Talking about suicide, suicidal feelings and the desire to die. It’s healthy — Suicide prevention day

Below is a collection of links in which suicide and suicidal feelings and/or the desire to die are explored. We need places where people can openly talk about suicide and death and dying so they can stare it in the face, hold it, feel it and come to their own conclusions.

Everyone should have a safe place for this deep work. Despair generally disappears in the light of day but if people aren’t allowed this process and instead locked up and put on drugs that suppress and stop the process of healing one cannot move through these states. Given such safe places are not available most of the time for most people, many find they have no choice but to choose suppressive means (drugs and hospitals) at this point. Because there are no viable options quite often this is a reasonable choice for many and must also be respected.   We do need to change this status quo if we want to allow for profound growth and healing as well as simple self-determination.

While pharmaceuticals may help some folks some of the time, those of us who know we do not do well on such substances need to be respected and allowed to heal in safe situations otherwise we are retraumatized.

Right now, mostly, we are creating these places in our own private lives. That’s not enough. People everywhere need these safe places so that new possibilities might be made known to folks who’ve never even considered options because they’ve never heard of them in contexts that felt safe.

Let us find the will and the right communities and networks that many such safe places will be available for everyone regardless of social and financial status. Let us make it happen.  We are in the midst of a time where these ideas are beginning to take root. We can keep holding the vision and sharing what we know from our own experience. We need to listen too. Everyone’s perception of their own reality is important and must be considered seriously when we meet them. Respecting those we don’t agree with is also important. Everyone with labels have been traumatized and hearing their experience from their perspective is critical to allowing the healing process regardless of whether pharmaceuticals are in the picture or not.

These are a couple of new pieces…the link is followed by a brief excerpt:

  • When suicide ceases to be taboo there will be less suicide — “We can all start working with our issues around death, too. That’s a place to start with ourselves so that we might be able to offer better support. We can start that right now. I’ve worked in hospice and with the death and dying off and on most of my career. It’s a very good thing to get familiar with the idea and the fact that we all die and that life is a mystery that no one understands. From that place we can start to more meaningfully grapple with the pain of one feeling like it’s time to die. We’re all in this together really. Grappling with the mystery and learning to be okay in the chaos and pain that is life.”
  • Suicidal thoughts are treated like a crime: that’s why people don’t seek help. “A system that criminalizes pain rather than supporting that person with love is sick.It’s not rational or sane to forcibly lock people up while they’re in their deepest despair. It’s not help and to call it help is double speak. It’s also a sort of gas-lighting experience to be told that you’re getting help while you are losing your freedoms. True service: recognizing every human being as peer.”

this year I lost a dear friend. I share this in loving memory:

More on this topic from Beyond Meds:

●  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.”

●  Suicide Prevention for All: Making the World a Safer Place to Be Human  – Leah Harris

●  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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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

2 Responses

  1. I recently went through an episode and as hard as it was to admit to family it was the best thing I did. Speaking to my wife about the issues who urged me to get help. A few months later and the light is shining again. Great post.

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