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She’s just trying to get attention

attentionseek

“She took all those pills just to get attention.”

“You know that phone call was just a cry for help.”

I have heard these phrases frequently as it relates to suicide attempts over the last few years.

Please never make the mistake of writing off a suicide attempt as “attention seeking.” Because a second attempt has a higher potential of completion.

What about when people are crying out for help? Then yes. That’s exactly what they are trying to get.

Attention.

How else do you get help? And why do we make asking for attention or crying for help such a negative thing?

Personally, I detest these phrases because it promotes keeping everything to yourself and suffering in silence which is precisely one of the reasons we are seeing more suicides.

Reaching out is not weak. It takes courage.

Suicide is an act of desperation by a person whose brain is telling them they need to to die. This can happen to those diagnosed with depression or some other mental health condition and it can happen to someone who is not.

So if someone is asking for attention, give it to them!

And please avoid phrases like “cry for help” and “she’s just trying to get attention” as it relates to suicidal thoughts because they are dismissive comments. They shame and invalidate the feelings of the person suffering.

What’s more they discourage people who need it to avoid reaching out for help.

See the suicide resource page for more information from credible sources about suicide and how to handle a suicide situation.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

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