“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” — Bill Clinton
I’ve always found it annoying when people say a suicide attempt is
"a cry for help." And the best one — "She’s just looking for
attention." I ran into that quite a bit in high school.
While a suicidal person may not realize it (I certainly didn’t), a suicide attempt is a cry for help. It’s an action that says "I’ve come to my breaking point. I’ve run out of options
and I don’t know what else to do. My problems are too much for me to
handle and the only way out of them is to die." Suicide is the action
which stem from thoughts that likely were never verbalized.
The majority of people who commit or attempt suicide aren’t just
seeking to die "just because."
…[T]wo doctors who are among the most often-cited experts on suicide…readily acknowledged the high degree of impulsivity associated with [jumping], but also considered that impulsivity as simply another symptom of mental illness. “Of all the hundreds of jumping suicides I’ve looked at,” one told me, “I’ve yet to come across a case where a mentally healthy person was walking across a bridge one day and just went over the side. It just doesn’t happen. There’s almost always the presence of mental illness somewhere.”
They feel as though they truly have "run
out of options" and ending their life is the least favorite backup
plan. The common thread that runs through all suicides is hopelessness.
So to wrap this series up, is it possible to prevent someone from committing or attempting suicide?
Premeditation vs. Passion
Author Scott Anderson in his NYT magazine article, "The Urge to End It All," notes:
Just as with homicide, researchers have long recognized a premeditation-versus-passion dichotomy in suicide.
I’m quite surprised there’s video footage of a woman in a mental hospital (of all places) dying on the facility’s floor. Let alone, the outrage of the fact that none of the staffers did anything about it even when alerted by a patient. I really hope this incident sheds light on the treatment of patients in mental health facilities and effects change in these facilities. Read the story and watch the video here. (Hat tip: PsychCentral)
Here are a select few of the 150 current comments on digg.com. Warning: if you have a weak stomach or a low frustration tolerance, you may want to discontinue reading now.
1. umm, big deal. who hasn’t thought about suicide before? oops…. thats right. my fault. because she’s famous this is somehow more important.
6. she should have gone through with it
7. WHY IS THIS ON THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!The woman is one of the richest people on the planet. So how is this supposed to make any difference in ANYONE’S life or situation. WHO CARES!!!!!Kevin please fix the algorithm to keep crap like this away from those of us who actually give a shit about what gets here. This makes Digg BORING and less interesting and intellectually useful than it used to be.
10. depression isn’t a disease. It’s a state of mind & nothing more than a word. snap out of it!
There’s not much left to say…there were a few defenders among the haters, but the vast majority are reflected within the 10 statements I’ve included above. Wow…
Explains why mental health news is so unpopular.