Pattaya Daily News

01 September 2010 :: 17:09:25 pm 37288

Understanding Someone’s Decision to Commit Suicide

It is difficult for us to understand why a person chooses to end their life through suicide, but sometimes it is because of guilt that lays heavy on their mind or they can see no way out of a situation that has arisen and feel that it would be better if they were no longer around.
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Whatever the reason, it is a personal pain that will not go away and suicide is seen by them to be the only way to escape their suffering, be it through depression, loss or otherwise.  It is estimated that one million people a year ends their own life through suicide.

It is very difficult for the outside world to understand why people would do such a thing. Many may say it is a cowards’ way out, while others may say he/she was either brave, selfish or stupid. Who is to say what is right or wrong for the person who has done the deed.  Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.

For those who succeed in ending their lives, they leave behind pain and confusion for their family and friends who can’t understand where they went wrong, why they weren’t turned to for help, why didn’t they notice there was something wrong.

For the person who has attempted or succeeded in ending their lives, they are sometimes filled with a sense of hopelessness, isolation or simply a feeling of deep depression and many wish they could find a way out, but sometimes, their pride won’t let them ask for the help they so desperately need.

Preventing a suicide starts with being aware of any warning signs, talk of suicide, thoughts and feelings. Talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm usually includes statements such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “I want out,” and “I’d be better off dead.” “there is no way out” or “people will be better off without me”. At times, a person may talk about self harm or scribble little messages about death or dying. Talk of suicide, hopelessness, having no future or their personal feelings should be taken seriously as it is usually a cry for help.  Giving away treasured possessions and putting affairs in order and saying goodbyes in a way as if they are leaving the area for good, can be other signs of suicide.

Just because help is not asked for in a suicidal person, it does not necessarily mean help is not wanted. Some people are just too proud or may not want to burden other people with their problems, but if help and support is offered by friends or family, it is a start down the right road to the doctor or counselor.

Losing someone close, it is natural to feel grief and pain. Immediately after the loss, they may feel anger, sadness and depression. The guilt may be very strong and difficult to shake off. Eventually the feelings do pass, but you need to move through the grief process, forgiveness, acceptance of the loss and peace and arrive at a place of understanding.

Grief is a natural process that we all experience when we lose someone who is important to us which is very difficult to deal with. It can be hard to cope for a long period of time. Everything you do or say, everything you see or hear may remind you of you dear one. You will feel that you may never cope with your grief and continue living.

Guilt may stop you forgiving yourself and tie you to the past. Guilt and conscience is not a bad thing as long as you don’t let it take over your life. People learn guilt from an early life, but often do not learn where the limit of guilt ends and where responsibility kicks in. Regret will allows you to learn and move on whereas guilt will hold you back in the past.

One must determine what is within your responsibility and how to choose to let things go. Stop going over and over things in your mind such as ‘I wish I had done this instead of that or, if only, if only’.

One can never imagine the suffering that a loss of a child can bring. Whether the death was anticipated or not, the suffering and guilt is never easy and the grief is intense. Memories of how full of vitality and life the child was can haunt the bereaved parent.

The impact of a child’s death spreads far and wide, affecting siblings, friends and extended family. Many will describe the grieving as a process and though it is true, it is not easy and support is needed for the grieving parent. Time is a healer, but only if you let it. Grieving for too long can make you ill and depressed.

Many parents who have lost a child naturally feel that they should never feel better, that somehow not constantly grieving for their child is disrespectful or mean they are forgetting about them. The parents want to feel better, but feel bad because they feel better. It can become a vicious circle.

When pain exceeds pain, coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right. It is not a defect of character, it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources.

A person is not bad, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, because they feel suicidal. It doesn’t even mean that they really want to die. It only means that they have more pain than they can cope with right now. If weights are piled on their shoulders, they will eventually collapse if enough weights are added, no matter how much a person wanted to remain standing they would collapse. Willpower is not part of grieving, guilt or feeling suicidal.

People turn to suicide as a relief from pain.

Sarah Goldman

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