We need to take this seriously.
We're dealing with people's lives. Frustrated, upset, depressed, suicidal even - we have no business dealing with that. I think Shog9 put it best when he said
I hate to sound callous about this, but... This isn't a support group; y'all probably aren't trained to deal with the outpouring of grief and despair of someone you've never met and may have absolutely nothing in common with. I'm certainly not. Indeed, there's a decent chance that leaving a post like this around could end up just making things worse.
And it's true. Please realize - one angry word, a harsh response, or well-intentioned but unfortunate advice could lead to drastic consequences. We're not professionals, and we're dealing with people who are in a dark place (often of no fault of their own; but it's the truth). We don't want to say something or do something that leads to bad things for the OP. That being said, that doesn't mean we callously downvote into oblivion and close without a comment. As SQB said in chat
While we may not be equipped to give these users the help they need, I fear that closing the question, even with encouraging words, may be yet another rejection.
And I understand that. So please, don't vote - and if you see a downvote, upvote to keep the question at zero. There's no need for these people to feel any unnecessary further pain. You can also write a kind comment.
There's no harm in making them know that you care. Just avoid any other advice other than contacting a professional.
I know it has been said before, but read this answer!
Guidelines on determining if the OP needs professional help
Please note that many of the guidelines here are subjective, and may not even be good ones. I will be editing as I think more on the issue.
If yes to multiple of these points, follow the guidelines below.
- Perhaps the most obvious one - are there any explicit mentions of planned suicide, self-harm, or other such matters?
- Is the OP extremely self-deprecating, perhaps calling themselves names a lot?
- Is the OP's language full of extreme sadness, hopelessness, etc?
- Is the OP asking about a very difficult situation that they are having trouble dealing with (this especially should be along with the others; i.e., hints of something in response to a terrible situation)?
- Is the OP asking about dealing directly with depression and/or suicidal thoughts?
- Are there any hints or explicit questions about dealing with PTSD/remembering a terrible incident over and over?
What to do if OP needs professional help
- Vote to close
- Flag for mods so they can lock, alert CMs, and eventually delete
- Vote to keep the question's score at zero
Above all, take it seriously. A person's life could be on the line.
Ready to use comment - general
Hi there! It sounds like you've been through a rough time. I'd love to help right now, but many of us here just aren't very skilled at providing assistance in situations like these. I just want to let you know that many of us who see this all care for you, and we all wish you all the best! Your best option is to try and find a psychiatrist or a social worker in your community. Thanks, and I really wish you the best :)
(Thanks to Zizouz212 for posting this great comment.)
Ready to use comments - depression, suicide, and/or self harm
It sounds like you’re going through a hard time. I’d really like to help you, but unfortunately, we’re not well equipped to do so here. Your best option is probably to call [a suicide hotline](//suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html). People are on call there to talk to people struggling with the same kind of issues you are, regardless of location. If calling is not good, you can [chat with them live online](//suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx). It might not help, but what’s the harm?
It sounds like you’re going through a really hard time. I’d really like to help you, but unfortunately, we’re not well-equipped to do so here. Your best option is probably to call the [National Suicide Prevention Lifeline](//suicidepreventionlifeline.org/). People are on call there to talk to people struggling with the same kind of issues you are, regardless of location. US: +1-800-273-8255. If calling is not good, they can [chat with you live online](http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx). It might not help, but what’s the harm?
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because questions asking for psychological help are outside our scope. We care about you and want you to get the best possible help you can - from someone professionally trained to help you. We are not able to do this for you here.
(Thanks to Catija for the text of the reason.)
Any edits, comments, etc are welcome. I am also open to discussion in chat. I will be editing this as I continue to think about it.