your texts.

This is a situation where, unfortunately, you MUST do something. Try and get his other friends in the know, and make it clear to them that you KNOW he intends to kill himself. Not think. Know.

It’s very unfortunate that you’re in this situation. Good luck. I’ll be praying for you and your friend.

This situation is far beyond the scope of CAF. Please contact a mental health professional in your area to get appropriate advice.

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