Suicide usually occurs as a culmination of many things coming together. It is rarely due to one single issue. I decided to write about my thoughts on suicide following the sad news that Caroline Flack took her own life yesterday.
It’s clear that she was going through a lot and was under pressure due to an upcoming court case. She had recently been charged with assault, was not allowed to contact her borfriend Lewis Burton and it seemed she felt alone and isolated. Our minds can either be our best friend or they can be our worst enemy. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works on the premise that our thougths create feelings and the feelings lead to behaviour. If we are drowning in negative thinking, the emotions that come with this can be completely overwhelming. Sadly, in Caroline’s case everything became too much.
Suicide isn’t selfish, it’s about ending unbearable suffering
When someone commits suicide, they are not thinking in a healthy way. Suicide goes against all our survival instincts and it’s reasonable to believe that when a person commits suicide, the ability to reason and think logically doesn’t exist. If this was the case, they wouldn’t commit suicide in the first place. An overload of intense emotions actually changes the brain’s chemistry and the body and mind move into a ‘dysfunctional’ state. It is such an intense state and the need to make the pain stop overrules everything else.
I tried to commit suicide when I was seventeen. I felt misunderstood and very lonely and had no emotional support growing up. I gulped down around 30 paracetamol tablets. Instead of it finishing me off, I ended up throwing up repeatedly for the next twenty-four hours. I remember wishing someone would just shoot me in the head as I felt so unbelievably ill.
I had been stressed and unhappy for many months, struggling to cope mentally and then there was a family incident: a friend of my then-boyfriend stole a bottle of my parent’s (my Mother and Stepfather) best red wine without my knowledge. As we walked away from the house, back to boyfriend’s home, his friend said, “Thanks for the wine”. It was only then that I realized they had taken it and they were passing the bottle around. My mother believed I knew about the theft and kicked me out the house. She called my father and told him to come get me. That was when I took the tablets.
Suicide is unpredictable
It can be difficult to know when someone is suicidal. At times, it is clear as an individual will talk about it and know how they will do it. At other times, if someone has set their mind to it, they might just tell you what you want to hear to get you off their back. People can feel suicidal and then begin to feel better. This is when someone is vulnerable and needs extra support.
If you fear someone may be suicidal, ask if they have a plan. If they know how they will do it, they are at increased risk. Spend time with them, keep an eye on them and try support them. Get the the necessary help as well and if it seems urgent, find out about getting them sectioned.
Suicidal people have lost hope and they can’t see beyond the pain and suffering. Try to make them laugh and get them to do things they used to enjoy. Distract them -take them for walks or a meal…try to introduce a tiny amount of joy and hope back into their life. You can also remind them of their strengths and how they have overcome adversity in the past…
For help regarding suicide: (you can also check out the resources page on this website)
The Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)
If you need immediate support, you can text SHOUT to 85258 anytime day or night and chat by text to share what is worrying you. (UK)
It can be difficult to know how a suicidal crisis feels and/or how to respond. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help. (USA)
Featured image courtesy of: digitalspy.com