Suicide is one of the subjects that people find very difficult to talk about both in private and in public.
It is one of our greatest social taboos often covered in shame and guilt.
Families, friends, colleagues and health professionals generally don’t know what to say to you and are afraid whatever they say may provoke a suicide attempt.
If you have attempted suicide or are thinking about suicide, you may be really confused. Your emotions have taken over and you may be unable to look forward in your life positively.
Everything in the future may seem foreboding, hopeless, scary and you cannot see a way to go forward.
You may have feelings of deep depression as if someone is crushing your head; or you are so anxious you can’t breathe.
Perhaps you just don’t think you deserve to live and you are profoundly angry with life, other people and fate.
Life at times is really tough, disappointing and horrible for all of us. If you are contemplating suicide, that disappointment can seem magnified by 10 to 100 times.
This is what I call the “suicide crisis”.
It does not mean you are mentally ill but you have entered into an emotional crisis that has initiated an emotional overload. Your emotions have taken over your brain and you cannot think well.
Normally in everyday life we create possible positive futures for ourselves inside our minds.
During the suicide crisis your ability to positively future-pace your life has been blocked by the out-of-control emotions and your brain just isn’t working well at that time.
It’s physiological as well as mental and emotional.
It could happen to any of us at any time in our life when something causes us to be totally overwhelmed and lost.
In most countries it is perfectly legal to suicide as a human right but most suicides are avoidable with the right kind of help to get you to move on from the suicide crisis and get your brain working well again.
Faced with suicidal patients, most healthcare professionals will reach for the prescription pad within the first five minutes and advise anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.
While these may work for some people, research suggests it may make some patients more susceptible to suicide.
What we know is that therapy often helps.
To be able to talk about your issues and emotions in private, without judgement, is cathartic. It allows you to let them out in a safe therapeutic environment.
Also, as a therapist, I am paying you real attention and truly considering your well-being. Your happiness and well-being is important to us.
If you cannot afford a therapist, talking to a GP, community leader, guru, priest or spiritual teacher can also help.
Just keeping it all inside only maintains the suicide crisis. Despite how awful you may think life has become, there really are people who have genuinely good and caring natures who can help you.
To restore the balance in your brain it has to be reprogrammed to constrain those negative emotions and restore your ability to look forward in your life positively.
This will involve new problem-solving strategies. You need to get your confidence to live back or in some cases maybe even for the first time.
Millions of people have survived the suicide crisis and gone on to lead rewarding, positive and happy lives. It does not happen by chance but by design so reach out and get the help you need now.