Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Suicide. My Understanding
One of the strongest taboos in our society is suicide- I've heard that ministers do not want to preside over the funerals, and families do not want to discuss it with outsiders... I admit, my faith prevented me from investigating suicide because I thought it was bad. I never attempted suicide however, I felt like my illness could have made me a victim of it. I am not so judgmental about individuals who attempt suicide. Now, I have a different perspective on suicide, here's why:
Since my diagnosis of schizophrenia I have encountered people of diverse backgrounds- careers, families, faith, and experiences with mental illness, etc. Having a mental illness was my beginning of not being as naive as before about life experiences, and ignorant of understanding our differences. Like being diagnosed with mental illness, the suicide attempt of my family member came unexpectedly to me. When I found out about it I was overwhelmed with a range of emotions- disbelief, guilt, grief, helplessness, and relief that the attempt was not effective. The cause of the suicide attempt was worry over finances, regrets, guilt, and a pessimistic way of thinking. My family member was diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants, which they took, and currently, no longer need. They are striving to work on their finances, forgive them self, and to change their thinking patterns.
A peer who is also living with mental illness described the way of suicide to me- it is like having a broken leg on top of a deserted mountain without help, and longing to end the pain. In other words, suicide for some may be the only way to end their tormenting mind and symptoms. After they described it to me like this I felt like I had a better understanding of suicide for people living with mental illness.
Before I was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia, and psychotic, I felt like the devil was communicating with me through the television and radio, encouraging me to commit suicide- I was frightened, worried, and afraid for my life. I believe receiving the diagnosis when I did saved my life! I do not know if I could have continued to fight against the devil's forces which seemed persistent. Despite the messages, I did not attempt suicide. However, I am concerned about peers who struggle with suicidal messages from the voices and other forces, and thoughts. My heart goes out to my peers who are struggling with suicide.
I hope my thoughts on suicide made you consider people with mental illness who attempt and commit it with more sympathy. Suicidal thoughts, plans, and comments should be taken seriously and addressed by a professional. Here is a first step to getting help for yourself or a loved one, call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
How do you feel about suicide? Why- your faith, upbringing, experience, research, etc. (if you would like to respond, but feel uncomfortable please comment anonymously- your feedback could help someone)