This might be the one of the worst subjects for me to open up for discussion and some might view my opinions as a little controversial or maybe even cruel and unsympathetic. I would be interested to hear what other people think, even if it is to help me see the error of my ways.
There were times in the past when I was just as suicidal as the next person who suffers from a mental health condition. I imagine most of us have experienced this kind of dark ideation. I do get that.
I seldom say that I feel suicidal, although I may well have used that terminology as a means of expressing the sheer hopelessness of depression.
I remember once admitting to a Psychiatrist that I was a suicide risk, but my intentions were purely to seek the appropriate help I needed at that time.
I understand and admire all the reasons why someone would be brave enough to admit their suicide ideation.
What doesn’t sit well with me is when a person chooses to elaborate on the ins and outs of their half-hearted attempts at suicide without any apparent purpose to their testimony, other than to express how bad they’re feeling.
Maybe I should feel more sympathy, but I just can’t identify with this need.
We are all partial to various degrees of self-pity but there are other ways to indulge, rather than talk for an hour about an insipid set of events, which supposedly portray a serious suicide risk.
I don’t want to listen to stories about climbing to the top of a tall building, only to remember that vertigo stands in the way of jumping off the edge.
I would rather not know about someone buying two bags of heroin to swallow with the very last £20 state benefit money, even though she is currently on a medication that cancels out the effects of the drug.
While I do know how it feels to sit at home isolated and unable to answer the phone, I do question why anyone would then take a call from a relative, just as she begins to feel ill from taking an apparent overdose.
“Sorry, auntie, I can’t talk because I am just about to die,” is hardly the voice of someone wishing suicide.
I have watched people in seizure and as far as I am aware, they usually experience amnesia before and after the event. I am sceptical if someone describes a convulsion in detail.
When I have listened to someone’s wishy-washy endeavours to die for an hour, my patience runs out.
I am not a mental health worker. I have no responsibility for anyone who is on a ‘woe is me’ trip and neither do I need to take it seriously… I just wonder if I should, morally.
Maybe I should have more empathy. Maybe I should feel more concerned for someone’s state of mind and safety. Maybe I should, but I don’t. The only emotion I feel is anger, which feels confusing to someone who usually possesses bundles of compassion.
I tried last night to think about any experiences from the past that might contribute to my lack of empathy for this kind of scenario. I don’t know if this is it, but I had a flashback to my mother’s depression.
Mum was a very moody and temperamental character and we all know how everyone in close vicinity suffered the brunt. I remember her speeches of martyrdom and even though dad provided a comfortable life, she was always having such a terrible time. Her suicidal depression was my fault.
They say psychotherapy unlocks memories buried deep within our subconscious and perhaps this is the root of my agitation. Nevertheless, the realisation does not help me feel any more compassion.
I would love to know how you deal with other people’s suicide ideation.