Imagine the pain you must be feeling if you are considering committing suicide. Killing yourself may seem the only solution to your problems, now. But since suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, why not consider taking a step back and waiting at least 24 hours or a week before taking that decision? During this time, you can learn more about the possible causes of your feelings, the consequences of your actions and find out about a treatment that might help you. “Killing a human being is not an easy task, even if you do it to yourself ” says Paul G. Quinnett, Clinical Psychologist. Once you do it, there is no way back.
Suicidal thoughts can come when you are experiencing loneliness for a long time; when you have lots of stress, depression, anger and hopelessness; when you have been struggling and seeking help but can’t find a solution; when you feel you have nowhere to run and no one to turn to for help. When you feel ovewhelmed by your situation, it is understandable that you lose hope. You abandon everything and stop fighting, and you can fall into a sense of failure and unhappiness.
When a wound is followed by another wound, the present becomes like an endless pain and the person is entering into a state of mind something like in a reverie, feeling less and less part of their environment. She feels hopeless, losing her balance and entering into a bitter present and a future without hope. She goes numb, eventually ceasing to seek help and enters into a “suicidal trance”. Suicide becomes the only hope or solution to end the pain.
At this juncture, there is no hope. No one can help; there is no sense of humor, patience or perspective. The pain is so great that the only way to deal with it is by not feeling it. The emotional, physical and mental system, “shuts off” and the person ends up living in an empty body, like in a shell. In other words, what happens when somebody starts thinking of suicide is that the pain is greater than the resources or tools she has to handle it.
You may think: “Once I am dead, there’s nothing that will continue to bother me. No matter how much pain I have, pain will stop when I stop breathing. I am tired.” It may be true — the pain may pass. But it seems that when you are dead, you will not feel the relief you are looking for. Some experts in “life after death” argue that the person takes the pain with them.
You also may say, “You are not in my shoes. You do not know how I am feeling.” It’s true, I’m not. But I’vebeen with other peoplewho have been “there”and took timebefore attempting suicide and looked for help, and they began to find meaning in theirlife, again. I also have been with people who have triedtocommit suicide and failed. After receiving help, they understood it was an impulsive act. The concern was not worth their life.
It is important to understand: the fact that you want tokill yourselfdoes not mean younecessarilyhave todo it. Rememberthe feelingand the action aretwo different things.What may beillogicalabout your decisionis thinkingthat there are only twosolutions toyour problem — you might not have thought of athird option.Remember,the only person whodecides, “If life does not improve, I will kill myself”isyou.
When a person makes the decision to commit suicide, it may be because she has so much pain and thinks the problem will last a lifetime. It is true, there will be situations that will be permanent, such as the death of a loved one or a disease, but the way one feels about the situation can change.
As I mentioned, there are many reasons that can lead a person to want to commit suicide: a long experience of loneliness, lots of stress, depression, anger and hopelessness. There are people who have difficulty being alone. They feel empty, incomplete. Being with others gives meaning to their lives. Once you begin to value yourself and discover what it means to you to be alone, you will realize that loneliness is not what scares you. It is the fear of being abandoned. You can heal that emptiness and develop healthy relationships.
Depression may be one of the causes of suicidal thoughts. This can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the body or can be hereditary. When a person is depressed, small things become overwhelming. The things one used to enjoy do not make sense any more, because nothing matters. Depression can come after a significant loss.
Unfortunatelly, like it or not, life is full of losses; we lose our loved one, our health, our money. All of the above are significant things in our lives, and often depression is just a normal reaction to a significant loss — the body just needs time to recover. Depression may disappear with antidepressants, along with, in some cases, intensive psychotherapy, diet and exercise.
Sometimes behind depression, there is a great amount of rage — rage that you were unable to express and it becames self-injury. Then, before you decide to kill yourself to show someone how angry you are with them, remember, once you are dead, they go on living, but you will not. Perhaps now you can’t see it, but there are different and better ways to express your anger than self-injury. Many people who are thinking of comitting suicide believe that if they can’t control what is happening in their life, at least they can control how and when to die.
Another cause of suicide can be a high level of stress. Stress can be associated with change; each change needs time to adapt. When we have many dramatic and unwanted changes in a short period of time and our nervous system gets overloaded, you can have a sense of losing control. This feeling can be overwhelming.
I have seen that sometimes the person does not necessarily want to die, they just have more pain than they can handle and manage, for now. Paul G. Quinnett says:”If I start to put bricks on your shoulders, you eventually collapse, no matter how much you want to stand. Willpower has nothing to do with this feeling.”
If you have had a frustrating situation that caused you immense pain and you are feeling anesthetized, it is your nervous system that shut off, leaving you feeling numb. How do you protect yourself and prevent the experience of more pain? Emotional numbness can be painful.
Hopelessness can also lead to state of learned helplessness, where nothing matters. There is no hope for a better future. Without hope, you stop seeking possibilities. When you have had traumatic and painful experiences or have lived with prolonged stress for a long time, it is normal to dwell in helplessness. Hope is essential; it is the fuel that gives us the strength to continue looking for options, and to expand our range of possibilities. Hope cannot be always be passed from one person to another by a single contact; it takes time to have hope back in your life, but, remember, with the proper treatment you can regain hope.
If you decide to commit suicide, it will affect your loved ones. You may say you do not care, but I just want you to remember, once you commit suicide, nothing will be the same for them. If you have children, you are setting an example for them. Eventually, when they feel overwhelmed, they may do the same. Do you want this for them? They may say, “If my father, mother, uncle, brother, did it, why not do it, myself?” Find out whether others in your family have commited suicide. Probably, this has happened before and it leaves a mark that will repeated from generation to generation.
I want you to be aware, there is a chance you will not suceed in your attempt. There are people who tried to commit suicide but did not succed, someone or something saved them or the method they used did not work. The more you want to do it, the more you will hurt your body. If you wake up alive you may have suffered irreversible damage. For instance, there are people who took an overdose of pills; they did not die, but they were left with brain damage, a coma, or respiratory problems. Others jump off a bridge and end up in a wheelchair.
Although this sounds cruel, it is a reality: there is a chance you will not succeed. Sure, there are people who commit suicide in the first attempt and some people having been “unsuccessful”, try it, again. When someone is determined to do so, you cannot prevent him from doing it, despite treatment or the desire of others for him to live.
If you decide not to act now, do not try to get out of your depression alone. You already have too big a load. Seek psychiatric and psychological help. With antidepressants, diet, exercise and intensive therapy, you can get out of this bad time that you are experiencing. If you do not know a psychologist, ask a doctor or a friend to refer you. Do not stop looking until you find a psychotherapist with whom you feel comfortable and heard. Find a psychologist who has experience in trauma. Remember that suicide is a permanent decision to a temporary problem.