Poll: Have you ever considered suicide?
Yes I've considered it. On a daily basis for a large portion of my life. Have I tried? Yes. I failed, obviously. :) I haven't tried in...um...2 years? 3 years? I can't remember what year it was. Before that it had been 9 years since my last attempt and subsequent institution-fun. Yay and woohoo.
I'm doing OK now. I hope I never get to that Bad Place again.
*hugs* me too.†
Gordon... is this poll like.. a hint toward something you're considering??
No, I voted for never, or never seriously, I couldn't decide between the two. What I have done is thought about why I never considered it.
I've tried to not exsist a couple times. its weird the feeling that you don't want to live. don't want to be here. don't want to breathe or eat or sleep. sometimes I'm very passive agressive with myself, like death by starvation or death by cake (diabetic)...†I didn't nessisarily want to die I just†didn't want to exsist and the only way I could manage it was to die so I had to deal with that†downside. in order to not†exsist I would need to die.†only 2 times have†I really wanted to die... and in thoes cases I was very agressive.
I need to go to my happy place now... wait, I don't have one. yeah... I'm still trying to get out of that. it still comes back a lot.
heh. i'm in that place right now. i don't want to die, but i simply want to stop existing. all i want to do most days is curl up in bed and hope that something in me stops working so that all of the nonsense happening in my head goes away. :P
my maggie!!! where have you been and why haven't you been here and where are you now and and and ...
I love you my maggie.
OK the weird thing for me is being shocked by people who answer "never". I mean...intellectually I know it's pretty normal not to consider suicide. But I honestly have a hard time imagining living and not having that thought. To me (and a great number of the people I've had close in my life) it's somewhat inconceivable to NOT consider suicide.
That's rather...f*cked up.
A.J. · 17 years, 5 months ago
Hmmm. I'm one of the ones who's never considered suicide. But you know, my sense is that I'm in a minority. Most people I know have at least THOUGHT about it even if they never got close to trying it. The thing for me, is that there is nothing I'm more afraid of than death, so suicide never really solves anything for me. I've thought about it in the manner of "gee, if I jumped off of this bridge, I would die", but there was no thought of acutally doing it. More just a renewed sense of why I wouldn't want to jump off the bridge in the first place.
lawrence · 17 years, 5 months ago
yeah, that was basically my take on it. I've always had the attitude that for the most part, life wouldn't be so bad that death would be better. the only exceptions I'll make are if I become permanently and seriously disabled (to the point where my life had absolutely no chance for enjoyment or usefulness) or have a painful terminal illness (like ALS, for example) and would want to die on my own terms, rather than the disease's terms.
but since neither of those is the case right now, I can't say I've actually "considered" it.
I remember a nurse telling me once, after I'd od'd and was in the hospital, that "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem"† I told her to f*** off or something in that spirit, but it was a very true statement.†
See, THAT I wouldn't have minded. My nurse told me I wouldn't be in the position I was if I had accepted Jesus. Totally inappropriate while someone is getting their stomach pumped, no? :)
Mollie · 17 years, 5 months ago
Oh my gosh Andrea, that's *awful*. Though I've had similar experiences, I have to admit.
Yes, absolutly, im all for human euthanization. I mean, if your cat has incurable cancer and if dying a slow and painful death you can just end the pain for it, but if it's your own grndfather, a human being, you can't do him the same courtesy.
Sally · 17 years, 5 months ago
I've thought about it and never done it.† The thoughts are scary and I get more freaked out by them than excited at the chance for†a pain free existence.
lucky b@5574Rd. [note: that was simply my pathetic attempt at 1337] i've been on meds for over a year and i'm still all sorts of screwy.
George E. Nowik · 17 years, 5 months ago
i guess it really depends on the context of the question.† does it imply that you've just casually thought about the idea of suicide (in the remotest sense of ever seriously considering it) or actually seriously thought that it might be a viable option?
i've never honestly sat down on my bed or chair or bathtub and thought "i could just end it all right here."† sure, i get depressed as all hell sometimes.† maybe it was something my parents put into my food while growing up, or plenty of indoctrination as a child growing up into a very tall altar boy, but i have too much faith in what i believe in, too much faith in the world itself, and generally cherish my life enough to the point where i don't think i could ever conceive of forcibly making it stop.
even though the numbers are very few, the people i've known who have tried and both failed and succeeded have scared me so much†that i think it's firmed my resolve on that count.
despair is such a powerful, potent thing.† the kind of despair that leads to that direction scares me.† it's the kind of thing that makes me want to curl into a ball and wish it would go away.† it makes my friends hurt so terribly much and there isn't a thing that i can do about it at all.† whether it's a chemical imbalance or just plain circumstances that have led to it, there's very little an outside influence can do to change that more often than not.† i keep thinking about my friend adam who just ... snapped...† and then i think about the people who he shot himself in front of whose lives will never be quite so unshaken again.
†-= george =-
Starfox · 17 years, 5 months ago
I definitely can understand people who become so depressed or so helpless that they feel that death is the only way out. For me, I've been there once in my life, but luckily I had the right kind of counselor who set me straight. My problem was I was seeing all my problems as one big mass, and he taught me to focus on each one separately, isolate out the ones I could do something about immediately and then do something about them. After that the rest didn't seem quite as big and blackening, and then I learned to let go of the ones that I couldn't do anything about.
During that dark time in my life, I considered suicide, but by no means seriously or for very long. It was more like "I wonder if killing myself would make me feel better." Then, it occured to me that if I killed myself I wouldn't feel anything and feeling something, even if it were horrible, depressing, and nasty was better than not existing.
So I was torn between "never" and "yes, but never tried." I never once considered it seriously, but I can't say that the thought hadn't crossed my mind.
Same general idea. Between never and yes but not seriously at all.
I'm really perplexed, given the poll answers, that more people aren't talking. It's...weird. It makes me feel like a total freak.
What's to say?
Seriously considered? yes.
But I never tried, and I'm no longer interested.
I guess it's really stupid. I posted about my stuff because I felt confident that with the makeup of this community I wouldn't be alone. But then the lack of discussion made me feel more and more alone.
It's really stupid, I know. I just misjudged the potential for discussion and...ended up feeling exposed.
And I'm totally not trying to guilt people into talking. Just explaining why I started getting wiggy about it. :)
John J. Ryan · 17 years, 5 months ago
I was going to post something about the topic, but being exposed kept me from doing so.† I'm very shy when talking about very serious topics like this.† I'm always afraid that my views might not be popular here and I could feel scolded by someone, even though they are just offering an opposing viewpoint.† It's tough.
ummmm..... I think maybe it is a little early in the life of this poll to judge how much discussion there will be, particularly with the changes in routine with the long weekend and back to school and all that. I don't think we'll leave you hanging for long :-)
At the time though the number of votes was up at a level where we normally have a lot of comments. And my insecurities were kicking in. :)
You're not alone.† I just don't feel I have a lot to say on it, other than some things have scared me a lot more than death.† And I think that's the case with anyone who's ever seriously considered offing him/herself.
For that matter, the idea of death -- of being dead -- really doesn't scare me†much at all.† The process ooks me -- will it hurt?† will it be a long wasting illness, or something stunning an out of the blue?† will I have regrets? -- but not death itself.† It's just another stage of† life's journey, and it's not like we can avoid it†by being afraid of it.† Better to make friends with it, accept its reality and inexorability, and get† on with what we think really matters while we're still alive to do it.
That doesn't mean I'm suicidal now, and I hope never to be again.†† But chances are I will be.† Luckily,†a few items in my bag of tricks are useful in helping me†convince myself not to go for it.
When I found out I had cancer I thought about death quite a bit and quite seriously. I was suprised to find that I was less scared than I thought I'd be. When my father died I thought of it again. Thanatology has been on my mind quite a bit the last few years. I think in the end I can accept death but I won't go looking for it.
Seeing my father through hospice -- through a miserable illness but a very gentle death -- kind of reinforced my notion that there's not much to fear in death. He had some rough times physically -- and that's the part I dread -- but in the end his mind was at ease about the things he was leaving behind that mattered to him most, and that mental peace made his last few days tranquil.
It seems weird to say, but his last day was sweet -- semilucid and sleepy, but full of little grace notes that said he was ready to move on, that it really was okay. I'm not going looking for death either, but when it finds me I hope I can meet it with that peace of mind.
The thing about suicide in this context is that when you're contemplating it, you're not experiencing any peace of mind at all -- but that peace of mind is what you're desperately seeking, and trying to decide if it's worth giving up everything else.
I'm sorry, you know that wasn't my intention. I knew there were people who here who had attempted it and many others had seriously thought about it. I knew about you though I don't know if you told me or I deduced it. Whatever it is don't feel stupid. You were honest about something important and that is not stupid. I bet you have helped people who were too shy to speak up themselves.
I wonder things like what would it feel like to freefall and then hit bottom and what would it feel like to get hit by a speeding train.
And I'm super curious. but um. not curious enough, so to speak.
And I've thought about it, in not such vague ways... but never really wanted to do it. kill other people, yes, kill myself, no.
and yah.. that's a condensed version of my side of this issue
I think part of it is knowing people who have attempted suicide, or threatened suicide...
It really messes up the people around them, and I witnessed that before I was ever in a place where I would think about it.
that may or may not be relevant to my position now. but yah.
Yeah I think at the place I am now, with the people I have that depend on me...it'd take a whole lot more to get me over the edge. The times when despair got to me that much and I gave in were times I honestly felt no one would care if I died so I couldn't be hurting anyone.
Heh. I wouldn't go as far as to say "all". But yes I do trust right now that there are people that love me. And that's really important.
Plus I have three furry children who need me. :)
At first I read that fast and thought it said, "Plus, I have the furry chicken who needs me"
You know. I've started to call my youngest girl a furry chicken at home. I blame you. :)
Yeah...I ended up in two different psyche wards, once in '99 and once in '02. Eventually I realized that the doctors were doing little good and that I could take control of myself on my own. It took a lot for me to get to that point, though.
emilie is CRANKY · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yup. Never actually attempted it, but stood at the top of the stairs on several occasions and seriously considered throwing myself down them. Or jumping out into the path of cars. Things like that. Don't make me talk about depression, it's not good and I'll ramble like crazy. :)
Erica: movin' to Ohio!! · 17 years, 5 months ago
my, how uplifting. yeah i've tried. and i still want to a lot.
yes. because saying "don't be sad" will do wonders. we just need to be told to "snap out of it," "get over it," or "don't be sad," and everything will be better.
bel, i'm sure you're just trying to be nice and helpful, and i admire that, but if it were really that easy to recover from depression and suicidal thoughts, there would *be* no depression or suicidal thoughts.
sorry. just a pet peeve.
Not just your pet peeve. It is a classic. It can make people feel worse because either feel they are letting the other person down by not feeling better or take feeling depressed as a personal failure and a sign of weakness. There is no malice in it of course and I bet I have done it myself.
i know. but i'm also coming from a perspective of having spent my entire life being told to "snap out of it" and "grow up," and having my depression and anxiety attributed to being immature, lazy, or bad. ignorance of mental illness really gets to me, because it seems to be "ok" for people to be ignorant about it. we're "crazy." we're bad. we're lazy, brainless losers who numb our minds with meds and get our personalities from a prescription bottle. would you make fun of someone with diabetes for taking insulin? would you say, "that diabetes is just in your head; you just need to grow up and get a grip"? no, i didn't think so.
then again, is insulin advertised on every tv channel and in every magazine as a "quick fix" for anything from pms to a bad day at work? no, i didn't think so.
and am i getting completely off-topic and just rambling to hear myself talk? probably.
shutting up now.
Don't get me started on the advertising of prescription drugs.
Gordon. How do you feel about the advertising of prescription drugs? *grin*
And. I know it's pathetic. But I must admit I find the bouncing blob in the zoloft commercials adorable.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there an ad for a laxative that featured a similarly adorable, mopy character who got all bright and bouncy after taking said laxative?
See, it's really easy.† Just eat right, get more fiber in your diet and you won't be suicidal.† Yeah right.† :(†
And they wonder why people don't†understand that†mental illness is a deadly serious health issue?†
I do know that there is an ad for the same medication using the same characters, but talking about social anxiety instead of depression. But it is an SSRI, so there can be a good measure of cross-over indications for many of the mood disorders.
Yeah, I've seen that Zoloft ad too. But the ad I'm talking about has different mopy-to-bouncy cartoon characters, same theme: "[Condition] makes you feel lousy. Take our medication for just a little while (ask your doctor if it's right for you!) and you'll be exuberant and bouncy and have fun again."
When I see a prescription drug ad that tells me to "ask my doctor if it's right for me" without telling me what the f* it's FOR, I'm usually tempted to ask my doctor about some really inappropriate drug. Something for prostate enlargement, maybe.
Because doctors love to have their time wasted like that, don't you know?
It happens less these days with the ad rules/laws having changed. I think it used to be that you weren't allowed to advertise what a product would do. You could just advertise the product enough to get people curious. There was a big shift in commercials when they were allowed to talk about what it does and what the side effects were, etc. I remember old commercials for Claritin or Allegra or whatever that never once could mention what they were for and they just had to imply it with grass and outdoors and happy people. Heh.
George E. Nowik · 17 years, 5 months ago
how long was it before anyone actually knew what rogaine did? (:† just lots of men doing outdoor things, or sitting around the house looking thoughtful.† i just never made the connection that they were all well follically endowed.
†-= george =-
My impression of the older rules was, a drug company could EITHER name its prescription drug specifically in the ad, OR tell what the drug's effect was. That condition does seem to have been relaxed for some classes of drugs -- ie, we're told what Zoloft does, albeit in loopy hyperoptimistic layman's terms, and ditto Allegra (Claritin has been reclassified OTC so it doesn't matter anymore) -- but not for others. I have never heard the words "Nexium" or "little purple pill" uttered in the same ad with "indigestion" or "acid reflux disease". That's the product that most frequently makes me want to ask my doc "how many patients bug you about wanting this drug who don't even HAVE indigestion?"
Really? I see very detailed ads these days. Name, symptoms. side effects, blah blah blah. It seems like one of the new rules is you're not allowed to talk about what it treats without giving people info on side effects as well.
But most nexium commercials and the like I see these days talk about reflux and are very specific...*shrug*
Maybe it's a matter of us being in different TV markets ... or maybe it's a matter of I *hear* more Nexium/lpp ads, on the radio, than I see on tv. I can't recall tv ads for that particular drug.
Glad to hear that the stuff works, anyway. :) Best to Paul and his now-better tummy.
Actually the change in the rules allowed the drug manufacturer to state the drug's indications, but REQUIRED that it also list the primary potential side effects.
My favorite result is those drug advertised to treat heartburn but are then forced to list, "upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea" as possible side effects. Makes me giggle like a little girl!
...oh, and look again at your next nexium ad... they even go so far as to suggest that nexium not only relieves acid reflux, but may also begin to repair the damaged caused by the condition when it is left untreated.
And the little purple pill saved my babe's tummy! :) It's been good to you! :)
Starfox · 17 years, 5 months ago
I think the problem comes from the fact that the outward signs of true depression or anxiety are out of proportion to the seriousness of the condition. To the outward observer it just seems as if someone is sad/lazy/not motiviated, and most people aren't around others enough to know it's a chronic condition.
Having said that, sometimes it is a matter of having a lack of self esteem and the solution does lie entirely within the psychological makeup of the person in which case, "snap out of it" is a really crass way of pointing out what's wrong. Snapping out of it though usually takes some good counseling and psychology.
I do believe that most behavior related drugs (paxil, ritalin, etc) are entirely over proscribed and viewed as a "quick fix", artificially creating something which should be created via healthy self-esteem.
I'm not trying to discount anyone's mental illness at all here.
I think it has to fall somewhere in the middle. For many of us the problem cannot be fixed only by meds. And cannot be fixed only by psychotherapy and self esteem. There are definitely folks who only need one or the other but I think meds and work are the best combo.
My Paxil keeps me more in control and helps me not be terrified of every part of life. But I still have a lot of work to do on the personal front. Dealing with my baggage, learning how to not be scared, learning how to cope in healthy ways. The work is mine to do. But I don't think I'd be in a position to do the work without the Paxil steadying my feet.
So I think you're partially right but the issue doesn't need to be treated as opposing approaches. It's about balancing the options until it works.
I also think it's a matter of brain chemistry actually changing in response to continued depression. The dealing with baggage has pretty much been done in my case -- but the somatic effects the baggage had for 20 years haven't been reversed by talking and analyzing and coming to grips and internalizing that it wasn't my fault. I'm still prone to the occasional panic attack for no particular reason, and if I go off my Prozac, which I've tried to do a couple of times, it's okay for a little while but after 4-5-6 months I'm back to being terrified of every part of life, and being disgusted with what a waste of space and O2 I am. In other words, the self-esteem I've developed and learned how to nurture through "work" is nonetheless partly dependent on there being adequate chemical levels flooding my brain. And after being thoroughly out of whack for a couple of decades, apparently my brain is compromised in its ability to sustain those levels on its own. So I'll probably be on the Prozac for the rest of my life -- and that's okay. It keeps me liking myself, and channelling my energy constructively instead of blowing it on worry and self-loathing. It's what I need to keep on living -- and wanting to live.
BTW, Carey, I TOTALLY agree with the comparison to insulin you made above in some thread or other. It's a parallel I've been using for years. The reality is that depression is a fatal illness -- and without antidepressant drugs, a lot of us would be dead. Sadly, a lot of people die DESPITE antidepressant drugs -- they're not a 100% fix. But to dismiss them as "mind candy", and assume everyone who's on them is weak in character and can't cope when anything doesn't go their way, is simply ignorant on the part of people who have no f*ing clue what clinical major depression is, and who would be horrified and terrified and would run for their beds too if they came face to face with the self-loathing monster a lot of us face down every day, every hour, every second.
It's a girl! · 17 years, 5 months ago
†Wordy McWord with sprinkles on top to what Carey said.
†Personally, I've lost track of how many times I've attempted suicide. Thankfully, I haven't tried it since I was at the Land, which was about 7 years ago. Have I thought of it since then? Well yeah. But things are different for me now. I'm a lot more positive and confident. I've stopped thinking of myself as a waste of space. And well, I've got more to think about than just myself now.
goovie-that's not really what I meant at all. It came with a hug, the implication was one of encouragement, not "snap out of it". I don't want to criticize but...
Beth · 17 years, 5 months ago
I know what you meant. I've gone through and continue to go through bouts of depression, and I've taken some classes, and for me, it's still nearly impossible not to tell someone "feel better" or "don't be sad." It's not out of misunderstanding or failing to take it seriously. It's more like the abbreviated form of, "I care about you a lot, and it hurts me to see you this way. I wish you could feel better and not be sad."
On the other hand, I do think "snap out of it" is a less considerate thing to say.
But I hear ya.† :)
It's hard to come up with expressions of caring that don't sound like expectations or instructions or making it all about how *I* feel about them being depressed. All that can be overwhelming to a person already feeling lousy, already doing a marvellous job of expecting too much of themselves, and already afraid they're failing everything and everyone.
What I usually try to say is something along the lines of "I wouldn't wish the kind of pain you're in on anyone, and you absolutely do not deserve it." That can backfire in the sense of getting the depressed person to snap back at me with all the reasons they DO deserve it -- but it also helps draw out the idea of having a little compassion for themselves. That idea is usually in very short supply when someone is depressed.
Most depressed people -- myself included -- are much harder on themselves than they'd ever dream of being toward any other person. All the anger they feel, no matter what its cause, is retargeted to themselves and their perceived failures; if they only were better/stronger/smarter/more effective, there would be no hunger, no pain, no war, no abusive partner or parent, no miserable boss, no cranky child. It's all their fault.
The harping hypercritical internal voice is the harshest, most vicious thing I've ever heard, and it does help to start challenging it. But sometimes it does take an outside voice to say something along the lines of "I've seen you be kind and loving and supportive and patient toward so many people, even when they're giving you great difficulty; please treat yourself with the same compassion."
"my, how uplifting. yeah i've tried. and i still want to a lot."
dude. I feel you. you me and a trip to ohio. thats all I have to say.
not that boys'd make it go away but damn. it'd sure help.
dave "buh" · 17 years, 5 months ago
Never considered or thought about suicide exactly. Faking my own death and escaping to an island somewhere to live a life of luxury? Sure...
I haven't ever thought about it in a way that I can count at all. I mean... perhaps in an idle how would they feel if I was dead sort of way, but I have never actually pondered on a way of doing it. I think it is just that my survival instinct is perhaps almost over-developed. When it comes right down to it, I want to be around too much.
I've thought of running away from time to time... losing my identity and just living as nobody, on the run, or just starting life over as a new person far far away. In fact, there have been times (not recently) I have thought about it seriously. I think that's my version of wanting to end it all. I don't ever want to end my life... I just want to leave it sometimes. If you know what I mean. Heh.
"I've thought of running away from time to time... losing my identity and just living as nobody, on the run, or just starting life over as a new person far far away. In fact, there have been times (not recently) I have thought about it seriously. I think that's my version of wanting to end it all. I don't ever want to end my life... I just want to leave it sometimes. If you know what I mean. Heh."
That is something that often occurs to me, and once, in um. grade 11?12? I almost did, but ran into someone at the greyhound station that I knew, and decided not to just then since I'd be so immediately trackable. And then, the opportunity never came up again, or the need to disapear never seemed so pressing.
thanks melinda--I never would have thought of connecting the two.
I think most of us at some point have wished we could adopt ourselves out, usually to really rich parents who would let us do exactly what we want. And later, either because of things we couldn't control or messes that we made of things wished we could just walk away and start again. I see it as trying to get back to the real you rather than ending you. But I guess another way to look at it is as an escape, and so is death.
frukid · 17 years, 5 months ago
how did this question get to be a poll and my silly question - "would you date a person who wasn't a fruhead" - didn't??????
because josh, our benevolent dictator, the apple of our eyes, provider of the geek search function and the man who we do not question, decided that he wanted this poll to run and not yours, yet. though, he might, if his fancy swings that way at some point.
yes. that is all.
I knew one girl when I was a teenager who admitted to me that she had tried and failed. I was not the happiest of teens and I tried to imagine spiraling down into a dark so deep that I woud feel that there was only one way out. And I honestly couldn't. I could see that there would be a point where the pain and the dark would start feeding apon itself but I could never see myself getting to that point. In retrospect that was very naive, because all I could relate the pain to would be tangible things, like my parents dieing or other tragedies. The brain chemistry stuff that can make real small events or even imaginary events a cause for deep despair were unknown to me.
What appears to be clearest to me in the bulk of the posts thus far is that, for the most part, very few people want to talk about the subject. This is not the case for me, and I will try to make my comments as brief as I know how... But it is issues like this that I feel do not get talked about out in the open enough.
Have I thought seriously about suicide? Absolutely! Have I ever attempted? that dependes on how you define 'attempted'... Have I sat in my bathtub at 3:00am with the bitter scent of gun oil in my nostrils and the sour taste of the stainless steel barrel of a loaded automatic I pressed against the roof of my mouth, toying with how much finger pressure it actually would take to slip the trigger just past the point (of no return) that trips the hammer? Yes. Did I let myself pull hard enough? No (I no longer even own that particular 9mm Smith & Wesson). So I guess that one is each of your call.
I do, however, find it difficult to imagine that anyone familiar with the concept of suicide has never given it a thought... especially if they have known anyone else who has even talked seriously about the topic, let alone attempted or commited it. To me, there is a compelling sense that you have not fully lived if you have not considered your own ability to be the catalyst of your own destruction. Kinda like Descarte's syllogistic statement "I think, therefore, I am"... "I can cause myself to cease to exist, therefore I exist." Even the two people who have commented that they chose the "Never" option have indicated that the have been compelled to consider their own power to cause their own death by considering their own fears about death or the circumstances which they do not currently, but may some day find themselves in which could change the feasibility of suicidal option.
I have personally experienced, and have heard many other report similarly, certain "mountain top" experiences that have affirmed life infused a sense of being alive that had previously not exisited. For some it is the view from the crest of the highest mountain they have climbed, or the thrill of some epinephrine boosting physical challenge, or even the survival of some accident or event they could not control. For me, it has also been that feeling of isolation and despair so intense that I found myself marvelling at difference a seemingly infinitessimal amount of additional pressure that would cause a simple mechanical event to become a catasrophically destructive reaction. In that one moment, with that barrel pressed up against the back of my throat, the simple movement of my finger that occurs every day during the course of events as innocuous (sp?) as typing this comment could obliterate the very part of my brain that makes such a fine motor skill possible (and we're not talking theoretically here)!
As amazing as it is that people have survived such horrors as the Holocaust, being buried under a collapsed building for several days, or being locked in a closet for the first dozen years of their lives, I cannot imagine how anyone could hear of such things without thinking about what it must have been like to be that person and without considering the possibility that suicide must have looked like a viable option to some of these individuals at certian times during their experience. As amazing, wonderful, and uplifting as life can be, it can also be equally horrifying, capricious, and cruel. Similarly, as much as we are enticed to feel or fantasize about feeling vital and invincible, we are also compelled to acknowledge that we are also sometimes inconsequential and eminently fragile.
Besides, it is very difficult to imagine any of us survived the "election" of Dubbya without an impending sense of doom, if not outright suicidal impulses!!!
Hey... I expected fruit, but who the hell is throwing those ROCKS?!?!?
I chose the "never" option, which I might not have been clear about in my post. The reason I chose it was that even in the times that I have thought about suicide as a concept, which I have every time someone in my life has attempted it or succeeded at it (which has been far too often), I have never been able to even visualize myself doing it. I can imagine a cliff with me on the edge of it, but my brain somehow does not let me go any further. Perhaps the attempt to think of it counts as "considering"... I don't know. But when I was voting, I decided that it didn't.
I hope I did not offend you, I did not mean to offend anyone, I just wanted to share my experience and my own inability to see life without the spector of death peeking over its shoulder.
That and the additional limitation of not being able to keep from empathizing with anyone who has thought of or attempted suicide. Not since one of my students at Cal. State University @ Los Angeles, with whom I had worked closely for several years spanning across four of the five course I was teaching at that time (nearly a .decade ago) showed up on his ex-girlfriends front lawn on her birhtday, called her, her family and her friends out, and shout himself through the temple with a high caliber automatic. He left two close female friends behind, both of whom had take all of the same courses of mine with him, and to whom I had to break the news the same day he killed himself when they arrived in class and he did not.
I hope my strong emotions around this issue did not come across in a way I had not intended.
(and P.S. that Sushi dinner invitation still stands, you guys up for it yet?)
No worries AT ALL. I was not offended in the least. Just felt like clarifying. You know me. Hee. :)
(I'm anxious for the sushi, I must say... gotta get my hubby healthy enough to enjoy it!)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that, as piss-poor a friend alcohol has been to me, I honestly believe that I very well might have actually pulled the trigger on several occasion, because most of those occasions that found me in that bathtub with that gun occurrred when I had not slept for several days. I would suddenly realize that I could not trust my brain to think clearly and became aware that if I did not pass-out soon, I really might do it, but if I made it through to daylight, I just might find a way to survive... half a litre of vodka later I would wake up at my kitchen table. Somehow I still find myself here, much to my own amazement. Eventually, the gun was not the only thing I found myself having to give up.
Heh... did you have a "special bullet" too?
Always kept one clip with that, and one clip empty in the gun.
When I'd go to the range, I'd take out the "special" one if I needed two clips.... but then put it back in and in the "ready" position in the case.
The tip was so shiny... all copper and pretty.
Mine was a .45 EAA with a teflon slide. I still own it, but it's no longer in my possession. (I moved from VT to MA and never got around to getting a FID card or a pistol permit.)
Bottom line is... I still own the gun... it's still there, but I now have no interest in doing that to myself.
I love life... there are far too many things... and too many special people... that I would not give up.
When you live in a world with colors and sounds beautiful enough to make you cry with joy, how could you give it up?
Mine, on the other hand, was one ugly son-of-a-bitch. Hollowpoint. Designed to expand and collect as much tissue as possible as it cut the short swath through my brain stem. I bought a small box and experimented with them in the desert on a wooden post, saved the last one in its own magazine wraped in black velvet.
How's that for a sense of the over-dramatic. Boys Will Be Boys, eh? Too bad most of us don't seem to grow out of it.
... if you prayed to god he'd help you.
... if you believed he'd help you.
.... if you had faith he'd help you.
.... if you were a good christian he'd help you.
synopsis - .... if you were just more in every way he'd help you.
no matter how much if I were just a bit more it would all be okay. can you make me more? can I have some of yours?
tell you what, HE can go fuck himself and I'll help myself to whatever I can get.
but yeah.... when I tried it had been a week without sleep... and yeah.
dude...† bajesus helps those who help themselves.† *nod*† just ask him frum Chrischin, he's the current bajesus.
Josh Woodward · 17 years, 5 months ago
That'd make more sense, since Bajesus was a Joo, not a ChrisChin.
we were going to take turns being Bajesus, so no one would get overwhelmed.† *laugh* @ Josh
AHAHAHAHAHA! Holy damn, that was pretty near the funniest thing I've heard in a looooong time. BRAVO, Josh! *applause*
*appretiates josh's joke.... appretiates joshw's sw33t ass mor3* *grin*
Appreciates Josh's joke Very Much! Sorry Dood, not quite as gung ho about the sw33t a55...
...I may not know art (or art's ass), but I know what I like!
Rachel Beck · 17 years, 5 months ago
I chose the third option, though I'm probably somewhere between 2 and 3. When I was in high school, I spent a couple of years feeling on a regular basis as if I'd f*&%ed up my life beyond repair. But I was an oboist, so my best knife was sharpened at completely the wrong angle for doing any serious damage to me. I guess what kept suicide from ever seeming like a really plausible option to me then was that I would have hurt my family a great deal, and I never got to the point where I could get over that.
Since high school, I've realized that I'm kind of a drama queen and that at any moment when I'm in peak misery, I'm not in a position to make big decisions. Plus, I'm a sucker for duty: I know I won't kill myself if I have a choir rehearsal coming up, or a class to teach, or a meeting to go to, or a night at work when I don't have a sub. And the chances that depression and vacation coincide are slim to nil, so it works out.
I don't mean to sound glib about something so serious-- I know a lot of people who have really struggled with this.
ChrisChin is Getting Old · 17 years, 5 months ago
Yes, I have considered suicide seriously. There were a couple of points in my life when this happened on a more persistent basis, both somewhat centered around feeling utterly hopeless and feeling alone in the world. The first time was during high school, when I became really worked up on trying to do well in school that the pressure got to me. It also didn't help that I had virtually no friends that I felt I could trust at that time. It got to the point where I held knives and thought seriously about slitting my wrists, but did not go further than that....I did become scared of knives and turned them upside down so that I didn't "accidentally" move my wrists there and poke myself. Fortunately, someone who became a friend helped me through the what I considered to be a difficult experience.
The second time was during college and it had to do with feeling like crap and my insecurities that I had with developing relationships with other people (friends and otherwise). Alas, another good friend of mine directed me to seek further help and I went to some helping counseling sessions and was able to gain a better understanding of some of the issues.
At this point in my life, I feel more secure in who I am and the relationships that I have...sure there are a bunch of down points along the way, but I'm able to deal with them in a better light and not think seriously about suicide.
I agree with Paul that this is a topic that doesn't get talked about much but that it really should. I think a fair amount of people have thought about suicide, even fleetingly, but alas, it is a taboo to mention it. Being able to talk about it can help people acknowledge and normalize their feelings of suicide, leading eventually to helping to deal with the other issues that are going on (with therapy, supports, etc.).
Since I've decided that I have OCD (which is kinda stupid considering i'm 13 and therefore don't know much about psychology), life's been not so great. Well, it wasn't even that bad, i've been kinda insane my whole life, until on Friday, the 13th of May, 2003, something that happened caused me to go insane with worry. I could hardly eat or sleep. That time i found a way out, I talked about it, because I knew I couldn't live long under that pressure. Looking back I have no idea how I reached out. But now, all the little things I do make me obssessive, I do crazy stuff, doing things over and over. It's been not nearly so bad but I think during that worst weekend of my life, i would wonder "how much worse could hell be". I'm pretty good now, but, I had to choose the 3rd option.
PS-my cousin attempted suicide once, which was kinda freaky cause she's a really happy-seeming person. But I guess for her it's genetic.
Sounds like you did what you needed to do to keep yourself going.† And now you know one thing that works for you.†
I have panic attacks too, and I empathize with wondering "how much worse could hell be."† Of course, I also happen to believe that hell is in the here and now, of† human creation and experienced deeply†in the depths of despair or frantic anxiety, and not in the hereafter.†
If you're 13 and haven't been diagnosed, possibly the most important thing you can do is continue to educate yourself about psychiatric issues.† At some point you may find talk and/or drug therapy useful, but I know many people are deeply opposed to it and/or have had very bad experiences.† But if you know how your brain works, and understand the tricks it tries to play on you, you may be able to come up with other effective ways to counter the thoughts that make you frantic.†
In the meantime, keep reaching out.† You†know†that's helped you.† :)
As for your cousin, "seeming" happy would seem not to accurately reflect how she really felt, if she actively tried to commit suicide.† People can put enormous effort into keeping up the pretense of being okay, for a really long time, until something happens that makes it impossible to keep going anymore.†† She may indeed have genetic precursors for depression or other mental illness, but she didn't just snap because of nothing.† Something pushed her to the edge.†
Lisa SnuggleQueen · 17 years, 5 months ago
when i was in high school. i was so alone. i had no one. no friends to talk to, no family that i trusted, no one who i thought gave a damn about me in the least. except grampa, and occasionally mom, but i still didn't trust them not to turn around and hurt me minutes after saying they loved me. so i thought about it. a lot. i still have the knife set that i got for christmas one year and planned to slit my wrists with, though i now realize that the blades are much too small to do any real damage.
i don't know what it was, but something kept me from taking the final step. something that told me i was better than what i thought i was, better than the weird-o looser everyone told me i was. that i meant something to someone. that killing myself wouldn't make things better because no matter how much the people around me hurt me i didn't want to hurt them.
so i didn't do it and i eventually stopped thinking about it. then i forgot about it and haven't thought about it since.
Deanna · 17 years, 5 months ago
This is†my first post to the polls. I'm a relatively new fruhead and while I've voted in polls before, I had felt too shy to post to discussion.† I had a really hard time deciding how to vote on this poll. I had definitely considered suicide, but depending on your definition, I don't personally think my half-assed attempt counts as having "tried it."
I feel very strongly about the topic of suicide, which I am reminded of every September. One of my best friends committed suicide (self-inflicted gunshot) eight years ago this month.† It was his suicide, shocking because on the surface he appeared to be so together, compounded by two other deaths at our school that year, along with the usual pressures and stresses of high school, which drove me into a very deep despair.† I have never been someplace so bleak, dark, and empty, and I've no desire to return.† My attempt/experiment in ending my pain involved the ingestion of strong pain pills about eight months after his death (two, because I was really too scared of dying to make a serious attempt).† I felt rather funky on just two pain pills anyway.
I think what really saved me, kept me from taking more pills was knowing - from experience - the pain and suffering caused to those who are left behind after a suicide.†I miss Chris terribly, even now, but I have come to terms (after a great deal of time) with his death. From that experience I learned - I hope - to never take people for granted.† I am also thankful that I did not miss out on the last eight years - I would have completely missed Buffy :-) although I could have done without the whole boy band craze :-).†
Thanks for bringing up an issue I think people should talk more about. I still wonder sometimes about how different things might have turned out for Chris if we had been educated about what signs to watch for and how to respond to them.
I am glad you chose to speak up; you have a lot to say and I am glad you felt comfortable enough to say it here. I look forward to hearing more of your experience.
Thanks for your courage.
danced with Lazlo · 17 years, 5 months ago
I don't like being too exposed here these days in terms of personal experience type things... but Andrea made me feel guilty. (Ha! Now she's going to feel guilty for havingmade me feel guilty and it will be this whole neverending cycle of guilt and won't that be *fun!*)
I've suprised myself by never actually attempting suicide. I have leaned over high ledges, thinking about it to the point where I'm pretty sure I'm actually about to jump. I've sat in my room with a razor blade poised over my wrist visualizing the deadly vertical slit rather than the cry-for-help horizontal. When things were really bad, I think what kept me from the act more than anything else was my hatred of hypocrisy. I've talked down more friends than I care to count. After that, how could I live with killing myself? (heh)
Seriously though... life was not very happy for a long time. The feeling of being trapped in a situation that I had no power over and the sense that everyone who was telling me to wait for it to get better were either lying or had no real understanding of my situation... it made nonexistence seem like a pretty tempting option.
There were a few things that kept me alive... and they pissed me off, cause they were lame excuses. They were cop-outs. I was a wuss and a faker because I kept finding reasons to live. Hypocrisy for one... how I'd worked so hard to keep others alive and now... how I held so fastidiously to kashrut, and suicide was worse in Judaism than eating pork and I'd never eaten pork... I'd bang my head against walls and press burning candles against the underside of my arm to distract myself. I'd stop eating and then overeat. I'd cry to the pont of dehydration, drink two bottles of seltzer and do it again.
I don't have those feelings anymore. And the thing is that to some extent, it *did* take someone just telling me to snap the fuck out of it. Well, after the situation changed, that is. After things had started to get better, I had to learn how to be happy, and that took someone who loved me enough and who I trusted enough that I could just believe him when he told me that it was in my head and that I just had to make it better for myself, because no one else could get in my head for me. I wasn't chemically unbalanced like the shrinks tried to tell me I was, I had valid reasons for feeling the way I did before, but now it was just intertia. What I needed was momentum.
So... that's what I'm willing to share, I guess. Nothing too horrible or dramatic.
Heh... BTTW, and good on ya'! And way to go Ani for distributing the Guilt!
I don't know what it says about me but some of my favorite people in the world voted for the first two options. Some have said so and some haven't.
There is only one person that I ever really talked about this with when she was considering it. She would often say that nobody would miss her. I said that I would that it would leave a huge hole in my life. It still hurts me to think about it, worse than my own death.
Gordon, I've had that same reaction when talking to various people I love dearly about this. I think part of the answer is that depression and suicidal tendencies are much more common than people think, because there's such a stigma against talking about it.
And another part of the answer is that people with similar problems do tend to find friendship and empathy with each other. Even though you haven't personally experienced suicidal impulses, you are an empathetic and understanding person who isn't averse to acknowledging the bleaker parts of your own experience. It doesn't surprise me that people who too often encounter unhelpful attitudes like "get over it" or "buck up" or "don't be sad" would be drawn to your ability not to grotesquely simplify and dismiss their reality.
soul groove feline · 17 years, 5 months ago
i also have very bad OCD...the thing is, it makes me more paranoid about suicide than about death. I imagine myself doing it, and get so scared of the mental image that i take a whole bunch of steps to try not and think about it.
i do go through periods where i feel trapped and understood by nobody...and it especially bothers me because i have an obsession with trying to make people understand me. What makes me keep going is...well, when someone asks me if i'm okay and i'm really not, i usually say "i will be soon, it's my only option." because it is. because...well, the point of living is being alive. Also, i tell myself that i've gotten through a lot worse shit than whatever my current situation is, and if i could get through that, then i can get through this.
what i've come to realize is that i cannot depend on reassurance, self help books, advice, words of wisdom, other people, ideal situations, love, friends, luck, success, interactions, media, etc. to make me happy. If i do, when they are gone, i am left not knowing what to do. i need to do things for their own sake, not because they fill a void. the less i depend on other people, places, and things to fill voids, the less voids i will have. This is not isolationism, this is emotional self-sufficiency. i'm not saying i should stay alone¬†on an island...i'm saying that i'm not going to get off the island and start really interacting with people until i'm able to stay alone on¬†the island and¬†be happy.
then again, right now i'm depressed and greatly without sleep, so i'll prolly look back on this post later, in a better mind state,and have a different idea.
Mistress Rabean · 17 years, 5 months ago
Eighth grade was my worst year.† I had been depressed before, but my thoughts turned to suicide that year.† My best friend of the past two years told me we had grown apart, although really she was the one who grew apart from me (and we were best friends again the next year).† I felt alone, although I did have friends (I didn't have a "best" friend).† However, mainly, it was that I had pretty much no self-esteem.† I was tormented daily by other people and by myself because I'm fat, because I wasn't pretty or popular or model-thin.† I hated myself.
But when I thought about suicide (thoughts of slitting my wrists or overdosing), I always imagined someone stepping in and stopping me, telling me my life was worth living.† I wanted my feelings of worthlessness to be untrue.
I didn't tell anyone (that I can remember) that I wanted to die.† I wrote, as always.† High school was what really helped me.† My high school was, basically, a melting pot.† All (or most of) the elementary schools in the district sent their students to our high school once they reached that level.† I wasn't often around those people who used to tease me any more.† In tenth grade, I met my two best friends Neek and Amy.† I remember Amy often telling me, "Get happy!"† I was still depressed, but now I smile when I think of her saying this to me.† She wanted me to be happy, because she cares about me.† However annoying it may have seemed at the time, it probably helped.† I also had some great teachers who made me feel a little better about myself; I always did well in school, even when I felt awful emotionally.
The biggest help was going to university.† I moved five hours from home to go to a women's liberal arts college.† I was free from anyone who had ever teased and hurt me.† I was around a lot of people with similar interests and focuses.† Somewhere along the line, I†developed self-esteem.†
The depression comes back, every now and then, but it's never as bad as it was that one year.† My self-esteem sometimes slips, and I can be mean to myself; however, when I am mean to myself, now there is a little voice in my head that tells me to stop it.† There is a voice that tells me the mean words are untrue.† It's my voice, of course, but†that particular incarnation of my voice†wasn't always there.
i've been going through major emotional meltdowns lately. bad ones. enough to probably get fired from job bad.
i talked with my father today because it's his birthday. i'd been feeling better, and deciding to go home for a week or two helped me feel better.
immediately he went into the, "well, i know your mother and i have always said you can come home whenever you want, BUT you should probably stay there and just go to work. going to work is the best thing you can do."
"not when the thought of going to work sends you into a severe panic attack."
i know this is only minorly related to the topic, but i wanted to rant. ugh. muthafudda.
Find out your legal rights regarding illness/disability, and insist on them being honored at work.†† You†should not†be fired because of a medical condition.† If you feel you are running the risk of being fired, let your doc know so that he/she can work with your company and make sure they understand that you're not slacking, it's a medical problem.††
For your employer, firing you could be†a major legal problem.† †
Beth · 17 years, 5 months ago
I actually forget which option I chose, but I don't mind talking about this at all. I stand somewhere between "yes but not seriously" and "yes I've seriously considered it," and I'm leaning toward the latter. Every now and then I feel bad enough to think that maybe I should go ahead with it. I know I thought that a lot two years ago. I've thought, "I could do this or this...." but I never actually got up the nerve to start or plan anything.
I don't believe in any kind of afterlife and I don't fear death. What stopped me was knowing that a couple of people love me enough that it would ruin their lives, if I ended mine. It's way easier to love other people than to love yourself, ya know?
Yvonne · 17 years, 5 months ago
"What stopped me was knowing that a couple of people love me enough that it would ruin their lives, if I ended mine."
That's the reason I never did it 8 or 9 years ago when I was really depressed all the time or after my mom died a few years ago.† I seriously considered it, but I was too scared to make such a huge and permanent decision, and after my family†went through my mom's death I knew I couldn't do that to them.† There were times that I would stand on the subway platform when the train was coming, thinking, "what if I just jumped"?† But somehow I knew that eventually my life would get better and it has.† I'm really glad that I never†actually tried†to kill myself.† It's scary thinking that I was so depressed that I considered it as an option just a few years ago.
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