It feels like Pete Davidson is everyone’s little brother — who doesn’t love him? He’s been so open about his mental health struggles in the hopes of helping others, but he’s also been going through a dark period himself following his breakup with Ariana Grande.
And while they are young, it’s still brutal trying to handle such a public breakup. Last week, when the Saturday Night Live comic posted a terrifying note to Instagram saying he didn’t want to be on this earth any longer, the singer got wind of it and showed up at 30 Rock in New York City, where SNL airs.
“I really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. i’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all i’ve ever tried to do was help people. just remember i told you so,” Davidson had posted before deleting his account.
Even though they split, the singer has said multiple times that she still has love for her ex. “I’m downstairs and I’m not going anywhere if you need anyone or anything,” she wrote. “I know u have everyone u need and that’s not me, but i’m here too,” she tweeted.
Why so public? Her heart was in the right place, but the publicity caused more chaos than good after Davidson refused to see her and everyone began following the news on social media. Who wants to see the ex they still have feelings for? The whole thing is so overwhelming, especially after Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died of a drug overdose in September. She's suffering from her own loss. Ultimately the NYPD showed up at SNL to do a wellness check, and Pete was stable. Thank God.
But what else could she have done? That’s what she knew to do in the moment, show up. There are other ways to help. According to Mayo Clinic, what Davidson wrote is a common sign of suicidal people. “Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as ‘I’m going to kill myself,’ ‘I wish I were dead’ or ‘I wish I hadn't been born’” are clear indicators someone may harm themselves.
Once that happens (or before) do not leave the person alone, experts advise. Grande can always call a manager, their mutual friend Scooter Braun, even Davidson’s mom, or a coworker to say she’s worried. They don’t have to tell him it was her if she’s trying to maintain space.
Then “call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room yourself. Try to find out if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or may have taken an overdose. Tell a family member or friend right away what's going on.”
New York City-based therapist Liz Lasky tells Personal Space that some people say that they are going to hurt themselves (or others) or kill themselves (or others) "as a way to have power and control over another person," not that this is the case here. But she adds, "more specifically, if someone doesn't want to break up with a partner and threatens suicide, the partner is likely to stay with them to avoid harm or death.
"That being said, sometimes it's important for a partner or ex-partner to have strong boundaries in this area. It can be important to not quickly jump to someone's aid in an effort of self-care. Staying with this person who may threaten suicide can be trying, tiring, and ultimately an unhealthy relationship."
In other words, exes trying to help is usually not going to help.
"Adding social media into the mix can get messy," Dr. Lasky adds. "We have no idea what people do in the privacy of their own relationships. If there's a real concern, I think it's important to make a move out of your own personal integrity and be able to live with all potential consequences."
Do not try to handle the situation alone, like Ariana Grande did. (Although we don’t know if and who she did reach out to besides the tweet.)
The person may need to be hospitalized until the suicidal crisis has passed.
Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number.
Psychology Today reports that suicide "has no demographic boundaries, affecting people regardless of their gender, race, socioeconomic status, culture, or religion. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, approximately one million people attempt suicide each year.
"Fifty to 75 of people who attempt suicide tell someone about their intention, " they add, "If someone shows the warning signs, they must be taken seriously."
In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.
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