Tag Archives: suicide

About Being Suicidal

I recently was watching “Dr G: Medical Examiner” on TV.  The show fascinates me in a morbid way.  She discusses various cases that come into her medical examiner’s office in Florida.

Well, this particular episode had a strange case.  A lady had been found lying on the floor of her bedroom by her son.  She was badly burned, yet nothing in the house was burned.  Suddenly the paramedics came & transported her to the hospital where she died 11 hours later.  It turned out she committed suicide.

The lady wanted her fiancee to commit suicide with her.  He didn’t take her seriously.  They got into an argument & he left.  She then grabbed a lighter, drove to a nearby field & lit herself on fire!  Apparently she had a change of heart & drove herself home.  She called 911 & after she hung up is when her son found her.

The story was heartbreaking to me.  I’ve been suicidal in my life & let me tell you, it is a horrendous place to be.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!  It’s torture feeling as if no one cares & the world would be a better place without you.

Many people who are truly suicidal show very subtle or no clues that they are feeling this way.  People are often shocked when they die because they say there weren’t any signs.  Or, they say something like, “I didn’t think he really meant it when he said he was tired of living.”

Dear Reader, please pay attention to the people in your life.  Many people are suicidal, especially if they have mental illness.  Did you know there’s a 15-20% suicide rate among those with Bipolar Disorder?  PTSD is even higher, estimated to be around 50%.

Even those without diagnosed mental illness can become suicidal.  Everyone has a breaking point.  Losing loved ones (through death, divorce, moving, etc) can take a huge toll on a person’s level of joy.  Losing a pet can trigger suicidal thoughts in many people.  Even losing a job can be devastating.  Men in particular have a hard time with job loss.  Medical problems can trigger depression.  The fear of the unknown can be utterly terrifying, especially when it comes to one’s health.  Or, sometimes having surgery can trigger depression due to the changes in one’s body.

The point is all kinds of changes, sometimes even positive ones, can trigger depression in a person.  Knowing this, it’s a good idea to offer support to those you love if they have faced changes or difficulties.  I’m not saying you have to fix their problems for them.  I am saying that it is a good idea to be there for someone.  A little support or show of your love for them can go a long way.  Many suicidal people believe no one cares about them.  Letting a person know you care may make all the difference.

If someone wants to talk about a problem, listen to them without offering advice unless they ask.  Many times, people just need to vent.  They may know how to fix the problem or there may be no solution to it, & they just need to talk about their feelings.

When talking about their problems, sometimes people’s emotions get overwhelming.  They may burst into tears or get angry out of the blue.  Don’t take that personally!  It happens when people are extremely stressed & upset!

Avoid saying things that are going to upset the person further:

  • “I understand exactly how you feel.”  No, you don’t.  You aren’t me.
  • “I went through the same thing.. I did ____ & felt better.”  Well, good for you, but that won’t work in my situation!
  • “You’re being too negative.”  Not everything in life is about puppies & rainbows.  Negative stuff happens too & it needs to be dealt with!
  • “You’re wallowing in the past.”  Sometimes to move forward, you have to step back a bit.  Arrows don’t shoot forward without going back a little!
  • “Get over it” or “Don’t be sad/angry/hurt.”  Do NOT tell someone how to feel!  Ever!!
  • “I don’t get why you’re upset.  It’s no big deal.”  Maybe not to you, but it is to me!
  • “I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way/was just kidding.”  So that means I shouldn’t feel bad she did/said something cruel?

Rather than saying something stupid, be honest.  Tell the person you don’t know what to say to help other than you’re sorry she’s hurting or sorry that happened to her.  Tell her you’re here for her & you love her.

If there is something you can do for the person, do it!  Don’t just say, “I’m here for you” then bow out if asked for something.  Mean it!

Offer to pray for &/or with the person.  Praying with someone often can bring a great deal of peace.

Check in often.  Call or text as often as you think the person is OK with.  Don’t harass them every 15 minutes of course, but once a day should be good.

If your friend mentions suicide, please think carefully about what to say!  Never tell the person she’s being selfish or stupid, or that their child/spouse/parent needs them.  Shaming a suicidal person just makes them want to kill themselves even more.  Ask why they feel that way, then listen to what they say.  Cry with them, hug them, pray for them, tell them you love them.

If you are the suicidal one, Dear Reader, there are people who will listen.  There are suicide hotlines.  1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) is a national one that will direct you to your local hotline.

Although I’m sure you don’t feel this way, there are people in your life who love you.  Your family & friends, even your pets, love you more than you realize.  And, God loves you so very much.  When you hurt, He hurts.  Turn to Him, & tell Him how you feel.  He will understand!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Suicidal Tendencies After Narcissistic Abuse

Many people are quick to judge anyone who either is suicidal, has attempted it or has followed through on committing suicide.  It’s such a shame people can be so heartless!

Many people who have survived narcissistic abuse live with depression, & as a result are suicidal.  In fact, many also have developed C-PTSD or PTSD as a result of the abuse, & depression & suicidal ideation are symptoms of both dreadful disorders. The judgmental attitudes of others make this awful situation even more painful.  People readily accuse suicidal people of being selfish, weak, wanting to take the easy way out or seeking attention.  Others say it’s a sin that God won’t forgive, so if they do it, they’ll go to Hell.

This is horrible & it shouldn’t be, but sadly not a lot of people have much compassion or are able to see things from another’s perspective.  Feeling suicidal isn’t exactly the walk in the park many people think it is.  It’s a dismal, depressing place where you believe the only means of escape is death.  It doesn’t sound like a bad choice- your pain will be over, you’ll have no more misery of this life & it’s not like anyone would care if you’re gone anyway.  (At least that is how you feel.  That doesn’t mean it’s the truth however!)

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, the last thing that person needs is to be lectured or judged.  The person instead needs a great deal of compassion, empathy & love.  They need to know that their presence makes a difference, & they would be greatly missed if they died.  They also need to know that you are willing to help them through this dark patch.  Make sure this person knows that you love her, are willing to pray with & for her, listen to her without judgment & are willing to do whatever you can do to help.

If you are the one who is suicidal, please know that you are here on this Earth at this time for a reason.  If you don’t know what that purpose is, ask God to show you.  Also follow your passion- that is where your calling(s) lie.  Although it probably doesn’t feel like it at this time, there are people who love you & would be devastated if you were no longer around.  You make a difference to many people.  Please remember that losing you would hurt them terribly, & you don’t want to do that.

There is a way out.  God.  Pour your heart out to Him- He loves you & wants to help you.  Let Him pour His love out on you & comfort you.  Spend time alone in His presence sharing your most intimate feelings- He will help you come out of that dark place!  Remember Psalm 23:4 “Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.” (AMP)  God is with you, even in this dark place, taking care of you!  I know this may sound trite to you, but please believe me- it is very true.  I’ve been suicidal many, many times in my life, so I have plenty of experience on this subject.  God has been the only thing that has helped me during the darkest of times.  If He helped me, He will help you too.  All you need to do is ask..

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Some Thoughts On Suicide

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

 

A little while ago, I read about Brittany Maynard, the termanilly ill young woman who chose assisted suicide.  Something popped into my mind..

 

It is amazing that people are calling her brave & strong & other such positive things, yet if someone who lives with depression, PTSD/C-PTSD or another mental illness commits suicide, they are labeled such terrible things as selfish or cowardly.  I don’t understand what the difference is.

 

First off, I just want to say that I am not passing any judgement on Ms. Maynard.  Honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same in her situation.  No one knows what they would do unless in the situation.  What I am saying is what makes people call her brave for opting to end her life rather than face the pain & suffering of a horrible disease, yet label someone who is depressed enough to want to end their suffering through suicide is a selfish coward?  Neither person wants to suffer any longer.  Both are tired of the pain.

 

It just breaks my heart, the lack of empathy & compassion in the world.  They also seem to be very selective on the rare occasion they do show up.  In fact, there is a line in the movie, “John Q” that comes to my mind often.  If you don’t know the movie, it is a great one!  Denzel Washington plays the father of a young boy in need of a heart transplant.  He & his wife don’t have proper insurance to cover the procedure, & he holds several people hostage in the hospital out of desperation.  The police are called in to try to talk him into releasing the hostages safely.  The negotiator, played by Robert Duvall, tells him, “Do you think these people (the crowd & tv crews) really care?  You’re just the cause of the moment!”  That statement is so true!  People are so fickle!  They may support a cause passionately, but as soon as something else comes up, the first cause will be abandoned.

 

Anyway, back to the original topic.  Choosing to end one’s life isn’t selfish or cowardly.  it simply means someone is tired of pain & wants to avoid further suffering.  It also doesn’t mean that person is weak.  Any person can only handle so much suffering before wanting an end to it.  I  urge you  to have compassion on those who are considering suicide rather than pass judgement.  If you know someone is suicidal, talk to her! Show her gentleness, love  & understanding.  Maybe all she needs to know is that someone cares.  Maybe showing her that you care will help her to choose not to take her  life.

 

If it’s you that is contemplating suicide, please know I understand what you are going through!  I’m so sorry that you are in such a terrible place!  Please reach out to someone for help- a non-judgmental friend or relative , your pastor, a counselor or even the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.   Most of all, reach out to God!  Tell Him how you feel, & allow Him to help you.  The world would not be the same place without you!  You are a special, unique person & the world needs you!  Please think very carefully & reach out for help before doing anything rash!  xoxo

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

What Happened To Empathy And Compassion??

I read something very disturbing on facebook this morning.  It was triggering for me, so read on with caution…

One of my friends on there is the daughter of a very precious friend of mine who passed away a few years ago.  This morning, she posted that her brother just committed suicide.  He hung himself with his belt.  She later wrote that their father would beat them as children with his belt, & he was always depressed.  This poor young man must have had a very difficult life.

As if this fact wasn’t tragic enough, some of the responses she got infuriated me.  People told stories of someone they knew who took their own life, or said how sad this made them.  One responder even called her brother selfish for doing this.

Selfish?  Really?  Obviously this person has absolutely no idea what it’s like to be suicidal.

To be suicidal is to be in the most lonely, depressing place imaginable with no signs of escape or that anyone cares you are there.  You believe suicide will end your suffering, & end the burden you place on your loved ones.  Logically, it seems like suicide is the only means of making things better.  After all, you rationalize, it’s not like anyone would care if you were gone anyway, & they might just be relieved not to have to deal with you anymore.  You honestly believe you are doing the world, especially those you love, a favor by killing yourself.  There is nothing selfish or cowardly about suicide.

Living with C-PTSD, I think about it often.  In fact, I have for most of my life.  Thankfully, I’m aware that suicidal ideation is a normal part of this awful disorder, so I won’t follow through with my thoughts.

Being suicidal is the worst feeling in the world, I believe. Then to have this young man’s suicide brushed off as if it was a stupid, selfish action like gambling away rent money, or something to be compared to others’ situations infuriated me. I realize in difficult situations, most people don’t know what to say.  Rather than admit that simple fact, they often end up saying something ignorant, stupid or extremely hurtful. The truth is, however, most people would rather hear something like, “I’m so sorry that happened to you. I don’t know what to say about it, but if you need me, I’m here for you.” than to hear some anecdote, how much worse someone else has it, or even “You should be glad his suffering is over now & he’s in a better place.”  Comments like this are extremely painful!  How would you like to hear that you should be glad your loved one who died yesterday is gone?  Wouldn’t that hurt you?  Then it will hurt someone else too!

Please just think about what you say to someone in time of suffering before you speak!  Don’t just blurt out cliches,because they come across as hurtful & insensitive.  The last thing someone in a dark place needs to hear is something  that will hurt them.  Offer to listen, to pray with & for that person, to handle some chores they need done, to run errands for them or even cook for them.  Encourage them to grieve- there is no other way to come to grips with a loss other than to go through the grief process, no matter how long  it takes.  Use common sense when dealing with people who are suffering- if it would hurt you if someone said or did something to you, then it will hurt them too, so just don’t do it!

And, when it comes to someone who has killed himself, please don’t judge!  You have no idea what went on in that person’s mind to push him over the edge.  You don’t know what happened in his life, or how things affected him. You have absolutely no right to judge or criticize that person!

I really hope this post doesn’t sound like my friend’s tragedy was simple fodder for my blog. That certainly isn’t the intent. I just want people to think before they comment on situation involving someone they care about.  Suicide is a topic near to my heart as well, & having been called selfish as well, hearing another person called selfish who not only considered suicide but followed through breaks my heart.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health