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10 Things To Remember If A Loved One Has Lost Someone Who Took Their Own Life

10 Things To Remember If A Loved One Has Lost Someone Who Took Their Own Life

Many people who lose someone to suicide feel distressed, alone and helpless. As there is a social stigma surrounding the subject of suicide, many people struggle to openly talk about it without feeling uncomfortable.

The love and support of friends and family at this time is very important to anyone grieving. While grief can feel extremely challenging, it is eased by positive and non-judgemental support.

Here are 10 things to remember if your loved ones have lost someone through suicide.

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1. Offering practical support is often helpful

One of the first things your loved one needs after suffering bereavement is practical support, as they come to terms with what has happened. During this difficult period many people struggle with the smaller things.

Try to think about the little, day-to-day things, such as their children and pets. They may require babysitting as your loved one makes arrangements. Simply offering to cook a meal for your loved one and their family could help to lighten the load.

2. Welcome any conversation offered

While feeling awkward or helpless is understandable, it is important to show your desire to comfort your loved one.

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Try not to avoid the subject of suicide – instead, try to welcome it with open arms. Seeming even slightly hesitant to discuss the subject can create a barrier between you and your loved one, making it harder for them to discuss their grief with you.

3. Being present is very supportive

At times of distress, many people can feel alone and lost. Try to show you are there every few days, by checking in to see if they are okay. Rather than sending a text, consider visiting their home or giving them a ring. This will help your loved one to feel less isolated, and they will know they can openly discuss their emotions with you.

4. Make initial contact

If you find out from someone besides your loved one, try to contact them as soon as possible, rather than waiting to hear from them. Tell them you are sorry for their loss, and offer support if they need anything.

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5. Being open will help your loved one

Instead of waiting for your loved one to bring up their loss, try to bring up the subject of the person who has died. It is important to use their name so your loved one doesn’t feel like they are being forgotten.

6. They may need someone to listen to them

Ask your loved one how they are feeling, and really listen to their answer. Ask follow up questions, and try to understand everything they are saying and feeling.

7. Consider who is grieving

There may be other people you know and love grieving the loss of the same person. Does your loved one have children or a partner? Try to include everyone you think may be silently grieving in your support.

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8. Accept their emotions and behaviour

Understand that your loved one is going through a hard time. Respect the intensity of their grief, and allow them to grieve in a way that suits them.

They may feel overwhelmed by their emotions, and they may feel overcome with emotion when they aren’t expecting to. Simply try to provide support if you are with them and they are feeling emotional.

9. Patience is important

Grieving someone who was lost to suicide is extremely painful and often confusing. Understand that the grief is long-term and will not simply disappear. It will take a long time for your loved one to come to terms with what has happened, and they may need to talk about the situation over and over again for that to happen.

10. Accept it is normal to feel helpless

It is completely normal to feel helpless and awkward when spending time with someone who is grieving. You want to provide them with emotional support, but you may feel like you are incapable of doing so. Try to remember your support is always helpful, so you can push through any inadequacies you feel.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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