How Do I Tell My Counselor About Suicidal Thoughts?

Question by Sarah: How do I tell my counselor about suicidal thoughts?
I’ve been talking to my school counselor for a couple of years mostly about family problems and my eating disorder. We have become very close and she always tells me how she’s concerned about me. She checks in on me everyday and also walks past my classes, I feel like I am the student she is most worried about and I’m scared of what her reaction will be, what will she say?

Best answer:

Answer by bonnie (???)
I think I answered your other question, but anyway, if you know that she really cares about you and worries about your well being, then you shouldn’t be afraid of telling her that you’re suicidal. She’s helped you before and has known you for a couple of years, she shouldn’t get mad or anything. She’ll probably just try to find out ways with you on how you can overcome your depression and to stop those suicidal thoughts. Just tell her, she could help you a lot and you won’t know until you tell her. Good luck.

Answer by j
Some factors: would you feel better if you mentally rehearsed what you’d like to say? For example, if you have some self-murder thoughts that are angry and vague, and some that are more dangerous (ways to self-murder), you might decide that if you’re mostly “in control,” you’d first mention the angry and vague part…and see what she says. For example, if she immediately jumps to “let’s medicate,” that might be a dangerous thing in itself. At that point, you’d do better by calling the licensed counselors at 1-800-525-LOVE for a list of local counselors that prefer counseling more than first medicating.

Imo, your school counselor has probably already twigged on to the notion, “Hey, she may be suicidal,” and, being a trained counselor, she’d probably not freak out if you go with the “general, vague feelings of suicidal depression” item.

If, in your non-suicidal times, you can judge that if your suicidality (if that’s even a word) has become “more serious,” then, either on the next visit, or even the first, bring that up too.

You might enjoy imaging her reaction(s) beforehand: she faints, she “OMGs,” she barfs (sorry if you’re a purger, not a good thing for one’s physical system, as it brings up acidy vomit which can damage delicate esophageal tissues), she calls 911, etc.–why?–because she’s very, very likely to be calm, caring, and considerate, just like she’s always been, and your fear is maybe unrealistic?

A good counselor is not unduly affected by anything her client tells her, as that’s not professional, and not even caring.

So, imho, make it a positive experience, by looking forward to telling her something, and be mature and balanced enough to be ready to handle or deal with anything she might say. The only concern: if meds are pushed, be sure to Google “side effects” and keep a close watch on your “symptoms” if any. If you can accomplish healing without medication, that’s very preferable.

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