The social stigma of talking about suicide. (… and how you can help)
Posted by xv84
21st Jul 2017

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

There’s nothing good about suicide. But why do so many people feel like they can’t talk about it? When they feel that there’s no other way out and that there’s no one out there who can help. That there’s no escape from the tormented feeling they are going through.

We live in an age, where we are trying to raise equality for all. We are trying to change the negative views many have on mental health itself.
Yet mental health is still one of the biggest stigma’s effecting society.

To date, 6188 suicides have been registered in the UK and a further 451 in the Republic of Ireland, in this year alone.
Female rates are at an all-time high, more than they have been in a decade and male rates on top of that are still 3 times higher in the UK and 5 times more in the Republic of Ireland.

It’s not an easy subject to talk about by any account. But there has always been a taboo around it. Whether it’s that someone is feeling too ashamed to discuss that they are suicidal. Or that they feel too embarrassed to talk about it.
Whereas on the other end of the spectrum, if you were to come forward and talk about wanting to commit suicide. Some would say that others would see it as a “gain for attention” rather than a cry for help. Stopping them from trying to get the support and help that they need.
Whether you’re religious or not, a lot of people believe that suicide will damn you to Hell.
Let’s be honest here, if you were to ever feel that low, whatever your beliefs may be, you would have to be feeling very tortured inside, to see that suicide is your only escape.
And Hell is a hefty sentence for anyone, religious or not.
Now think of this as a template of how helpless someone would have to feel if that’s the consequence for their actions.

Sometimes though it isn’t just the strain of mental health that drives people to suicide. Sometimes it can be a physical illness or pain. Someone whose terminally ill who cannot live with that pain no more.
Mental or Physical, to be driven to suicide or even contemplating it, you’d have to be in a considerable amount of pain to reach that conclusion.

Being someone who, himself, suffers from mental health problems. Feeling suicidal to me is when you feel like there is no escape from life’s problems.
That there is no help or any other options to stop the tortured feelings that have crept into your mind or soul…

The will to not go on anymore.

No other way out.

Feeling selfish and self-absorbed with all your negativity.

That you are too blind to see the feelings of others or the positives in your life.

… And that’s a scary thing.

To feel that low, and then to come out of it or step away from it and think to yourself - “what the hell was I thinking?”.

And more so, scarier still. To attempt it and survive it. To see the effects, it has had on your loved ones. To feel the love, they feel for you and the shame you feel for doing it. It’s embarrassing. And why would someone have to feel that shame if that they felt there was no help or support for them. Again, it’s a delicate taboo with many questions and answers, surrounding the subject and all its conclusions.

And here lies the main reason I write this article. As much as we must raise the awareness of suicide prevention and depression, there’s still a vastly large majority of people who will not reach out and talk about it.
They are, like I said, too ashamed or feel even embarrassed. Maybe afraid that they’ll be seen as seeking a gain of attention.
It might not even be any of these reasons, but still the problem is there.
A lot of people contemplating suicide feel like they can’t talk about it or reach out for help.

So, here’s what you can do if you know someone who is feeling suicidal.

Listen to them and be open with them.
Don’t be judgmental.
Don’t react shocked.
Get involved with them and offer support.
Take action and get them to the right parties who can help. Whether it be a GP, a councilor or a friend.
Don’t be sworn to secrecy, get them the help they need.

They may not want to listen to your advice at first cause of the way they are feeling.
So be patient, just be there for them and take everything they have told you into account.
A lot of people feeling that low are drowning in a sea of negative emotions, flooding through their brain and may not be able to hear you.
They may not be even willing to listen to the positives at this moment in time.
So, take your time to show them the love and support they need. Be a friend and a loved one.
Take the time to listen to them and check in occasionally.
Take that time to arrange days out or just to sit with them for company.

Luckily this day and age we have a lot of charities and support, like SANE, that help people who are feeling suicidal.

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