Not Seeing Past The Darkness
Many people have different intentions when it comes to suicide. Not everyone who you think might be suicidal is, and not everyone who you think is not suicidal isn’t. Sometimes the topic of suicide lies in a gray zone, like a chronic patient with schizophrenia telling his psychiatrist that he is experiencing auditory hallucinations of voices telling him to kill himself.
There are many terms for suicide such as active/passive suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, other suicidal behaviors, self-harm and suicidal self-directed injury. A person can fall into any one of these categories. Sometimes they don’t even know themselves in which category they fall into.
The reason that there are numerous terms on the topic of suicide is because it’s not always clear-cut which category a person falls into. It’s very important to be able to discern which category a person falls into, in order to help them by preventing injuries or even the loss of life.
Here are some examples of the terms listed above:
- Active suicidal ideation: the person has a series of steps or plan in his or her mind in regards to ending their life (i.e.: “I’m going to jump in front of this incoming bus”)
- Passive suicidal ideation: the person wishes that he or she were dead, but has no active plan in mind (i.e.: “wish this bus would swerve off the road and hit me on the sidewalk”)
- Suicidal behavior: the person demonstrates actions which are intended to end his or her life (i.e.: swallowing a bottle of pills, standing on a bridge ready to jump, heavily drinking and downing some pills in a bathtub)
- Self-harm: the person performs an action that is intended to cause harm in some way (i.e.: cutting one’s skin, burning oneself with cigarettes, self-induced bruising)
- Suicidal self-directed injury: the person purposely injures him or herself (i.e.: breaking one’s bones, pulling out one’s hair, poking objects through body openings)
- Other suicidal behaviors: the person demonstrates actions which are intended to cause harm or death (i.e.: stops eating and drinking altogether, consumes heavy drugs with the hope of overdosing)
The suicidal abyss can reach great levels of depth, not always necessarily causing death to the victim. This bottomless pit cause have people suffering from a mental illness for years at a time, causing nothing more than darkness and pain in their immediate surroundings. Can you imagine how it must feel to not see past the darkness?
If you know a friend, acquaintance or family member who you suspect is suffering from a mental illness or suicidal ideation, make sure to either gently approach them and carefully listen to what they have to say, or get help right away by contacting emergency services. It all depends on their severity. But never assume that “they must be alright.”
No one is ever ” all right” when it comes to a mental illness or suicide.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)