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Chaotic_ Offline
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Telling My Counselor I'm Passively Suicidal? - July 29th 2017, 01:54 PM

As the title states, passively.
I'm not planning on committing suicide, but the intrusive thoughts come and they won't leave me alone when they do come.
It's almost an everyday occurrence that lasts between a few seconds to about an hour, really depending how bad my depression is that day.
Sometimes it's a simple as the nonchalant thoughts of I could do this.... and sometimes it's a little more complex, like how would I actually do it.
It's not that I want to, it's not even that I think I will, it's just really uncomfortable to have these thoughts and to not tell my counselor I am having these thoughts.

I had a really bad experience in college where I mentioned similar thoughts and thoughts of cutting and she just randomly called the cops on me and I was stuck in the psych ward for three days (even though I had no plan) and threatened to be kicked out of school.

This has hindered me with my new counselor who is honestly fantastic. I want to tell him but I don't want him to call the cops on me, I don't want a "welfare check," and I really don't want to go to the hospital (I don't think I'm that bad as I'm mostly functioning and feel as if I were truly suicidal I would tell him or someone else I trust).

My thought was to e-mail him something along the lines of:

"I'm struggling with intrusive thoughts and it's to dismiss them as nothing. I'm just concerned because I feel like they've been happening more often. I know I wouldn't act on them, but nonetheless they're uncomfortable a tad bit scary."

I'm just not sure how he would react.
I just feel like I need to give him these thoughts or he can't fully help me.
I don't see him for two weeks which is a fairly long time for in my current state.
I'm not sure if he would do a follow up, or if my fear of the cops showing up would come true.
I would be concerned that he would just send them and not bother telling me and that it would ruin the trust that has taken months for me to buld with him.

Any suggestions or stories that you guys can personally share if you feel comfortable! It would mean a lot, you guys are super appreciated.
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Re: Telling My Counselor I'm Passively Suicidal? - July 29th 2017, 02:08 PM

Dear Cass, I feel your fear too. A Big part of the reason I kept quiet about my problems was because I didn't want police involvement; then it meant people who shouldn't know about it, will know about it. Would be funny for the police to turn up at the door of the family your trying to keep it quiet from.

With that in mind, there is grave differences between your old friend and a counselor, counselors are more discrete and direct - Trained for this sort of thing.

Your email is a good idea, not confronting directly would help your anxiety, but If you can stomach it face-to-face then that'd be the best thing to do because it clears up alot of things.

And you're right, he needs to know these things to help you. Can't fix things if you don't know they're broken. - That said, it's all in your hands with your control. You're in control, but try to remember the logic behind it. IF you're not actively suicidal but only showing small-moderate thoughts then that is not enough for police involvement.

Take care Cass.
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Re: Telling My Counselor I'm Passively Suicidal? - July 31st 2017, 07:04 PM


I was actually able to e-mail him what I stated in the post and he responded but I'm not 100% sure he understood that I was speaking of "passive suicidal" thoughts mostly because I just named them as "intrusive thoughts that I wouldn't act on." As his advice was to try to not identify with thoughts or behaviors.

It's just kind of hard to not be a little be concerned about these thoughts. I understand his point of not identifying to hardcore because it could have a negative effect, but I just wonder if he understood what I was trying to tell him.

I guess trying to tell someone your suicidal even if it's just passively and you're not really going to do anything is hard. Like I don't feel like I can flat out use the suicide word in an e-mail and not get into some form of trouble. It's just hard waiting 12 days to hopefully be able to say that word out loud in a session, which I can't even admit to myself out loud that I'm not okay, so how I'm going to talk about "suicide" in a passive sense, I don't know.
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Re: Telling My Counselor I'm Passively Suicidal? - August 2nd 2017, 06:51 AM

Depends how professional a counselor you have.

A true professional, such as a psychiatrist doctor, or psychologist, or LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy, that's what licensed counselors are around here, though you don't have to be married or have a family, they're just counselors), those people I can easily tell when I'm as you say, having those thoughts, but not serious to the point of acting on them yet. (In fact, if I was serious, I wouldn't tell them, so by telling them, they know I'm OK but not OK but OK (if that makes any sense).)

I used to tell them all the time and they'd listen but do nothing because they knew nothing needed to be done. If I was seriously in need of more help I'd tell them. (Or keep it a secret, I'm not sure which, but I lean towards telling people before I get that bad.)

The ones I'm wary of are the lower professionals, the ones who aren't really experienced or fully trained, but they may be in a position where they are required to tell if they think you might be suicidal, and they don't want to get in trouble for not reporting it. Then hopefully whoever they report to is more experienced and knowledgeable and knows you're actually fine, not fine, but fine, so don't do anything right now.

So I prefer to skip below that group down to the non-professionals, just regular people who aren't required by anyone to report anything, because they aren't worried about if they'll get in trouble for not reporting something, so they can just focus on listening to you, and being there for you, and being supportive, and it makes them feel good to know they are helping you just by being available. (Especially if they've suffered themselves, which I'm surprised how many have!)

So I'm not worried. I know they won't put me in the hospital because there's no room in the hospital, unless one is really, really, bad, then they'll make room, but they basically just ask you, because there's no lab test, they just ask, are you OK? And you decide if you are or not. And if you say you're OK, then they say, "OK, you can go. Give me a call later so I'll know you are still OK."

So it's actually a good sign if you can tell your truly professional counselor, because they know it's what you don't tell them that they should worry about.

Best wishes. I hope you feel better soon. I know from experience these feelings are transient and don't last. I just hold on and ride it out with all the help I can get.
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