In the spirit of “nothing about us without us”… (on suicide attempt survivors)

Below is a short film that makes the argument that those who’ve attempted suicide but survived and gone on to live and thrive should be part of the conversation when we deal with suicide prevention. That this isn’t already entirely obvious to everyone remains disconcerting to me. And, it’s odd to watch this film just because these voices are part of my world everyday. It’s good that what is so obvious to many of this blog’s readers is being pushed into wider society. This idea should not be considered radical, but it is.

Suicidal feelings are part of the human emotional spectrum. We need to be able to talk about all our emotional tapestry freely.

Let us talk openly about suicide and suicidal feelings. Openly talking about our feelings and the phenomena in general is the way to learn and heal.

See also: NOTHING ABOUT US Without Us—Judi Chamberlin

I’m cutting and pasting the suicide prevention page from the navigation menu below which includes a collection of links to alternative ways to approach suicidal feelings and those who are finding themselves in such pain:

Conversations about Suicidal Feelings

Today is suicide prevention day. I’ve compiled a few posts that consider suicide in various ways and especially consider ways to deeply support people dealing with such inner pain.

Below are a few links to posts with excerpts from the page. I will continue to update this page as a resource and you will be able to find it in the drop-down navigation menu under the ABOUT section.


●  DIVINE SUICIDE: Depressive Breakdown as a Call to Awakening – “I have seen far too many people in the care of social services and standard mental health care grossly retraumatized rather than helped when feeling their most vulnerable because people do not understand this loving, accepting and healing approach. It’s based in deep trust for the process of the individual who presents themselves in front of you. Listen. Love.”

●  A conversation about suicide – “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.”

●  Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide – by Leah Harris “I tried to kill myself when I was 14. It wasn’t the first time. My psychiatrist had just upped my Prozac, a whole lot of unresolved early childhood trauma had flared up at puberty, and the baseline sadness and confusion I felt mushroomed into an overwhelming desire to die. The thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone: Everything I could think of circled back only to suicide. I wrote out a suicide note and made an attempt.  I won’t go into the horrors of waking up alive in an emergency room where the staff was clearly annoyed they had to deal with me and my “attention seeking” behavior.”

●  Living with suicidal feelings  — By Will Hall “It’s time for a new understanding of suicidal feelings. Is it really best to force someone into the hospital when they are suicidal? Do suicidal feelings plus “risk factors” really mean professionals can predict whether someone might try to kill themselves? And are suicidal feelings the symptom of a treatable illness that should include medication prescription?”

●  A suicide prevention poster from the Icarus Project – “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.”

●  Many psychiatric symptoms remit upon drug withdrawal – including suicidal impulses –  “Something that comes up quite often in discussions with my friends and readers who have been on meds and have come off of them is how many of the “psychiatric” symptoms they were being “treated” for disappear upon discontinuation of the medications. This is widely known and experienced among those of us who have decided to stop medicating ourselves.” (**warning – rapid or cold-turkey withdrawal can often inflame psychiatric symptoms (including feelings of hurting oneself) for some time. For safer withdrawal practices see here.)

●  Psychiatric Drugs as Agents of Trauma — “Drug Stress Trauma Syndrome” –  “This article is written by Charles Whitfield, MD, a psychiatrist, who has recognized the trauma these drugs can create for a very long time. It’s clearly an important read.”

●  A video with Will Hall on this subject: On suicidal thoughts


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