Friday, December 21, 2012

Ask DrFran: I Don’t Want to Live Any More.

Dear DrFran:

I have been unable to sleep for days now, since my friend, Mia, disappeared from Second Life. I feel completely responsible for what happened, and will never forgive myself if she kills herself.

What happened was this: Mia and I have been good friends for some time in Second Life. We are hunt buddies, and fashionistas. About a month ago I met a guy here, and we have been spending more and more time together. Since then, Mia has become more and more upset with me, accusing me of not really being her friend, and of having never really liked her anyway.  She also tells me my boyfriend is no good, just using me, and will eventually leave me. None of this is true. She just seems a little needy to me, and now she may have done something horrible.

Things came to a head the other night, two days ago. Mia logged in and told me that she would not be in Second Life any more, that she had no friends here, that the people she hung out with all really hated her anyway, and she was going to kill herself. I asked her if she meant in Second Life or in First Life, too? She told me both, logged, and I haven’t seen her since.

What if I am the one that caused her to kill herself? Can you help me?                                                           
Depressed and scared

Dear Depressed:

First: Promise me you will not blame yourself for what happened. Stop and think about this logically for a moment. Is there really anything you can do if someone you don’t really know tells you they are going to kill themselves? You are not to blame. Yes, Mia sounds a bit dramatic, and may have been upset that you were spending more time with your new boyfriend. In spite of this, you in no way are responsible for what she intended to do or not do, and Mia may be suffering from a severe depression.

Depression is a real illness, and one of the symptoms of depression is a desire to die. DrFran (I talk about myself in the third person when I am very, very serious) takes suicide at face value. If someone in First Life told me they wanted to die, I would not let them out of my sight, I would call 911 or some other emergency services, and I would make sure they were in a safe place before I left their side.

Anyone who threatens suicide in Second Life to people who have no way to contact them is either not serious about the act, or is very serious and does not want to be stopped.

The human will to live is very strong, and someone who can overcome that enough to try to take his or her life is suffering horribly. At this holiday time, it is important to watch for signs that someone may be contemplating taking their life. However, it is not your responsibility to do this in Second Life.

If anyone reading this is feeling suicidal, has plans and the means to commit suicide: I know you may feel that there are no options left, but what you are feeling is the disease of depression talking to you. There is help.

In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


A joyous and healthy holiday season to you all.


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