Important Disclaimers: I’m not a clinically trained professional in medical or mental health issues. I will always urge someone if they or someone they love is capable of hurting and/or killing themselves or others, to seek immediate professional help in appropriate acute facility or call 911 or emergency services in your country of residence.
Because of the type of activism I do, when people talk about those who they love who’s depression was fatal to them, the hardest answer I have to give (see above disclaimer) as a non professional, is when they tell me that the loved one did that and there were no clear cut signs.
In fact, they seemed happy or at peace.
I’m not the only mental health activist I’m sure to point one tragically heartbreaking thing to admit, to those who’ve never struggled with suicidal ideation, can’t comprehend.
If someone you love or care a lot about, has been struggling with severe depression and even regardless if they’re on medications and have been evaluated and are actively seeking treatment, is still struggling and then all of a sudden, they seem so much better, one of the most hard things to understand is that they can APPEAR to be doing okay, if not great.
That happens because for some and some people between illness and depending on how much suffering they are going through and how well they hide it are happy, not because they are getting help, but because they’ve decided to end their suffering, once and for all.
(Important Note: I’m going to stop here, on purpose, I had written the above, YESTERDAY and had felt this was going to get too wordy, when I woke up this morning, I found out that another celebrity this week, had died by suicide.
The sad irony is, this blog I only attempted to start writing yesterday, after seeing a psychologist interviewed on CNN where she discussed missed signs of the suicidal, but didn’t address this one. I’m in NO WAY discounting the importance of clinically trained professional help or input. And CNN did do a better job of suicide awareness on their website today, due to a loss of an admired contributor of theirs today, due to suicide)
What again, is that sign???
The person seemed HAPPY.
People who are balanced and genuinely happy, their depression doesn’t become fatal for them, at least at risk of it being caused by their own despair and then their own action that leads to their death.
The bizarre phenomena of why people miss this in suicidal loved ones who don’t want anyone to know that they’re suicidal, is because they mistake relief for happiness.
Or sadly and it’s hard to explain to those who aren’t or haven’t ever been suicidal, they ARE actually happy, because they know their suffering is going to end, because they’ve specifically made a plan and usually means and a date and they are relieved, if not overjoyed to know their suffering is going to end.
It’s also compounded with the trickiness of even the most mentally balanced person who still suffers mental illness and/or from severe depression and anxiety, of NOT wanting having to hear of all the reasons why it’s NOT okay to take their life/die from suicide/depression being fatal to them and they go out of their way to show their doing okay, if not great, because they either in lapse of ration of their own wellbeing and don’t want to hear it and/or people don’t know how to help them, so they don’t ask because they don’t know how or what to say, if they’re in trouble and they’re too afraid of the potential ramifications should they be honest of how devastatingly depressed and devoid of hope that they are experiencing.
And again, while no one is to blame if someone’s depression is deadly to themselves, if they’ve heard another, say “suicide is the easy way out” or anything that could cause further depression and guilt, those of us who know people who feel that way, are less likely to share how much they’re unbearably hurting inside.
And the stigma is bad enough, it’s worse in people who are suicidal and are a parent, where it’s thought even more so to be the ultimate act in selfishness.
I’m not trying to make an argument for someone to die from suicide, I’m trying to explain for those who NEVER have thought about it, why some people die that way or why some of us TRIED, even though we have loved ones that we were going to leave behind.
There is a time sensitivity to this blog, as usually when there is celebrity suicides, such as what happened this week and with Robin Williams, there’s an increase in non celebrity suicide deaths.
In this case, I’m going to concentrate on just TWO of many, major factors with some people and it usually is a factor in both, when it comes to celebrities or high powered people who die due to suicide.
They just lost a loved one either by death or breakup and they don’t get help because of stigma and/or they don’t think their suffering isn’t going to end without them dying.
In addition to people who are at risk from suicide, needing professional help, sometimes the person, such as in a long term (or even short term) loving relationship, even lovingly and thoughtfully dissolved can increase risk of death, in addition that stigma of suicide and mental health can create a deadly situation.
I need to be clear, again, it’s no one’s fault, when people die this way, as far as death by suicide, when a relationship ends.
I need to be clearer, sometimes the person, in addition to needing acute intensive professional help but who won’t get it, the person who cannot help them, sometimes, if not a lot of times, is the person who is a party of a relationship issue.
And it’s no one’s fault.
If that’s the case, a if you suspect someone is in danger to themselves, you can safely intervene, either softly and sensitively by getting someone else (i.e. a good friend to that person, family member who’s sensitive to depression issues who will not resort to using guilt (this is why it’s best to get professional help, if you really suspect oneself or a loved one is suicidal) to personally talk to that person, and ask if they are thinking and/or wanting to die, only if it’s safe to do so or you can always contact above resources on the top of this blog for support and/or contact emergency services.
As while I’ve talked about this more in past blogs and will continue to do so, in future blogs, in addition to suicide prevention, which is something I am an activist for, I can NOT be any clearer when I say, sometimes you’ll/we’ll miss signs because there wasn’t any signs to miss.
But it can’t hurt those you love by reminding them you’re a safe person to talk to, if they ever need it, whether they’re in crisis or not.
So let’s just keeping about this more, in hopes to help those in crisis and those who love/d them, without any stigma, in hopes to physically and emotionally save lives,OK?
Note: Anything that’s not constructive to my readers or myself, will NOT be published.
Additional Note: I purposely, in honor of those who are celebrities who died of suicide this week, and will be now in the news constantly, did NOT want to name them, out of respect for them and their families.
Or for anyone who’s lost a loved one, while I can say as an activist in this blog on ideas or hopes for suicide prevention, to honor those who we lose and their loved ones, you honor their lives and the love you had for them, going forward, society should not sensationalize, condemn and/or dishonor them, in who they were and/ or the way they died.