How Can My Suicidal Friend Start Her Life Afresh?

10 August, 2020
Q

My senior friend is completely depressed. She failed in her 12th grade thrice and lost 3 years of her life. Everybody taunts her. It seems she feels so worthless and heartbroken.

She has consumed phenyl in large quantities. What will happen?

She have tried to commit suicide many times in many possible ways but luckily all the time she survived. I'm worried one day she will be successful in killing herself. I don't know how to help her she always has suicidal tendencies it hurts me to see her like this. She has lost all hope on everything can you please advise on how could she restart her life once again?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

You must make her family aware of the problem. If they are aware, then tell them that taunting her will not help her feel the motive to pass her exams.

They have to stop the blame and instead communicate with her in a more compassionate and understanding way. 

Your friend must seek professional help as soon as possible!

Please, talk to the school counselor or tell her family to find a medical professional for her.

You might want to call the suicidal hotline if you fear she might attempt another suicide. 

At the same time, as a friend you can do a lot by simply showing compassion and being with her.


Salam Aleikom dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. Mashallah, you seem to be a compassionate friend! May Allah bless you for your intention to help your friend out of a very serious and heartbroken situation.

You said your friend has failed 3 times finishing the high school, for which everyone taunts her. Failure and blaming are huge risk factors for someone to attempt suicide. May Allah save your friend. 

It is heartbroken to hear you friend has not only thought of suicide, but actually tried killing herself several times. What did her family do? What happened after the first or the second suicidal attempt? Did they take her to the hospital? Have they tried seeking professional help for her? Are they even aware of the suicidal attempts?  

How Can My Suicidal Friend Start Her Life Afresh? - About Islam

It is hard to give advice without the full picture. Yet what is sure is that 

  • you must make her family aware of the problem. If they are aware, then tell them that taunting her will not help her feel the motive to pass her exams. They have to stop the blame and instead communicate with her in a more compassionate and understanding way. 
  • Your friend must seek professional help as soon as possible! Please, talk to the school counselor or tell her family to find a medical professional for her. You might want to call the suicidal hotline if you fear she might attempt another suicide. 

At the same time, as a friend you can do a lot by simply showing compassion and being with her. (Do not tell her things like “Allah hates people who take their life”, or “you will go to hellfire if you do it”. )

Make Her Talk About Her Feelings

Ask her how she feels. Let her talk about her emotions. Ask her also about her reasons for living and dying and listen to her answers. Try to explore her reasons for living in more detail. This might feel awkward, but talking heals– especially in the case of women.

When talking, you may want to bring some ayas of the Quran about how everyone on Earth is tested, so she is not alone.

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, (2:155)

How Allah helps those who show patience in calamity, 

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [2:153]

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. (94:5)

and how life is beautiful if we pay attention to little things.

While talking, you might want to tell her some stories of other people who have failed but they created amazing things out of their failure. How people were bullied, tortured – and how they have risen. 

You can mention the Prophet (saw) who was an orphan, many of his beloved ones died while he was alive. He was tortured with hunger and thirst in Makkah along with the first Muslims. 

I also like the story of Nick Vujicic and Oprah Winfrey, just to name a few inspirational people of modern times who have been through a terrible loss, yet instead of giving up on life, they have done something outstanding.

There are many, mashallah. This might inspire her to look at her failures from a different perspective and feel her failure is actually not as horrible as she feels right now. 


Check out this counseling video:


Look for Solutions 

Slowly try encouraging her to look for ways that will help her cope with her issues that trigger her suicidal thoughts. Seeking help from a professional is the number one solution. Find someone – it can be your school counselor – whom she feels comfortable with. 

Set Little, Achievable Goals

What do her days look like? Does she work? What has made her fail 3 times? I assume she is a clever lady who suffers from depression, or she has experienced traumatic life events which made her not pass her exams. 

Encourage her to have little goals during her week that she can achieve which will give her the feelings of worth. Maybe you want to help her prepare for the exams. The fact that she has entered the exams 3 times tells me that she wants to pass, yet things withdraw her from doing it. 

Have Fun

As everyone just attacked her, she might feel lonely. Reassure her that you are there for her and you feel her pain. You can do this by repeating back to her the words she says. 

If possible, and she welcomes the idea as well, you might want to stay with her for a couple of days. Depressed people oftentimes want to be alone and do not want to do anything. However, you can try asking her to go out or do at home things you know she likes doing.

Play a game, cook something together, take her to nature or her favorite place, read the Quran together, or visit the mosque. Inshallah, it will give her some happiness. 

Sister, it must be a really hard situation seeing a dear friend and not knowing what to do. I hope I was able to give you some guidance, biznillah. 

Pray for your friend, encourage her to pray as well and turn to Allah for help. She needs both: help of a professional as soon as possible and the duas to Allah. He is The Healer, the One who allows things to happen on this Earth. We need to work on feeling close to Him, because only with this we can feel in peace. 

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Timea Aya Csányi
Timea Aya Csányi pursues her BSc. degree in Psychology and Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. She is a certified NLP® Practitioner, one of our writers and counselors at the "Ask the Counselor" section. She works as a fitness trainer who is specialized in the spine and functional training. She is advocates for gaining self-love and confidence through exercising. If you are a Muslimah who seeks spine-friendly online training with a PT, you can reach out to Timea at [email protected]