Title taken from Nirvana, “I Hate Myself And Want To Die”
I’ve read several posts of late stating September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. I recently blew the mind of a mental health social worker by dropping the term “suicidal ideation” during a clinical assessment. He went on to coyly suggest that, as “suicidal ideation” is a term most people are apparently unfamiliar with, I had perhaps researched various mental illnesses in an effort to make myself seem more symptom-afflicted than I actually am. Fuck you.
I think about suicide nearly every day. Not always in the sense of serious contemplation of a final solution for myself, although the rare particularly bad period might have me going that far, mentally. Usually it is just the casual acknowledgement that suicide remains an option, a way out, as sort of a morbid and deranged comfort blanket. Usually, I just have the thought, and then shrug, and then move on with my day.
But, as someone who does display symptoms of suicidal ideation, and in the spirit of this time period apparently set aside for awareness of such, I will say that being unbiased and non-judgementally supportive of The Afflicted is about the best and only thing one can do to try and prevent potential suicide in a client, friend or loved one. Reducing the stigmas surrounding mental illness will go a long fucking way towards reducing the chances that a person in suffering will pursue a final solution to their pain. Showing support, empathy, kindness, and simply being “there” for a person is the best way to make them feel safe and secure, and to foster an environment wherein they may choose to open up and ask for help when they need it.
Beyond that, it really isn’t up to you. It isn’t up to anyone but the person who is suffering. We as damaged people must have the desire to seek a way out of our particular suffering. All the support and awareness in the world won’t save a person who is unwilling or unable to change. And, sad as it is to say, someone who is truly fixated on taking their end into their own hands will not be stopped. Those of us close to him saw the warning signs and interrupted several attempts, but in the end my “brother” Branden found the end he wanted.
Fuck, what a downer of a post, huh?! Maybe I should include a picture of something adorable, like a drunk monkey…
There ya go… 😉
For anyone who needs it, the website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is https://www.afsp.org
© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.