Suicide Prevention – help with suicidal depression – navigating agony
Wanting to die is actually about wanting the pain to end- not about actually wanting to end being alive. When frustrations get so great the only option that make sense at the time seems to be to remove the ability to feel. It is your brain ‘brainstorming’ solutions to an urgent problem. The logic of suicide can feel like a typhoon of energy that is similar to an emotional Grand Mal seizure. The only thing to do when it takes over is to refrain from taking action. Find a soft, peaceful place to sit and eliminate all data input.
It is okay to feel like wanting to die. Trying to push that feeling away will only cause it to persist. You having the feeling will not result in the actual event. Feelings are safe and important to feel. And it is also very important for us to learn that the way you feel is not a true or accurate description of your reality as a whole. The way you feel changes. It ebbs and flows. Feelings are true. But that does not mean they are accurate descriptions of your life.
Depression is a mental misunderstanding about something related to you and your life. Your thoughts are not always accurate. Many many thoughts are very often just plane wrong. Some thoughts are right and some are not. We are all learning how to evaluate and guide our thoughts towards greater self-empowerment. This world has light and dark. And space between those two extremes. We do not have to always live in one extreme or another. It is also legal to live in the middle ranges, the not-so-exciting areas where things can just be ‘average.’ A need to be exceptional and spectacular is often at the root of mental patterns causing extreme depression. There are other cognitive compulsions created by society that put pressure on our true nature and cause pain. These compulsions are thoughts and beliefs that are just simply incorrect. The place to start with discovering the faulty thoughts causing you extreme pain is to understand that not all your thoughts are correct descriptions of reality. It is worth repeating: Some of your thoughts are just plain wrong. Don’t believe every thought you think. If you understand this fact, you can begin to look at your thoughts and question their logic.
For example, thoughts like, “The only thing that will end this pain would be to die.” have a faulty logic. Make a list of the positive outcomes that would unfold if you died. Question how positive those outcomes really are. And question if those outcomes would really come to pass. Are you sure they would?
You might say, “If I ended my life, people around me would know once and for all how unhappy I really am. They would be forced to acknowledge me and my pain.”
Is that true? Why should they be forced? You could die and they still not really ever get why. It is not a certainty that your suicide will explain things once and for all. There is no guarantee that your death would really have the effect you are convincing yourself it might have. It could very well end up that people conclude you were troubled and unable to overcome that trouble. This would be accurate if you did succumb to death. Another problem with this logic is that whatever the results may end up being, you won’t be there to receive the benefits of satisfaction they might bring. There is a mistaken belief that on the ‘death’ side there is satisfaction. Are you certain there is? No one can be certain of what happens when we die. You are just hoping for relief and satisfaction to such an intense degree that you have lost perspective on how to achieve relief and satisfaction.
It is more likely you will gain that releif and satisfaction if you deepen INTO the pain of being alive and build strength to endure confusion, frustration, and rage. Build strength to live through these pains.
The truth under all your anger is that you don’t really want to die. You want the frustration to die. You want relief. There are many pathways to relief. When your mind reaches for suicide as a possible option, study that concept. There is no need to add distress or tell yourself you ‘shouldn’t’ be thinking of suicide. If you are, you are. There it is. So lets hold it like an infant and care for this overwhelming pain.
Part of your stress is coming from trying to function at normal capacity while injured. You wouldn’t walk on a broken ankle. The same advice goes for a broken heart. Lets take some time to be as we are. It is best not to have your usual expectations of yourself at this time.
If we get the flu we put work down. We go to bed. But because depression is an emotional (invisible) condition not a physical condition we have a hard time registering it as a real injury. We think it is something we are doing that we should just stop doing. You wouldn’t think it were in your power to heal a knee or a cough by thinking differently. So lets give the emotional ailments the room and rest they need by not getting upset that they are there.
Keep in Mind:
Depression may feel like a sudden overwhelming event, but it actually occurs gradually from negative thinking that spirals slowly down towards despair. Just like guiding a horse or steering a car, recognizing when your thoughts are moving in a direction you don’t want to go will prevent you from falling or crashing. Navigate your inner experience. You are not at the mercy of negative thought habits. If it started to rain would you HAVE to stand out in that rain until it stopped? No, You could move out of the rain. Likewise, you can change the contents of your mind at will. That is the power your human existence welds.
It is not a problem you feel such intense pain. It is safe to let these feelings occur. Letting them occur is the only way we can ever hope to shift them. We can not shift what we do not allow.
When in the grips of such extreme agitation very often anything anyone says can feel like a manipulation. Everything is an irritant. The only solution seems like ending the ability to feel.
Just sit. Pace. Weep. There is room for what you need to express.
This too will pass.
We are moving out of one reality into another. We are in an evolutionary process right now as we navigate the confusion of our feelings. Sit and burn with the agony. Do as little as possible. Shake, rock back and forth, gasp with deep shudders of weeping. It is normal to act “weird.” All indigenous cultures of the world embrace the fact that the body can not be restrained. Healing comes with moving. Follow the body. It is a wise healing system.
Say “yes” to the flames that lash about in your brain. You do not need to die to resolve the struggle you are in. Since we do not know what happens after we die we really can not say for sure that ending our life will even solve the problem. Really it is just wishful thinking. We may find the exact same struggle on the other side of life. Escape is not a solution.
Perhaps you are wanting to end your life because you feel it is the only way to really get back at the people who hurt you. You may be quite justified in wanting to return the pain they caused you and killing yourself may, in fact hurt them. But the end results will always be that you will be gone and they will get over what you did. They will live on. Life will go on without you. Think of the famous people who took their lives. We are sad and confounded by their action but we do not let it stop our own lives. There is no real revenge in suicide. True revenge is in achieving apathy towards those we are currently furious with. Not reined apathy- but a real lack of interest in them. Moving on, focusing on what we find exciting. Letting nothing keep us from our vitality and passion.
Think of the person you are angry with. Is THAT the person who took you down? That is the person who stopped you? What about them deserves so much power? Separate. Give them nothing more of you.
Suicidal depression is a physical exhaustion. The task at hand here is to just be in the exhaustion without trying to get rid of it or do something to cure it. Be in the desire to die. If you’ve reached this place it is unlikely you will be easy to cheer up and will likely not fall for any attempt to lift your spirits. Try not to push, coerce, manipulate, or argue with this state. Say yes. Say, okay, I get it. You are serious. I am listening. And if possible- even let yourself know it would be okay for you to die. Because ultimately it would be. Death happens to everyone. It is going to happen to you. Whether it is your time to leave Earth or it isn’t – the key will always be to do so from a relaxed and TRUELY peaceful place. If you are in the grips of a convulsing desire to escape, wait. Find peace, then see how you feel about being alive.
Again, it is not a problem that you have feelings of wanting to die. In fact, I would argue such feelings are smart planing. Tibetan Buddhists advise we contemplate death daily. Touching into and contemplating that which will eventually happen can only lead to a greater awareness whenever the event does arrive. The good news about your desire to die is that it means you have less fear of death to work through. Congratulations! One less issue to deal with.
Having feelings of wanting to die will not lead to your death. They are just feelings, packed full of information about your beautiful soul. You will not be hurt or punished for wanting to die- unless of course you tell someone who is not able to handle such notions. That could cause panic and distress so share these feeling only with trained professionals or people you really know will hold ground for you.
Do not tell your child about these feelings. Find support that enables you to refrain from exposing your child from this confounding situation. Since your child’s whole sense of reality is based on you and your perspective on life, you would confound them with such confusion and pass on to them what was passed on to you from your guardians. Children- no matter how old they get- are not designed to help parents out of their emotional problems. Parents help children. Not the other way around. Stop the legacy of despair. In order for a parent to be able to help their child, they must have adult companions to confide in and talk through issues with. If you have someone in your life you feel can stay grounded with this sort of conversation, talk.
If you tell someone about feelings of suicide and they panic, they were the wrong person to confide in. It happens. People are at varying degrees of comfort with death and we can’t expect them to be able to handle such a complex topic. If you are now needing to comfort and assure someone that you are not a danger to yourself explain to them that a desire to die does not mean you are going to take action. It means you have serious pain that is having trouble healing. And the fact that you are talking about it is proof that you are addressing it. People with serious plans usually do not talk about it. Keeping a desire to die silent should set off alarm bells in your mind that you may in fact truly be approaching death.
If you have entered the silent phase, please know, you will be missed. There are people in your future who will feel the loss of you. You are profoundly important to the fabric of life. Your sense of isolation at this time can change.
The question to ask in this perspective is: Do you think there is anyone on this Earth who you could connect to even for a moment? Do you think it is possible to let someone in? To reach out for someone and let them try- to the best of their ability to help you find relief? If you are experiencing a desire to die and it is being kept silent, the next order of business is to find a way to reach out. Find a trauma specialist to help release you from the gag of silence. Don’t want to spend the money? What else, at this point is there to spend money on except your well-being? Invest.
It would take a tremendous effort to actually get out of your body. Most people who attempt suicide fail several times because they can’t grasp just how violent they have to be to end their life. To reach the ability to commit such an extreme act of violence against your body can only be possible by losing all perspective of hope. Losing all hope is not something that happens over night. It is a long slow process of choosing isolation over and over again for years, incrementally dismantling your ability to have positive thoughts. Don’t do that. Find someone to connect with.
Tend to your ability to have positive thoughts. This is a slow, daily comforting practice, like eating. Reach for observations of things around you that you like. The curtain in the window, the cat on the bed. What is working in your environment right now? Balance how much you focus on the negative by finding something positive in your surroundings.
Whatever pain you are experiencing now is not going to go away when you die. Your consciousness will still have to deal with the pain, only it will be in different circumstances. Being alive is the best possible place to really resolve that pain so why not work with the life you’ve got? It is a bit like the notion that if you marry someone you will arrive, once and for all, at happily ever after. In a way, suicide is like divorcing yourself, like giving up on the relationship of your own company. How about we commit to communication rather than get a divorce?
Say “Yes” to the life you have been given. That could mean getting rid of harmful people in your life dragging you down and stealing your energy. I don’t care who they are- if it is so hard for you to handle them you want to leave life- how about leaving them first and see how things go? Do what it takes to get strong. Give yourself exactly what you long for- most of all… time. There is nothing more valuable you could be doing in life than strengthening your passion for being alive.
Emotions are regulated by our glandular system and our glands are regulated by our nutrition. Food breaks down into minerals and minerals are converted into a vast, spectacular array of thoughts and feelings. Its extraordinary. Keep in mind while navigating depression that you can’t think yourself out of nutritional deficiencies. You must also incorporate improving eating habits. It is time to have a blood panel test done to see where you are deficient. I’m going to take a wild guess and say you are low in vitamin D as well as B’s and C. But go to a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor to have your nutrition properly analyzed. Stop eating sugar and caffeine. There is so much sugar in food these days that our taste buds are damaged. Reducing sugar will feel very bland for a few weeks but eventually your natural ability to savor natural, healthy food will return. This shift also brings a deep warrior’s sense of commitment to reality.
Resources to reach for:
all work by Pema Chodron
all work by Peter Levine
The healing arts podcast: Insights at the Edge with Tami Simon.