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When You Want to Speak About Suicidal Thoughts but Are Afraid of the Stigma

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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’m reeling right now. I’m slipping through the cracks. I’m sobbing, tears are flowing. They left about three hours ago, and the moment they left, I started to cry. Bathing the dog didn’t help. Walking the dog didn’t help. So I find myself sitting on the couch, ready to self-harm, skipping my dinner despite running seven miles and thinking about how I am going to plan my own death without making it look like suicide.


It’s something we don’t talk about in society today. However, chronic suicidality is something I live with every day. It is exhausting. It impedes every aspect of my daily life, from wishing I didn’t wake up to wondering how I can cause an “accident” at work, to hoping I pass out and go unconscious. I’ve even gone as far to think, during my training run today, how I will finish my first marathon, lose consciousness and never wake up.

It’s something I wish I could talk openly about. I wish I didn’t scare people when I say I feel “passively suicidal,” because this is my truth and I feel oppressed and suppressed when I want to speak my truth but can’t for fear of panic and judgment of and by others. I only talk about these thoughts in communication with my therapist; with the rest of the world, I tell them I’m doing alright, that everything is OK.

Why can’t we talk about suicide? It happens every day. It happens too frequently, yet we still don’t talk about it. We brush it under the rug. I’ve been hospitalized on the psych unit five times in about three years. Each time I was under suicide watch. Each time I was able to talk openly with the staff about what I was thinking and feeling. So how come I can’t talk to the people I trust the most about my suicidality? Because, I feel, they will worry too much about me and send me to the ER in an ambulance. Because, I feel, they will not know how to react to me and the one time they don’t react will be the last time. Because I feel the stigma and I am ashamed of my disease that I don’t want to say anything at all.

Instead, I want to hide. I want to hide from the family who has adopted me. I want to hide from my sister, my best friend, my mentors, my boss, my co-workers and even my dog. I’m ashamed of the way I am and while I want to break the stigma, I am also living and hiding behind it. So what’s there left to do? Can the stigma be broken? How do we do it? I wish I had an answer because maybe you can benefit from it too.

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 “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Originally published: May 2, 2017
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