Suicide

 photo credit: martin

photo credit: martin

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A matter of life or death is worth a conversation.

There are myriad reasons why someone might feel suicidal (isolation, powerlessness, pain, hopelessness, brain chemistry, escape, illness...), and at the end of the day there is only one person who can make the decision.  My concern about suicide is that oftentimes people in those situations are feeling so desperate that they are unaware of their resources, or unable to access them, and because of this the situation might appear worse than it actually is.  I don't judge people for their feelings, but I do hope that they can reach out for help with their feelings, before any drastic action is taken.  My concern is that for many people it can be a permanent solution to what would otherwise have been a temporary problem, and that is just a loss for everyone; we are all more connected than we think.

Another reason for concern is that I have frequently heard from survivors that the suicidal attempt was regretted as soon as it was made:

In the words of one survivor, "I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."  K. Baldwin

In the words of another, "What the hell did I just do?  I don't want to die."  K. Hines

"Dr. Seiden's study, "Where Are They Now?," published in 1978, followed up on five hundred and fifteen people who were prevented from attempting suicide at the bridge between 1937 and 1971.  After, on average, more than twenty-six years, ninety-four percent of the would-be suicides were either still alive or had died of natural causes.  "The findings confirm previous observations that suicidal behavior is crisis-oriented and acute in nature," Seiden concluded; if you can get a suicidal person through his crisis - Seiden put the high-risk period at ninety days - chances are extremely good that he won't kill himself later."