War with one’s mind
It is not that they did not try, they tried very hard but nothing helped. They looked for solutions but could not find any. It was a war with one’s mind against life and death. And, finally, they found more peace with the end.
A lot goes on in the mind of a person who is contemplating suicide. One cannot be certain regarding the nature of the decision to end one’s life. The decision can either be a spontaneous one or well planned in advance. It differs from individual to individual. However, one factor that is commonly found in all individuals who are contemplating suicide is their personal suffering, the suffering they wish to end in all desperation, the suffering they have been trying to deal with since a long time, and the suffering they cannot endure anymore despite several attempts.
A person contemplating suicide may have all the success and fame, but sometimes life seems dull and not worth living despite that. There may not be a reason at all. Who says that having a great personal and professional gives us more than enough reasons to live? Sometimes, despite having it all, a single trigger, a thought, a comment from another person, an unpleasant feeling is enough to give up on everything we have without any warning.
I would like to highlight some points which can help us understand that it wasn’t easy for them but they could see no other way out.
A constant internal war– Suicide is looked upon as a cowardly act accompanied by many unhelpful and negative attitudes by the public. These attitudes lead to comments like that they should have looked for a solution or he was a coward or he had so much more to see in life or he should not have done this and sought help. Well, the truth is that the person who is contemplating suicide has been struggling since years and had probably already tried everything that is being suggested to him after his death. When nothing seems to solve their problems, the person can see nothing but the end.
Suicide is a brain-attack– In cases of heart attack, the heart cannot beat after a point irrespective of how much we try. Sadly, nobody blames the patient for that and everyone understands. Suicide is also a similar phenomenon. It is like a brain attack where the person encounters a final moment when dying seems better than living. He can see no alternative solution or another way to cope with the situation. The person is usually perceived as crying for help but he is a brave soul fighting for life who finally gives up after several attempts of improving his situation. They feel exhausted.
Persistent Negative Thoughts– The occurrence of persistent negative thoughts can be overwhelming for anyone. The person contemplating suicide frequently comes across ideas of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. Being alone with such ideas and thoughts can be very dangerous and the contemplators believe them to be true causing them to act on these thoughts.
Fear of Judgement– When it comes to sharing one’s problems with other, people hesitate due to the anticipated judgements. Nobody wishes to come across as weak or cowardly. Therefore, they prefer to keep to themselves and sulk in their thoughts until it all becomes too much to endure. By the time they realize they need help, the pain has already become so intense and severe that they feel nothing can now help them even if they try. Such issues can be more prominent in people with poor self disclosure and communication difficulties.
Burdensomeness– Most people struggling with their problems feel as if they are a burden to others and inflicting pain upon others with their sadness and problems. They feel extremely burdened with their issues as well and crushing under the weight of those issues is beyond imagination. They think of suicide as a selfless act of ending the pain they perceive as inflicting on others. Only, if they knew that it is all in their mind and none of their perceptions are true.
Thwarted Belongingness– People going through internal struggles feel as if they belong nowhere. So when it advised to them that they should have reached out, they do not think of that as a feasible option. They do not feel that they will be accepted and acknowledged. The fear of rejection by others keeps them from reaching out for help.
Narrow field of vision– People with suicidal thoughts have a narrow field of view. They pay attention only to the negatives despite the presence of positives. They see no other way out even if there is a way. Due to extreme hopelessness, they have a bleak view towards the future and they see no alternative. They see nothing but the end to a meaningless life, as perceived by them.
Deep emotional pain– Suicide is also seen as an escape from a deep and unenduring emotional pain. After a point, they feel that ending their life will be less painful than continuing to live a life full of pain and overwhelming emotions.
My message to everyone out there-
To anyone who is struggling with emotional issues, I would like to tell them that, ‘You are not alone. People care for you. It is only a phase which shall pass. Life will get better. Nothing is permanent. Reach out to your loved ones. Share your burden. You are not a burden. Fight your thoughts. They are not always true’.
To those who are grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide, I would like to say that, ‘I understand your pain. I have also lost a loved one and the shock and pain is overwhelming. Time will do the healing. I agree that you will always feel hurt because of your loss but I assure you that with time, the intensity of pain will reduce and it will get easier for you to accept the loss. Do not feel guilty that you could not be there for your loved one. You were always there for them but in their mind, they just could not feel as if they belong and even they couldn’t be blamed for that. You will slowly heal and thing will get better’.
To those who comment that the person should not have committed suicide and looked for a solution, ‘I would only ask you to be kind and compassionate. The person had probably tried all the suggestions given by you and most importantly, he was not in the same state of mind as you. He really wanted to live but he was helpless. It wasn’t easy for them too. Please understand that they only wanted to end the pain for themselves and their loved ones. And that pain is not easy to endure.’
To everyone, ‘Be there for your loved ones. Be kind and compassionate. If you know someone who is suffering from pain, please reach out to them because it may not be easy for them to seek help. Let them know that they belong somewhere and they are not alone’.