When Suicide Is at the Forefront of Your Mind
Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
I caught myself talking about suicide again today. I can be honest with you that I really don’t have enough nerve to do it. Unfortunately, with the mixture of all the medications and the constant pain from chronic illness, it is front and center on my mind lately.
My husband and I were sitting there, watching our 2-year-old so excited about one of his favorite shows, holding hands, savoring the moment… and it just came out. “I can see how people cannot be able to live my life. I can definitely see how suicide is an option.” He turned and looked me straight-faced and said, “I can see it too.”
My husband is my backbone, my strength. He picks me up and helps me to bed some nights. He helps dress me when I don’t have the power to move. He has seen me at my worst. So his response was not a shock to me in any way. I actually feel he understands more than anyone, with that response.
It’s not a feeling of failure to think about suicide. It is actually feeling remorse for yourself, for the “old” you before chronic illness. It is a level of grieving that is so very common, yet not many people voice it. Fortunately for me, I have dealt with mental illness for quite a while (panic attacks and anxiety), so I have learned how to calm myself and learned what signs to look out for with my anxiety, so I can step back and take my meds. But for someone just given a diagnosis, I don’t believe there are many physicians that discuss the possibility for mental illness issues, and people can feel intimidated or scared to talk about it.
I have to be honest — I had not once been asked by either my PCP or my rheumatologist, at any time, how I was actually mentally feeling. I understand it is not of their specialty, but it does go hand in hand. It wasn’t until I actually went to my doctor about my anxiety coming back that she finally prescribed anxiety medication.
With that being said, for someone newly diagnosed and in constant pain, I can see how suicide is an option.
In the wake of a couple of suicides in the music world, I have noticed there has been more talk about it in the mass media. It is all over social media, on the news… kinda right in front of your face. A reminder. I advise going to your doctor the first moment you feel that despair. Go to a family member, a friend, a co-worker — anyone who will guide you. Don’t do it alone. Don’t feel like a burden. Your mind might make you feel like you are at your end, but you are stronger than you could ever imagine. Have faith in yourself.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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Thinkstock photo via mirc3a