23 thoughts on “The Shocking Truth of Suicide?

  • May 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

    great article will. keep it up. some are listening.
    thanks eric

    Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I’m not shocked by your admission of having considered suicide. The thought floats through my mind. I appear to be well adjusted. Your sister did commit a slow suicide in a way by drinking herself to death.

    What I do think is surprising is that more people do not commit suicide. Your reasons for sharing are valid. Trauma in childhood often leaves deeps scars. Not all are physical or sexually oriented. Emotional scars can be just as deep and painful.

    I do feel that this is an important topic and addressing it is a hot button for many. That makes it even more important to discuss. It’s a tender point of much discomfort.

    Suicide is not painless. Neither is living.

    Thanks for being courageous and continuing this sharing.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      TzuZen–

      Thanks for your insights. Life is very hard for many of us, at least until we learn skills that make it easier. Until, as a society, we open up about these challenges, we stand little chance of mastering them. Suicidal thoughts are lonely and isolating; the best remedies are conversation, compassion, acceptance, and support.

      Blessings,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I have been a mental health therapist up until some very traumatic events essentially broke me. I had always struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts and a couple of hospitalizations. My experiences actually made me a better therapist. My current therapist said my suicide attempts are hostility toward others. I completely disagree. I have been told so many times how selfish it is to take your own life. I don’t disagree that when I am “in that place” I don’t see how my actions will leave pain and a legacy I don’t want to leave. I think I am relieving very frustrated people of having to deal with me.i feel I have failed them enough and caused enough pain that this will somehow alleviate further pain due to me. But I don’t think it’s an act of hostility at all.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Jennifer–

      Thank you for sharing your story. In 2000 I too was broken by traumatic events, so I understand. From the outside suicide can look like a hostile act, but from the inside my perception agrees with yours: it’s more about relieving others of a burden than punishing them. Once I understood that, through my own experience of suicidal urges, I was able to forgive my mother for her death. She suffered for years with horrible depression and finally died in a psychiatric ward, probably by her own hand. When younger I blamed her for abandoning me, but as my perspective broadened in adulthood, and especially once I became suicidal myself, I understood she was trying to save me from her weaknesses. Tragically, her death placed me in my father’s household–a far worse fate than living with my sad mom. But she didn’t know what the final result would be… That’s the tragedy of completed suicide, of course, it’s effects are often far worse than we can imagine.

      Thank you for your honesty.

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I think it’s very important to break the silence and the stigma about something so very important as suicide. We need to talk about this so we can understand and help one another. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I didn’t read your first article, but the second really hit home. I cried when you stated that instead of labeling people as weak we should be offering more support. I have battled depression since I was a kid. I think my first suicide attempt was at age 5 when I swallowed a whole bottle of baby asprin, I don’t know why but I came out of the bed roo. and declared to my family “Look I did it!” Why I did that I do not know but I can say I have been for the most part depressed my whole life. I had a much more serious attempt years later and the thoughts are fairly consistent. I truly don’t know if I will die of any natural cause. I just wanted to thank you for the supportive comment.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      BeenThere–

      My own suicidal history does not go back as far as yours, but I long believed I’d die at my own hand.

      When I was in my twenties I wanted to win the Nobel Prize, but by my forties so much had gone wrong that I came up with a new ambition: to abandon my conviction that suicide was inevitable and try to live long enough to expire of natural causes. You can probably imagine how difficult that seemed. It felt like more of a challenge than had my naive idea of aiming for the Nobel Prize way back when. Well, I’ve hung on. Sometimes just barely, but as years pass it seems more and more likely I’ll succeed. And I’ve started to build in new goals, one of them being helping others by sharing my experience. Thank you for sharing yours.

      Blessings,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Having lived with mental illness and suicidal feelings for many years, I feel that completed suicides result from a combination of the distorted thoughts that come from depression and impulsive behavior. I have had suicidal thoughts for many years off and on, but I have always had just enough impulse control to prevent myself from completing the act. Even if you have planned in your mind how to do it, some change in circumstance can prevent you from going through with it at the last minute. however, I think the hold on sanity can turn on a dime, which is why people will be confused when someone who “would never do that” actually does. We are good at putting on a front while being in great pain inside.

    I don’t think someone who has depression understands that even in their depressed state they are valuable to others. My older son died in 2004 due to a congenital heart condition, and the devastation it brought to our family has practically cured me of considering suicide. I finally understood what family members go through when a loved one dies, and I could never let my younger child or husband suffer that pain.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Ann–

      You raise a vital point: suicide often depends on impulse. In my own case, during the recent episode of acute depression (which only lasted a couple of days), I felt intensely suicidal. If I had been alone, I might well have acted on my desire for death. But now, a few weeks later, I feel fine; suicide is the furthest thing from my mind. If I had acted on impulse, my life would have either ended or taken a very negative turn (if I survived a serious attempt and was left with injuries as a result).

      I also understand how a death can alter one’s feelings about suicide. A close friend of mine killed himself in 2000. I saw how hard it hit his wife and kids. So for years ending my own life seemed to be off the table. That sense has faded enough that now when I get depressed suicide again seems like an option. But since I found my friend’s body, I always flash to that horrible scene when I contemplate my own end. It makes it much more real, even now, and less imaginary. Hence, I think my acting on impulse is less likely. Or at least I hope so.

      I appreciate your raising these two key issues.

      Warmly,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I realize the ACE score is only a screening tool but I think that it excludes the seemingly “perfect” families in which a child has lived a life of abuse and invalidation, but no parents on drugs, divorced, imprisoned, or anything else that would give an inkling to the true life of the child.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      GoingToTheDogs–

      Absolutely. The ACE score, if high, is probably a good indicator of a difficult upbringing. But if low it does not ensure that childhood was easy. I’ve known people raised the way you describe: no definable ACE but plenty of dysfunction and unhappiness.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I have also attempted suicide. And I really enjoyed reading your article because in school, nobody can talk about it openly without hesitation. Like you said too much taboo. That needs to change if there will be any progress to eliminating suicidal ideations in the vast public.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Dr–

      It’s odd that everyone wants to prevent suicide, but nobody (or, not many) want to talk about it. Like you say, this needs to change if we really want fewer completed suicides. I’m glad you’re still with us, and I appreciate your input.

      Warmly,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 31, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I have a family history of suicide and suicide attempts including my own attempt at age 20. Funny thing is that when I tried to take my own life 27 years ago I never knew that my paternal grandmother had tried to kill herself 3 times and her youngest son once.
    My younger brother had thought about it from time to time and my father shot himself in the head and died from his injuries 6 years ago.

    The funny thing is after I had my first child the thought of suicide never re-entered my head again even though I would continue to be in depressions off and on over the years still haven’t considered it even after having my 3rd child and suffering postpartum depression. I could never stand the thought of leaving my kids here without me to protect them and what it would do to them.

    And oh the suffering and guilt that my brother and I and my aunt and uncle have had to live with after my dad killed himself. The thought of leaving my kids to feel the horror and haunting feelings that torment me almost every day in the last 6 years. I just cant ever think of trying it again. It permanently fucks up (pardon the language) the people you leave behind and will keep them from ever being able to fully be happy or enjoy their lives without feeling crushing guilt. I have a hole in my heart that can’t ever be filled.

    I know noone on here wants to be lectured, but I just wanted to let you know I have been in that dark place before an tried to take my own life. and even though there has been some bad times in my life the good times still keep happening. I am glad to have been around to see the good times and am so glad I didn’t succeed . The reason I wanted to kill myself has long gone away. It does get better you just have to wait it out sometimes and do think what it will do to your family. It literally breaks their hearts.
    God Bless

    Reply
    • May 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Lissyanne–

      Thanks for sharing your story, and your sorrows. Your family is burdened with more than its share of suicidal behavior.

      The way you lost your father sounds very, very painful. I understand, at least to an extent, since my mother died of depression also. I was a mere child and the manner of her death was always hidden by my family, but I knew she wanted her life to end (she had prayed out loud for death), and her demise cast a long shadow over my life.

      So I completely agree: those who feel suicidal need to be aware that it is devastating to loved ones (especially children). I am glad becoming a mother relieved you of suicidal ideation, despite continuing depression. Of course, not all mothers are so fortunate in that regard.

      I hope it is clear that my hope is to advocate talking about suicide. By no means do I endorse suicide as an appropriate solution to life’s pain. The reason for talking about self-destruction is to reduce the likelihood of actual destruction. It is a basic tenet of psychotherapy and suicide prevention that talking about suicidal thoughts helps. It doesn’t plant ideas (no one needs to be given the idea–it comes up automatically), but it does reduce feelings of isolation and confusion.

      Thank you very much for making clear how much suicide hurts those who remain. My mother’s death nearly ruined me, so I would like nothing more than to prevent that pain from being visited on anyone else.

      With Gratitude,

      –Will

      Reply
  • May 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thank you Will,
    You are right. Noone feels comfortable talking about suicide. When my father died it came out of left field because he only starting showing signs of depression 2 months prior to his death so it came quickly without alot of warning. We posted an obituary and waited a year to a memorial service with just close friends and family. He knew alot of people as do I and my brother he left behind. I was surprised at the fact that we only received a couple of sympathy cards.

    People didn’t really reach out and if I tried to talk to my friends or extended family about what happened to him they got really uncomfortable and changed the subject. I didn’t feel like we had any type of support system. Totally different then what kind of support my mother received when my grandmother died at a ripe old age.

    I don’t know if that is what happened to you or if that is a common response to suicide or not, but it sure didn’t help.

    I do thank you and people like you that are making the topic less taboo so that people like us have somewhere to open up since in my experience even the people closest to me don’t want to hear about it. Heck even my brother who is the only other person that knows what I am going through doesn’t want to talk about it.

    Reply
  • August 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I just read two of your articles, this one and one on childhood trauma recovery. I am relieved that someone is articulating these things in public and raising the levels of awareness for any who read these. I love that you aren’t apologetic for discussing these socially taboo topics. You inspire me. I am quite public about my journey handling extensive childhood trauma and major depression, DID, CPTSD. It is refreshing, beautiful relief, to see I am not the only voice. Thank you so very much for using your ability to articulate and understand to help us all articulate and understand also.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Catstiptoes–

      I’m glad my writing brings you relief. I believe more of us are speaking up, which helps increase awareness and decrease stigma. Speaking up, though frightening, is the only way to achieve recognition and promote change. Kudos to you for holding up your truth, and not hiding. it.

      With Respect,

      –Will

      Reply
  • September 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Unfortunately, our society still doesn’t get it that suicide is a gift, it’s a balsam of peace, it’s a right, a human right exclusively. No other animal has the intelligence to say “rien ne va plus.” We can stop suffering all sort of circumstances that life forces us to live. Committing suicide in a psychotic episode is another thing, or while intoxicated. I am talking about the last resort, euthanasia. Too bad that people judge the different so harshly.

    It’s the religious bias: killing yourself is a sin. People don’t give a rat’s arse about their relatives, neighbors, etc., but if they hear they killed themselves they say “what a shame.” In real life, they didn’t even buy a banana for them when they heard they were sick. Suicide is a precious gem, to be used only one time, if we must. It’s a gift from whoever gave us a big brain. No other creature can do it, and doing it to somebody else is murder. It’s a basis human right. Face it.

    Reply
 

Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *