Understanding the Depth and Despair

As I was reading an article in Psychology Today, I was faced with a question that I hadn’t really ever thought of fully. The question posed was, “how do we help suicidal people fight against the despair and hopelessness that make them want to reject life?”

I realized that I’ve spent so much time trying to get the word out about breaking the stigma of suicide and depression, that I hadn’t really thought much about how I would handle a situation if faced with a suicidal person. I’ve had conversations with many people regarding being left behind after suicide, dealing with depression or other mental illnesses, but the article talked about what one might say in a situation where they were speaking with a suicidal person.

One of the things that caught my attention about this article was the fact that so many times people want to just tell the other person that it gets better and there’s so much to live for, but the answers aren’t always that simple. Especially for a person who already feels alone and lost in the world, hearing someone say, “it’s not that bad”, or “there’s so much to live for”, can only push them further into their emptiness and despair.

Another point the article made was that often times people are afraid to talk about suicide with a person who is struggling with depression or some other mental illness because they think it may push them over the edge. However, the truth is that if we aren’t willing to talk about it at that moment, we may not have the chance to talk about it in the future.

The article later goes on to explain what suicide is and why many people feel it’s the right choice for them to make. I enjoyed reading this because it gives insight into understanding why a person is feeling the suicidal thoughts they are experiencing and how to go about opening up and speaking with them about those thoughts.

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