Talk About Suicide?

I read a post today from a bipolar blogger who suggested that people should talk about suicide more, that one in ten people have considered it at one point.  Yes, I agree, we should talk about it, I absolutely couldn't agree more with her, but here's the thing...

Who exactly would I talk to if I felt suicidal?  Sure, a medical professional, but other than that, who?  No one that I know could possibly understand what it feels like to be at that level of depression, where you're in so much pain that you just want it to end and it soothes you with the mere thought of ending it all, which becomes an obsession.  When you start narrowing the ways down to how you're going to do it, and then decide on the way it's going to happen.  Unless someone has experienced it before, there is no way they can comprehend what that feels like.  There is nothing that they could say or do to make me feel better.  Being bipolar, it's a chemical imbalance more than likely anyway.  And...it would scare them and make them worry about me, which I wouldn't want. 

For me, it was this huge secret I carried around.  Yes, people knew something was wrong with me and asked me about it, and I didn't know what to do about that.  When you're that depressed, you try to act normal, but you can't remember what that felt like so you don't know how you used to act.

Here's the really morbid part.  When people are down, I always tell them just wait it out, things always get better, because they do, eventually.  To other people, I'm the eternally positive person.  Only, I'm actually not.  So what is morbid about that, right?  A lot of times when I hear about someone committing suicide, I think to myself, "Wow, they actually did it - they had so much more courage than I have", and as weird as it sounds, I kind of admire them.  They did what I once wanted to do but couldn't get the courage to do it.

But now, many years later, after my Dad tried to commit suicide, I get it.  I see how it feels to have a family member try to take their own life and feel as if you were so insignificant to them that they didn't care how it was going to affect you.  Especially my Dad, he knew.  My aunt committed suicide, so he knew exactly how it would make his family feel.  My Dad passed away last year from natural causes, and I'm sure he's in a much better place now.

They say people with bipolar disorder are never "cured" with medication, that there are always relapses, although they may be mild.  I worry a lot about falling back into that big black hole of depression, unable to dig myself out again.  Or walking around with this black cloud over my head all the time, holding me down, keeping me depressed. 

That part I do talk about, to my husband.  But if I was suicidal again?  You know, when I was suicidal, I did try to tell my then-psychiatrist and my husband, in my own way, how I was feeling and how desperate I was, but they didn't take me seriously at first, and that may be my fault. It's very hard to be brutally honest about something like suicide.  I'm not really sure what happened that Sunday afternoon that woke my husband and my horrible then-psychiatrist up to push me and demand that I check myself into the hospital, but whatever it was, I wish I could write it down to share, since apparently there's some sort of code words people are looking for to spring into action.  But - that wasn't the action I was wanting at the time.  All I wanted was a new drug to try.  I had reached down deep and found a sliver of hope, enough to ask for a med change, that was all it was, that's all I was capable of.  But the secret must have come out somehow.  Maybe I was just exhausted from keeping it in, I don't know.   

2 comments:

Tam of Two said...

Totally relate to this post, I spend a lot of time in this mind state, and I never tell anyone how serious the suicidal thoughts/planning gets... I guess the only thing that stops me is the fear of hurting my family and friends. One day I'll probably go batshit crazy and just get it over with lol! I don't think my pdoc has ever picked up just how close I've gotten in the past, I've never been hospitalized!

KansasSunflower said...

ToT - I'm sorry you can relate to this post! You should tell someone how you are feeling, but I totally get that it's hard, and I don't know why health professionals don't pick up on it when that is their job. I suppose they are not mind readers. But defintely tell them! I remember I was just so relieved when people took me seriously and I was hospitalized - like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I was still horribly depressed, and it wasn't pleasant, but it was comforting. Very hard to explain. It actually wasn't a bad experience!

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