I have lost quite a few people to suicide. It is one of the most gut wrenching way to lose somebody. It can make you forever beat yourself up wondering what you could have done. What signs did you miss? Why didn’t you KNOW that the person was suffering so much that s/he felt that suicide was the only way out. Sadly, we’re not psychics. Some people are extremely good at hiding pain. Logically you can know this, but that emotional vulnerable part of your psyche takes a TON of convincing.
This bit is HUGE: The capability comes by being habituated to harm.
“Physical or sexual abuse as a child, combat exposure, and domestic abuse can also ‘prep’ the individual for the physical pain associated with suicidal behavior,” Bering writes, noting how specific the preparation can be. “For example, a study on suicides in the U.S. military branches found that guns were most frequently associated with Army personnel suicides, hanging and knots for those in the Navy, and falling and heights were more common for those in the Air Force.”
People who come from abusive backgrounds or who have experienced combat either as a soldier or civilian are at risk because they’ve grown accustomed to being harmed. When you’ve been brutalized, you come to expect more brutality. When it comes from abuse from family or churches, it can make you feel like you are less than human and unfit to live. When it comes to soldiers, it comes from the horror of having to take a life and unable to process that. When it comes to war victims, it can make one want to escape all that pain and perhaps a world that is so cruel that you’re afraid to live in it. This is huge because if we KNOW a person has had these experiences, we KNOW that we have to especially reach out to them. We have to keep a loving, watchful eye. We have to ALWAYS ALWAYS let them know that they are loved, they’re not burdens and they matter. People like that can easily think that they’re nothing but burdens on their loved ones and falsely believe that killing themselves would be a relief to everyone. WHICH IS NOT TRUE! IT WILL ONLY MAKE THEM QUESTION WHAT THEY DID WRONG (nothing wrong) AND WONDER WHAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE TO STOP IT!
Robin Williams had a double whammy against him when he committed suicide. It’s long known that he suffered from bipolar disorders which gave him some seriously crushing depressions. He was also given a devastating and horrifying diagnosis. Lewy Body, Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses ARE terrifying. I know from experience that it is a horrifying thing to watch loved ones succumb to these. I can’t even IMAGINE what it is like to BE the person suffering.
I’m sorry my first post of the New Year isn’t chipper and happy. I’m not deeply depressed right now, so that’s not why I’m sharing this article and my thoughts. I just KNOW what it is like to suffer from that crushing depressing and feeling like I am a burden and people would rather not have me around. Depression is a lying sack of shit. It’s like one of those charismatic dooms day cult leaders that feels so convincing.
Let’s really look out for each other and be empathetic this year.