19 May More on why people commit suicide
Wanting to understand WHY someone would want to commit suicide is natural. The idea of purposefully stopping a life can seem very alien to those of us who want to live.
In addition, the people left behind from a person’s suicide are often so upset, angry, confused and hurt that they need (desperately need) to understand WHY in order to begin healing. Though in many cases, people do leave a note behind, many questions remain unanswered.
According to Dr. Alex Lickerman, there are several main reasons why people commit suicide. We cover five here.
1. They’re depressed. Irrational ideas such as, “No one will notice if I am gone” or “Life is better for everyone without me” take hold. The battle against such ideas is often lost and a person attempts suicide.
But depression is treatable! Many avenues of treatment are available and highly successful. So, if you know someone who is depressed, talk to him or her about it. Let that person know that help is available and depression can be treated. (To read more about depression, click here)
2. They’re psychotic. Inner voices of a person suffering from a psychotic break can tell a person to kill himself. But treatment is available for people with psychotic disorders! [To read more about psychosis, check out “What is the difference betweens a psychopath and a psychotic?” in the Mental Disorders post.]
3. They’re impulsive. Impulsive attempts at suicide usually involve drugs and/or alcohol. Once sober, these people often feel ashamed of their actions. (Also, the development of the teen brain makes it especially inviting to be impulsive since the areas of the brain involved in planning ahead and analyzing the consequences of actions are not fully formed yet. This combination of poor impulse control and a “drunk” brain can cause REALLY poor decisions.)
4. They have a philosophical desire to die. This is generally the category of people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, realize that death is going to happen within weeks or months, and choose to end their lives earlier in order to avoid suffering.
5. They’re crying out for help and don’t know how else to get it. These people don’t necessarily want to die but they want to let others know that something is very wrong. Therefore, they attempt suicide in a way that has a chance of “not working.” One young man texted his neighbor and took the “wrong” bottle of pills “by accident.” This “mistake” got him into the hospital, alerted his family to a real issue and began a path of healing.
In regard to this last reason, when a teen does something that is risky, some teens respond by saying, “Oh that’s just a cry for attention” and then they ignore it. Please don’t ever ignore a cry for help. If you saw someone drowning in a lake and they were crying, “Help me! Help me, I’m drowning!” would you turn away and say, “Oh, that’s just a cry for help?” A person who attempts suicide is drowning, emotionally. Please be the one who throws him a life vest.
If you are considering suicide, please don’t. Please seek help (see the resources sub-post coming up).
What do you think is the biggest reason people commit suicide?