When people see the title of this post, I’ll bet at least half of them scoff in annoyance. To those of you who do not understand why I made the above statement, see this through someone else’s eyes for a moment. Just a moment then you’re free to make your decision on the concept.
First things first: say the word. Just to yourself. Whisper, “Suicide.” As Hermione Granger once said, “Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself.” Once you take away the taboo of saying suicide, approaching the topic becomes loads easier.
When my therapist told my parents about my suicidal thoughts (not my plans or actions, mind you), their reactions, though in different forms, were of the same emotion: terror. Yes, I know, the idea of your child killing herself is scary. The reason I said terror instead of fear was because when they would look at me, all I could see in their eyes is the same look that I imagine an individual holding a triggered grenade would have as he/she looked at the threat in the palm of his/her hand. But besides being suicidal myself, I have interacted with people who have attempted to kill themselves and helped talk someone out of that downward spiral. They had kept their pain in the dark, adding on to the power it held over them.
People who haven’t experienced suicide automatically just say, “Oh, well, why didn’t you just tell someone? It’s not that big of a deal.”
This. This is why we cannot tell people. To the vast majority of the human population, being suicidal is seen as weak and a joke. So please explain to me how the hell someone suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts is supposed to have enough confidence in real help when insensitive, ignorant shit like this is plastered anywhere from a billboard to a post on Tumblr. It even reaches churches. There is an annual talent show type thing that my church has every March. The deacon who throws it together approached a few Youth Group members (myself included) about performing the following joke: Four journalists are pacing around the hillside in agony because they have no story to write about. They agree they may as well jump off the cliff. On the count of 3, all but one plummets to their death. The last one standing exclaims with glee he now has a story to write about. Oh, okay, so our life struggle is something to be used for entertainment?
Think before you speak. You never know what battles are being fought right before your eyes…