“Death Meant No More Suffering”: Suicide Awareness

“I used to wake up sad every day that I was alive because the previous night I would fall asleep wishing I wouldn’t have to open my eyes again – open my eyes to the world; to the pain that was knotted inside of me. I wouldn’t always actively think about killing myself, but if I were to be hit by a car or to just stop breathing, I knew I wouldn’t struggle to stay alive. I’ve always loved my friends and family, but I never felt like they would ever understand the way I felt. I was too afraid to tell them that I was suicidal, so I hid it until it boiled up inside of me. Smiles from a stranger, kindness from a friend – little things like that unknowingly helped me survive when I felt undoubtedly alone in the world, alone with my suffering. I tried repressing my negative thoughts, but never succeeded. I couldn’t bring myself to see my friends, or get out of bed. I just wanted to disappear and to stop living. You can have the brightest education, wealth, and the best of friends and social support, but still feel totally alone and unloved when you’re feeling suicidal. You’ll feel like a plague to those around you and feel that there’s no other way out from what’s eating you alive, but death. When my world was crashing before me, there was always comfort in knowing that being dead meant no more suffering.” – Anonymous

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death.  

“I don’t want to live anymore.”

“There is nothing to live for.”

“People will be better off without me.”

Often misunderstood as an act of selfishness or a cry for attention, suicide is one of the most stigmatized aspects of mental illness that is too complex to be attributed to one single cause. Not every person who has experienced suicidal ideology or even attempted suicide has a diagnosable mental disorder, and not everyone with a mental disorder will attempt and/or consider suicide. Suicide often occurs with the onset of and battle against tremendous, excruciating, and unbearable emotional pain. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, despair, and sadness overwhelm the individual regardless of their situational circumstances. Whatever financial status, gender, or sexuality, anyone can be susceptible to suicide.

Suicide is often seen as an escape from the relentless emotional suffering an individual endures, and it isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness. Everyone’s experiences are subjective, and though one individual who has experienced a loss in their life never considered suicide, another individual who experiences a similar loss might.

We give attention to physical illnesses – to broken bones and to cancer, for example. We know that they’re often irreversible or incurable if not treated, and in some cases that they’re fatal. Why don’t we do the same with mental illness and with suicide? Why do we shun and hide from feelings of sadness as if it’s a shameful thing? Nobody wants the kinds of feelings that lead to suicidal ideology, and no one who has experienced them would wish them upon anyone else. More often than not, someone who wants to commit suicide doesn’t actually want to die, but rather just wants to be free of their suffering – and the only way to do that seems to be death. They’re misunderstood and they feel alone in their thoughts, even with the best social support.

Now I’m no specialist or expert in the matter, but it always helps to be knowledgeable on the subject so it doesn’t go misunderstood and stigmatized. No one’s expected to walk on a broken leg, even going to school with a cold can be difficult – now imagine being expected to smile when you’re constantly sad, or to go to school when you’re battling death. Change the idea that suicide is selfish and a sign of weakness, and we’ll be making a huge step towards de-stigmatizing both it and mental illnesses.    

Open your eyes to the importance of being aware of and preventing suicide by watching these quick videos:

“Depression Isn’t Always Obvious,” Buzzfeed - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yq6W7YAHM4

“I Jumped Off the Golden Gate Bridge,” Buzzfeed –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcSUs9iZv-g

 

Sources
1, 2, 3, 4, 5