“I didn’t so much want to die, I certainly didn’t want to kill myself, but I certainly didn’t want to go on living that way. I was existing, not living, in a permanent darkness with no end in sight. And no-one could tell me when I would be well again. I thought it would last forever. I thought everybody would be better off without me even though I knew they loved me. I felt like I was just a burden!”
Suicide – the easy way out? Suicide – selfish? Most certainly not, and I get so cross when I see those words branded about. The person who has taken, or is thinking of taking, their own life will not have made that decision lightly and may see no other way out.
It can be hard to imagine quite how tortured the soul must be to take such drastic measures. Often friends and family have no idea there is anything wrong. Us depressives are very good at hiding our mental illness.
If you feel suicidal call your GP or out of hours doctor, a friend or family member, or The Samaritans. It’s often easier to talk to someone anonymously. But please speak to someone immediately.
In the early days I was seeing my GP regularly and a psychiatrist infrequently. I remember at the end of one appointment where I‘d been talking about how bad I was he said: “Oh yes I didn’t ask you if you were feeling suicidal did I?” So even the medical profession don’t always think to ask.
I didn’t feel that I would kill myself, although I did think about it a lot and often thought about the various ways of doing it. Thankfully I was too scared to try any of them in case they didn’t work properly. Being a pessimist has its’ advantages.
However, I was scared that my brain just might snap one day and I would try it unintentionally. For that reason, I would never allow myself to be alone. My husband would drop me off at my parents’ house when he went to work. If my mum had to go shopping she would take me to my nans’. I just wouldn’t be alone.
SUICIDE AND MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
Even though mental health awareness has come a long way, suicide is not a topic that people tend to talk about, either through embarrassment or lack of understanding. Suicide awareness is something that needs to be brought to the fore.
If you think someone you know might be suicidal you must ask them. Bring the problem out into the open. If you don’t feel confident about asking them, seek advice from one of the professional mental health organisations but please don’t ignore it. Help them to get medical help immediately.
Men are more prone to taking their own life, in fact, it’s the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Maybe it’s because they are less likely to talk about depression and seek help with mental illness.
Getting talk therapy or counselling along with medication really can help. There are now specialist organisations for men such as CALM that can be contacted to take steps for recovery from mental illness.
The only comfort I can give here is that you WILL get through depression and life will become enjoyable again. Recovery might happen tomorrow, it might be next month or next year.
No-one can tell you when you will recover and that is often the hardest part. If only someone could say you will be well in one month, then you could deal with it easier. Depression isn’t like that though.
Sadly, I’ve known people who have attempted and succeeded with suicide. I know of the devastation it causes. If you’re reading this and suffer from depression, please know that people do love you and do need you in their lives. Life will be brighter again.
Please seek medical help right now if you are feeling suicidal.
Please keep fighting, I’m glad I did!
SELF HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
SEE PART 1 FOR LINKS TO PROFESSIONAL & CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS