He promised not to attempt suicide again

This is an impossible and un-keepable promise.

I remember talking to a friend of Charles’ who had attempted suicide and saying something like this. When we say, “Don’t do that again,” we think it lets the other person know how much we care.

We want them to guarantee they won’t hurt or scare us again and we can’t imagine life without them and want them to know that. We hope we are communicating we’d miss them when they are gone. But I think the person to whom I said it felt shamed at a point when she already felt that … Read more...

What is suicidal thinking?

Suicidal thinking is a brain attack that causes an irrational episode of emotional pain so great, that people who suffer from the thoughts think that death is the only option. They think they are worthless and that your life would be better without them.

That moment comes on with extreme intensity and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours but a typical timeframe would be twenty minutes.

In that moment of unbearable pain, the sufferer’s brain betrays them and tells them the only way out is to kill themselves which, of course, is not the case. But … Read more...

Suicide is not an act of selfishness

suicide

Thinking it’s an act of selfishness is a lack of understanding of what suicide is.

Even before Charles died by suicide, I did not subscribe to the “selfish” notion. I even remember him walking into my office and telling me that a friend’s dad had died by suicide and Charles said he thought it was selfish.

Then he asked what I thought.

Now I’m not sure whether he actually thought it was selfish or was testing me. Seeing what I thought. I don’t know that I will ever know for sure. My gut tells me he wanted to know whether … Read more...

She’s just trying to get attention

attentionseek

“She took all those pills just to get attention.”

“You know that phone call was just a cry for help.”

I have heard these phrases frequently as it relates to suicide attempts over the last few years.

Please never make the mistake of writing off a suicide attempt as “attention seeking.” Because a second attempt has a higher potential of completion.

What about when people are crying out for help? Then yes. That’s exactly what they are trying to get.

Attention.

How else do you get help? And why do we make asking for attention or crying for help such … Read more...