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Putting on a performance

People who feel suicidal and experience a lack of self-worth often describe hiding what they're really feeling. What to family and friends can appear as the ‘normal’ or ‘real’ person, to the suicidal person can feel like putting on an act, a performance.

Sometimes what they're hiding is kept from everyone, with others, those closest to them may see what’s going on behind the performance.

'..their public persona is different from how they are at home...'

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Suicidal person point of view

“Before the suicide attempt, I'd do visits with clients and then go back to the office and I'd be sat in the car for 20 minutes beforehand, thinking: ‘I've got to go in the office, got to go in the office.  Have they been talking about me? What are they saying about me?’ But the minute I stepped through the office door: ‘Yeah, I'm fine, are we having a cuppa then?’ I'd switch into that.”  

Click box to switch point of view

Suicidal person point of view

“Before the suicide attempt, I'd do visits with clients and then go back to the office and I'd be sat in the car for 20 minutes beforehand, thinking: ‘I've got to go in the office, got to go in the office.  Have they been talking about me? What are they saying about me?’ But the minute I stepped through the office door: ‘Yeah, I'm fine, are we having a cuppa then?’ I'd switch into that.”  

Click box to switch point of view

Family/friend point of view

“I've read about other creative people, when their public persona is something different to how they are at home and he was definitely like that.  I would be out and people would just say: ‘He's amazing’, or, ‘I've never met anyone else like him’. And I would find it hard sometimes because I would think: ‘Well you know he's not always like this.’ It was hard, it was really hard to keep him afloat all the time, because I suppose, he was full of self-loathing.”