Recently, a friend called me distraught to tell me that her co-worker had committed suicide. He said, “I cannot believe it! She was young, successful, beautiful, and cheerful, had a husband who loved her, a six-year-old child who was her adoration; she had just been offered a very good job in a multinational company. A person like that does not commit suicide. How could she do that?” Did she not think of her husband or her daughter?” After listening to him for a while, when I saw he was calmer, I asked: What do you think is the type of person who commits suicide? He said, “The person who is depressed, lonely, with serious financial problems, who has problems with a partner or addictions, or who have a terminal illness.” I said, yes, it is true, that is the usual. But it is a myth to believe that people who seem to have it all do not commit suicide. Many are the variables that can lead a person to commit suicide. What for one is insignificant to another can be catastrophic.
In the history of mankind, there have been people who are successful, glossy, have a stable and harmonious marriage, economically prosperous, with defined goals and objectives, with a good life, etc.. People who seemingly have everything and they have committed suicide. When suffering from emotional illness, things are perceived differently, external achievements lose their importance and there is a melancholy that covers everything. There is a deep sadness. There is no happiness … And so the person is entering in her own world, and her only comfort is the illusion of her own death … the hope of eternal rest.
While it is true that most people have thought about suicide, at some point in their lives, it is also true that many dismiss this idea, realizing that “it is a permanent decision for a temporary situation.” But for the person who is in crisis, who is not emotionally well, even this fact generates more stress. He decides to commit suicide, despite his beauty, success, property or status, because he cannot bear any more pain or more pressure and believes that he will never get better. It is also common for him to think that the world will be better without him.
The person with suicidal ideation (desires and thoughts, and, sometimes even a plan to commit a suicidal act), is so overloaded with emotions that block clear thinking. He can be angry with the world, believes his state of anxiety or depression is permanent, loses hope and feels trapped; he does not see a way out and cannot imagine a future life without pain. There are also cases where the person feels ashamed of confessing to others about their depression or suicidal ideation. And this is so because they don’t want to be seen as weak, they don’t want to be judged or they don’t want somebody to prevent their plan. All this may further isolate the person and make him feel more alone.
This constant frustration toward his situation increases suffering. He gives up and starts planning his own death — “no one suspected.” Until one day the phone rings and we hear the bad news ….
Although suicide may be the result of careful planning or an impulsive act, the vast majority of the time people give signals, direct or indirect, about their intention These are one way of seeking help. Always be alert to that communication. Suicide can be prevented in many situations and it is therefore important to educate ourselves on what can be considered a warning sign.
- The American Association of Suicide presents this list:
- Talking about dying.
- Finding ways to kill, for example on the internet, or buying a gun.
- Saying that there is no hope or reason to live.
- Saying that you feel trapped or are suffering terribly.
- Saying she feels she is a burden to others.
- Using drugs or drinking more than before.
- Demonstrating anxiety, agitation or reckless acts.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
- Acting or speaking angrily of revenge.
- Changing moods
If you suspect that a loved one is thinking of or planning to commit suicide, seek psychological help IMMEDIATELY. Watch for these signs that may save a life. Do not lecture; what the person needs is company and proper treatment. Remember, even the person who seems to have a life without problems may commit suicide.