Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Opening a can of worms, possibly. Let’s talk suicide, honestly. This article contains information and literature based on the subject of suicide. My work has always been straight to the point, and this may upset some of our readers. Please be aware that no offense or harm is intended. The subject of suicide is one I am familiar with in every sense. My empathy and good will have been invested into this article, so please be aware of a potential trigger.
What does the world think?
It's the elephant in the room. The great taboo of today’s society.
It's a subject which has divided the opinions of many, scared most, affected millions, and still lingers to cause more chaos.
The official definition highlights the action as taking one's life, plain and simple. There has been a huge divide in the outlook on suicide for years, including the views from all cultures and racial variety. For example, in many parts of the world, the act of suicide is considered a "sinful" act, and in some places, actually a crime. Well, I’m not here to discuss the politics of it all now.
The heartfelt empathy that we, as human beings, should be more than capable of providing has near enough been stripped from the topic of suicide. This is for everybody who is feeling it. Living it. Dreading it. That soul-wrenching pull of despair that is the battle against suicidal thoughts. And let's be honest, it's so easy to become clinically depressed in the life of today. No matter who you are, or what you do, there is always someone out there to point the finger. Some will do everything in their power to tear you down. I'll never know why. One day bleeds into the next, the same routine rotates on the calendar, and before you know it, a year has passed and you can barely recall what you did yesterday. It's depressing, robotic, and an absolute mission to find the flicker of light that still sparks somewhere in those passing days.
Let’s look a little deeper at this subject.
Firstly, I wanted to get a better understanding of how the people of the world view suicide. Of course, I started with social media; a simple Facebook post with the question to be answered: "Is suicide selfish?" It came to my knowledge very quickly that 80 percent of those that answered were passionate that suicide was a selfish act. This saddened me quite a bit. The most prominent reason behind the view was that by committing suicide, the individual leaves behind a great deal of pain and sorrow to those in their life. Some of the points supporting this were effective I’ll admit, but seemed to completely diminish the feelings of the suicidal person. Once again, it became about everybody else, and the person was blamed for causing trauma to others. In separate cases, it was discussed that suicide could be deemed selfish as a matter of circumstance. For example, one subject said that a person with dependant children taking their own life would be a selfish act. Another spoke out explaining that if a person was terminally ill, regardless of family or children, it would not be deemed selfish to take one's life. Amazing, right? How a physical illness is classed as more than plausible cause to end the pain, but a mental illness causing horrendous quality of life is not a valid reason. It still astounds me to this day that an illness of the mind is considered less of a problem than a visible illness.
So, there we have it. I believe a huge impacting factor towards the sincerity of suicidal thoughts is the impending guilt and shame that comes with them. If 80 percent of people in a simple Facebook study confirm suicide to be selfish, what kind of crowd do we face with the rest of the world? The brief mention of the intention to end it all is enough to roll a few eyes. With such lack of support and empathy, it really is no wonder that so many are falling into the spiralling pool of depression. When there is no way out, no clear sign of help or ever recovering from such a horrific state, the idea of ending it all doesn’t look so bad. So why is it, as a society, as human beings, we still look to call suicide selfish?
It can feel like a bear trap. If you voice the fact that you are feeling suicidal, it’s a risk. You risk the negative reaction of people around you, the potential interference of mental institutes; the all around guilt and shame that lingers in the air after the words are spilled into it.
Without support, there really is no hope. And honestly, it’s an absolute blessing to find people today that will lift you up, assist you, and care for you. The world is full of judgement now, but I’m here to tear it all apart.
Suicide is NOT selfish, and you have absolutely nothing to apologise for.
Dealing With Suicidal Thoughts
To be totally honest, I think most people in life have, at some stage, experienced the thought of taking their own lives. Or at least, descended to an incredibly low point in which ending it all wasn’t the worst idea. I envy those with the mental strength, or even the comfort in life to have never suffered those fleeting thoughts. But, as with everything, there is a turning point in which ideas become desires. Such a strong need to end one's life, or perhaps just to relieve themselves of the pain they are going through, is an endless and exhausting cycle. No one wants to feel that way, and in my belief, chooses to endure that depth of depression. It is a godawful state in which the world becomes lacking in colour and life; it’s all a grey area that cannot be escaped. Without the right support, the right people, the right way, the idea of recovery is few and far fetched.
The concept of suicide elopes one human need: escape. The freedom from pain, guilt, shame, endless torment endured from one's own mind. You cannot escape yourself. You can only fight the demons dwelling in your mind and strive for a new way of thinking. I truly believe that 90 percent of suicide cases are a product of loneliness. Without good people around you, how can you possibly want to carry on? Judgement and belittling behaviour only withdraws the hope from life, from humanity itself. I myself, have considered suicide at many points in my life; sadly, I do not believe the people that surrounded me pulled me out from the hole I was trapped in. I did it myself. I was proclaimed as an attention seeker, a drama queen and the worst of it, “ungrateful” for the life I had. Well newsflash, the life I had for me was not worth living, and the fact that I had very limited support around me just made my desire to sleep forever even stronger. Why is it that even now, people are still blamed for feeling hopeless? My mission in life is to ensure that as many people I can possibly make contact with, never have to face the lows I have. I never want to know of anyone suffering from their own minds the way I did, and even now, still lose the odd battle to.
What can you do if you are suicidal?
As always with my articles, these are passages of my own personal thoughts and coping mechanisms. There are, of course, professional methods available, but by providing an honest account of my own survival of mental illness, I hope deeply to help others who need that understanding from a fellow sufferer.
Let go of the past. I know, it's cliché and so much easier to voice than it is to act. But believe me, holding onto the regrets and sadness will destroy one thing and one thing alone: yourself. Do you think those bullies at school sit there and think about how they treated you? Likely not. Do not give any negative influence in your life another precious second of your thoughts or energy. I like to consider those fleeting thoughts as arrows, shot into our minds without warning or consent. Catch that arrow, that horrendous drowning imagery painted into your subconscious and hold it there. Tell yourself: "No, I will not pay that thought any of my attention. I did not welcome it, and it will not stay." Break that arrow into a clean half and burn it. This will take some time to master, but after months of practice, I have gotten it down to a T.
Seek help, if you haven’t already. Shake off the shame and the guilt, for you have nothing to blame yourself for. Trust your friends and family. Find a group online where I am sure, so many others are waiting to assist you in your uprising. As I have said in every article, it is such a strange comfort to know you are not alone in your suffering. If you feel a therapist or medication is needed, please, go for it. And if you are lacking the motivation or drive to do so, ask a friend for some help in reaching out to the professionals.
“Hope; it’s the only thing stronger than fear.” This is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books, The Hunger Games. This is a splinter of positive energy that sets me on fire again when my flame is becoming dim. Find that piece of hope and cling to it. Life is extraordinary; things can change so suddenly. This can be a daunting thought, but imagine how it would feel to finally have some true happiness come your way. And you will receive it. All you need to do is hope. Whether it’s your child, a group of friends, or a precious book, put that piece of hope on a pedestal and keep it there. You are a human being; you are capable of so much. You are worthy of love, happiness, and support as much as anybody else on this planet.
Believe in yourself. There was a point in your life in which you were not suicidal, and you can get right back to that place. Removing negativity from the outside world and loving, supporting, and motivating yourself will literally save your life. Suicide is NOT the coward's way out, but it is the end. And you are far too strong a soul to allow darkening powers of the mind to keep you in those chains. Your mind, thoughts, and feelings can be yours to control, and with time and dedication, you will get to a point of total peace. Knowing who you are, accepting that not everybody on this planet will accept you, is just phase one.
If the people in your life aren’t providing you with the support and acceptance you need, get rid of them. Start again. Find happiness in the small things. Approach the idea that every soul out there carries its own demons, and however they may choose to let them out isn’t your problem. There isn’t now, or ever will be, another person who is you; harness your strengths, weaknesses, every little trait about the person you are and own it. Those who matter won’t mind, and those who mind won’t matter.
What can you do if someone you love is suicidal?
Well first of all, you’re on the right track. Just by reading this article proves you are invested in helping your loved one; research is the best insight and with knowledge comes power. None of us are perfect. We don’t have the answers. But sometimes, it’s not about fixing the situation, but having and showing the dedication to fix it. A little bit of love can have such a huge impact of anything it touches.
- Acceptance. Fully embrace the fact that your loved one is suffering to a point in which they cannot fight it any longer. This can be daunting, as denial is a much easier method for us to cope with. But it doesn’t help them, and it won’t do us any good. Understand that it will not be an overnight fix; a lot of work, patience, tolerance, and support is essential to bring your loved one back into the light. It’s okay to get stressed, emotional, exhausted, upset, and even hopeless. It isn’t easy for anybody, but by investing your love and power into that person, you will both know that you gave it your all. And just maybe, your loved one will notice your efforts and embrace the idea that they are worth it.
- Help. Seek it. Take it. You will need it. Make sure the people in your little army are sharing the same goal as you are to get your loved one back to a healthy state of mind. Negativity must be eradicated. There is simply no room for it. Whether it be professional assistance, friends, or family, please ensure they deliver the same compassion and understanding as you do. Be there for each other when all seems lost, create a solid foundation of love and support for your loved one, and you cannot go wrong.
- Do not see your loved one as any less of a person. They may not be themselves, possibly behaving in a very different manor to their usual ways, but they are still harbouring the same soul. Try not to undermined them, their decisions or their feelings. Having a suicidal state of mind is not a childlike one; respect them as adults and ensure they are given the freedom to act and choose as they please.
- Worst case scenario. If your loved one has reached a frantic state, threatening immediate suicide or self harming, please call for professional help. It can be such a hard and painful decision, but getting them the right help can make all the difference. At first, it will feel like a betrayal. Your loved one will more than likely resist, as having been on the other side of professional help, I know can be worrying and frightening. Given the correct compassionate understanding from nurses/police/ambulance crews, you will have prevented a possibly tragic and irreversible choice made by your loved one.
Suicide is NOT a crime. Suicide is NOT selfish. Having suicidal thoughts, however, should be treated in the earliest stages without judgement or negativity. The pressures of life have a direct impact on all of us, and a good percentage of people today are struggling in more ways than one. Some of us are more sensitive to hardship. Some of us cannot control the voices, the thoughts, or even the behaviours that come with depressive states. I ask the world to be kind. I ask everyone suffering to remain strong; you can achieve your peace. You deserve happiness; asking for help to reach it is no failure.
For all of my warriors, the world is not always what we would like it to be, but you have the strength to be exactly what you want to be. You are worthy. You are loved.