Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
You’ve read the news stories – “She seemed happy…” “He had a scholarship…” “It doesn’t make sense that she would try to kill herself.” Sometimes we want simple answers to complicated issues because we wish to understand. There are no explanations for why a particular individual considers suicide. There are however, common reasons.
One who turns to suicide sees no other option
Suicide is not a normal response to life’s strong emotions. The suicide attempt of one lonely daughter for instance, followed more reasonable efforts at communication that did not produce needed answers. Her father ignored her. She was devastated, and from a place of desperation and great pain, she cried out for his love in the only way she knew how. Did she want to die? I do not know. His response was to admonish her for being childish, and there were more suicide attempts.
In my case, I lost sight of the fact anyone cared. Major depression and false core beliefs convinced me that no one did. If persons assume my suicide attempt was about seeking attention, they would be wrong. I did not believe attention or help was possible. Suicide was the only solution I could grasp.
One who turns to suicide may have a recurring challenge with no satisfactory solution
An alcoholic has tried everything to recover his health, career, and family. He has watched as promising solutions come and go. He now believes failure is imminent and inevitable. He figures people are better off if he is dead.
Addiction, marriage problems, financial challenges – each is only one of myriad examples of recurring troubles that may have been addressed repeatedly without lasting success. Eventually, doubts arise over whether one’s needs will ever be met.
Defeatism and hopelessness are like siblings fighting over a piece of cake. They behave similarly, and the results are the same – the piece of cake is destroyed. A person lost in defeatism may lose hope, and at some point become suicidal. When all other efforts have failed, suicide may falsely appear as the only way out.
Most often, suicide is impulsive – a perceived end to pain.
Rarely does a suicide victim plot and plan without dropping hints of some kind. So if you are wondering how a person who seems to have everything could take his or her life, it is because he or she did not have everything. Psychologically or cognitively, they did not have a definable solution to whatever caused them pain.
Comments are always welcome. NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.