This conversation in the below video with Adyashanti is so refreshing. It’s absolutely true that those who are suicidal are all too often met with terror and control. Most people who feel suicidal need to talk about it. Approaching people with love and openness means NOT being terrified of that persons dark places. And not reacting in a knee-jerk and controlling manner. That has never allowed anyone to feel safe to open up about the painful vulnerability they are most assuredly experiencing when feeling suicidal.
sorry: the video is no longer on youtube. There are more comments about suicidal feelings etc, below.
The commentary from youtube (from the video that no longer is):
A conversation regarding suicide. Adya offers what I consider to be a liberating perspective as well as a very practical one. Instead of reacting by trying to save the person or change his or her mind he responds by offering to look into it and to see what it is that wants to die thereby giving the person an opportunity to explore and possibly resolve that which is motivating the desire for escape.
I don’t really know why it’s considered helpful to react to people who feel suicidal with terror and control which often manifests by violently committing them to a psychiatric ward all while traumatizing them further than they already are. Really, we need to rethink how we’re taught to “help” those who are suffering in this manner!
I do understand that the thought of suicide scares people, yes. But that doesn’t mean we should throw love and care and tenderness out the window when fear appears in our psyche. One of the most important things someone can do for another who is feeling suicidal is to truly BE with them. If one’s mind is spinning out about how to control them and get them incarcerated that is an impossible task. Also, once one is hospitalized, sadly, very little tender attention is ever shown in a hospital. Trauma mill would be a better name for a psych ward in most instances.
And frankly, as professionals, we’re trained to cover our asses, which leads to acting like a robot so that one might go through the motions and ask the suicide assessment questions, just right.
I’m going to cut and paste another old post that takes an alternative look at suicidal thoughts below. It was originally posted by altmentalities when she was posting on Beyond Meds:
Most of the suicide-prevention posters I’ve seen (admittedly not that many – the topic is still pretty taboo in our society), are aimed solely at the loved ones and close friends of the person in danger. How to recognize the signs of suicidality, who to call, etc. Somewhat helpful, I guess, but shouldn’t we be addressing, in some way, the person who is actually considering this extreme action? It’s as if the assumption is that person is beyond reason, beyond understanding (if you want to get explicit about it, not really human anymore), so there’s no point talking to him.
That’s why I like this poster from the Icarus Project so much; it speaks directly from one survivor to another (future) survivor.
[Download the poster here]
They have a couple other posters available for download here. I have a feeling these would appeal more to a younger crowd (graphically, at least) — but it’s a good start, and it would be great to see a larger variety of awareness media that focused on speaking directly to affected populations (survivors and future survivors) of all ages.
More posts that feature Adyashanti on Beyond Meds:
Below is some of Adyashanti’s work that I’ve read and listened to that I really like. There is also much available on youtube and his website.