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#MythBustingMondays – Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem

When you say this, vulnerable populations hear “permanent solution.”

Implying suicide is a cop out is a lazy and a flip comment from a limited point of view. We say it to try to make sense of something we don’t fully understand. It dismisses the fact that the thoughts, for many, can be pervasive. The intense, irrational part when someone is in danger of following through is temporary.

But when someone completes a suicide, we don’t always know how many times someone has suffered through it or what trauma, mental illness, or life event may have triggered it. Over time, they can be difficult to fight and wear someone down. I know for Charles, those episodes were unbearable and frequent and his sleep disorder exacerbated his isolation and pain.

I have struggled to put myself in the shoes of someone who is plagued by these thoughts and try to think of it from that point of view to understand them. This site and the contributions from many with lived experience have helped although I know it’s not the same as having to endure them. Fortunately, I don’t.

Charles fought suicide by writing his rap songs. He fought it by hanging pictures on the wall of his family. He constantly surrounded himself with people so he wouldn’t be alone and tempted to follow through when the thoughts struck. He did all of this for years starting in middle school and the drugs he did were a desperate attempt to cope with those thoughts because he didn’t know what else to do.

Saying that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” further stigmatizes and marginalizes an already misunderstood concept and a population of people who fight for their own lives with little support and a lot of judgment. It’s a myth that fails to honor the courage of those who are fighting for their lives.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “#MythBustingMondays – Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”

  1. I truly feel like has no meaning. I wonder why I can’t take the place of someone else who died, especially someone young who barely had a chance to be an adult. I’m now 49yo. I’ve lived enough. The constant battle in my head is all consuming at times. Unless you’ve lived with it, people think it’s self pity.

    1. I am sorry you live with this but it’s not sympathy, it’s empathy. People who battle these thoughts are the bravest people I know. And after grieving the death of my son by suicide I can understand that relentless feeling of pain although my brain does not turn on me and try to tell me I am worthless.

      It really is a health issue and not a weakness. And those who have it often have some other gift that makes my jaw drop. I don’t know why the demon would come with the gift but it seems to.

  2. No one would call cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, “temporary”. When are people going to learn that mental illness is a disease, and often a terminal one.

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