I’m worried about a friend who keeps posting depressing music lyrics and sharing posts about dying. Do you think I should be worried?
Hey there. Thank you for caring enough about your friend to write in. If something is worrying you, listen to that, don’t shrug it off. Trust your gut and have confidence you’re doing the right thing.
It sounds like your friend might be reaching out by sharing posts around depression and death. Here are some other warning signs to look out for:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
Here’s what you need to do:
First – Talk with your friend… seriously. Private message them, call them, or text them. Try saying things like:
- You ok? If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.
- Hey, I care about you. What’s going on?
- Hey, how are you doing? If anything is wrong, I got you. Talk to me. I’m here to support you 🙂
Facebook also offers another way to help if you are worried about someone after seeing concerning post they’ve shared about suicide or self-harm.
If you are talking to your friend in person, say in between classes, or during the gym, it may not be the best time or place for your friend to open up. Find a quiet, but semi-public place (think coffee in the park) to talk to your friend.
Let him know you’re worried about him and tell him why. Be firm and don’t let him shrug it off. Let him know you’re not going to judge him and would like him to talk honestly and openly with you.
Whatever you do please do not swear to secrecy ever. When someone has suicidal thoughts it is an emergency, and it’s a situation the two of you are not prepared to handle alone.
Second – Talk with a trusted adult. We can’t say for sure, but your friend may be depressed, or could be having suicidal thoughts, both of which are extremely serious and need to be treated that way. It’s essential you get help, so ask your friend to talk to a trusted adult, or better yet help them to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional (like a counselor, psychologist, doctor, or nurse). You can check with your school or tribal office for this.
Third – Check out resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741741 and talk or text with a trained volunteer.
I’ll be keeping you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck.