I love Headspace. Elektra recently linked me to their Youtube channel so I thought I would share this before going into my topic of today’s blog.
After reading NAMI’s article, I wanted to repost the Myths and post my own take on the “Facts” that they posted. I’m not a health care professional, these are just my own person take on the situation. Please be sure to read the NAMI article for more information.
Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.
Me: I have a mental health condition, but that doesn’t mean that everyone with a mental health condition will feel suicidal.
Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.
Me: I wasn’t even diagnosed with mental health issues until I was 29. By the time I was first hospitalized for a suicide attempt, I had already attempted to take my life three times.
Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.
Me: There are always signs. Sometimes they are very evident. The morning before I made my most recent attempt, I begged my primary care doctor for mental health medications. I told him that I was not doing well and that I needed something. Anything. I was ignored. It’s painful when someone is being subtle in their requests for help. It’s criminal when you’re blatantly seeking assistance and your cries for help go ignored. But sadly, most doctors aren’t able to prescribe meditation for complicated mental health issues. They can give you anti-depressants, but if you have something else like Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, or anything more complicated, you have no choice beyond a Psychiatrist.
Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.
Me: People that try to take their lives are often so wrapped up in their own emotions that they don’t consider the pain that they’re causing someone else. I know from my own personal stance that I’ve always felt that my loved ones will be better off without me in their lives. I see myself as a burden and failure. During my last suicide attempt, I called my ex-husband begging him to come home and help me when I was contemplating taking my life. Our relationship was struggling at the time and he brushed off my words as “attention” seeking. Afterwards, when he forced me to go to the ER, I was stuck there waiting for a bed to open at one of the mental health facilities. The nurse called me selfish and all the women in the ER were doting on my ex-husband for staying by my side the entire time. For even calling out of work to stay with me. Ironic considering he’d been spending more time with his girlfriend earlier that week. When someone’s contemplating taking their life, they’re not taking the easy way out. They’re turning to the option that they see as their only choice. We need to be giving people better resources for coping and opening the door to make reaching out for help easier.
Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.
Me: I covered it in the topic above, but giving people better resources to reach out for help would be the biggest step towards preventing suicide. For some people, talking about food or looking at food does not mean that the person will actually eat said food. If you’re on a diet, you probably don’t want to talk about the unhealthy foods that you aren’t supposed to be eating, but it won’t immediately cause you to eat them. The same goes for talking about suicide. You probably don’t want to leave two suicidal people in a room together when they’re both depressed, but if you’re not struggling with suicide yourself, talking to someone else is not going to cause the suicidal person to do it. When you call a suicide prevention hotline, the individuals there will actually use a lot of techniques similar to DBT to help calm a person down enough to get them into a more reasonable mindset. They don’t fix the issue right then and there, just make it something more manageable and point the caller in a direction that will help them get assistance for the long road ahead.
Personally, my own thoughts concerning suicide can be cut down into a few simple sentences.
- Feeling suicidal doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Terminology for suicide needs to change. Don’t say “commit suicide”. That phrase is now considered offensive because it suggests that doing this is a crime.
- Feeling suicidal also does not mean that you are weak. You just don’t have the right coping mechanisms. Or maybe you don’t have enough of them.
- Suicide is something that stems from your emotions. You are no single emotion. And your emotions are like the weather. You might have a long period of depression (or rainy days), but eventually that will change. You just have to weather through those bad days for the good ones.
Thanks for reading, guys! I’m still trucking away at these topics for this week. This topic is really close to my heart, but also really heavy and hard to juggle so please be patient.