Buzzfeed recently released a video of four suicide attempt survivors talking about their lives leading up to the attempt and how they’ve coped since. (tw: suicide and rape)
There are so many myths about suicide that are harmful and need to be unlearned. Like how all suicidal people have access to help and support – getting care and treatment for mental health is incredibly difficult. And just treatment is not enough sometimes. Not everyone understands the complexity and seriousness of mental health issues because not everyone experiences them and there’s this stigma that might prevent someone from even trying to get help. And there’s more to mental health and suicide than just that as well.
It’s important to know that mental illness is never what the vast majority might believe. Because when I say I’m depressed, I need you to understand that it’s more than just a brief sorrow. It’s a lingering cloud, a constant emptiness and sadness. It’s sleeping too much and being angry at the small things. It’s crying at a mariachi band playing for a beluga and because I think that the beluga looks just so happy. It’s an inability to get out of bed in the morning but not wanting to go to sleep at night.
There are ways to help not only those dealing with mental health issues but those struggling with suicidal thoughts or past attempts. Helping means unlearning the myths you might know and changing the way you talk about and deal with suicide. It means checking in and really truly meaning it when you check in with someone. Actively listen when people share their experiences with you because being that open and vulnerable is fucking hard. And support the organizations out there working on these issues.
I have never attempted suicide but living with depression and seasonal affective disorder most of my life, I understand to a degree that lingering sense of hopelessness and emptiness and ineffable sadness. It’s hard surviving that. And I know that’s not always the reason someone might attempt or go through with suicide but I just want to let you know that if you are struggling, I see you. I understand how hard it might be right now and I love you and I’m here for you.
I’m not the only one here to help – there are hotlines and resources and others out there that are here for you just as much as I am. There are support networks and others who are here in the world willing to be there for you if you need it. You don’t have to do this alone.
- The National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-8255
- The Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQIA+ youth: 1-866-488-7386
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Live Through This – a collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors as told by the survivors.
- Resources for attempt survivors:
- Lifeline for Attempt Survivors
- Now Matters Now, including possible help lines
- Resources for attempt survivors:
- International Association for Suicide Prevention – Crisis Centers
- Mental Health Support Recipient
If you’re in need of MH support via phone, email, g-chat, whatever, we have volunteers. Sign up here: https://t.co/flt8MBFUqi
— Beautiful (@FeministaJones) June 18, 2015
One thought on “Living through and supporting suicide attempt survivors.”
It’s weird. You talk about unlearning myths and fighting stigmas, but you subscribe to the stigmas that hurt suicidal people the most – the stigma that they can be ‘improved’ or ‘healed’, as if wanting to die is the same as hallucinating.
They used to say the same thing about homosexuals. So gay people are allowed to have sex, but I’m not allowed to exit my life (Which I never consented to!)?
Read suicide habitats like Sanctioned Suicide. These aren’t people who want to live, who want help or care or any of these things. These are people who don’t want to live for the same reason gay men don’t want to have sex with women. It’s not for us.
It’s time to stop shaming suicide. Saving people from suicide is a crime. Yes, some people regret it. But some of us don’t.