Lessons on Suicide: Silence is not golden

Two days ago on Monday evening I felt suicidal. I had just driven with my friend to visit my parents for a couple of days. When I arrived at my parents I sat in a chair. I planned to go for a walk maybe into some woods and kill myself.

What surprises me now is this:

How can someone with all my experience in counselling, psychology, mindfulness (and so many other coping strategies) and someone who’s set up a mental health organisation in order to reduce the male suicide rate not want to seek help in that moment?

I realised today that we need to unlock the reasons why people who are feeling suicidal don’t seek help when they are in crisis.

In that moment I wasn’t thinking straight. I didn’t think to call a friend at first. I irrationally felt unloved and yet there are lots of people who love and value me. This is the problem, in that moment logic and common sense have gone.

The solution then is to work out what we need to say to people who are in this suicidal state. A few weeks ago I spoke to someone I know who had attempted suicide. I told them to call me if they ever felt that way again. I told them that in that moment their mind might trick them into not calling me but please do it anyway. Your mind might try and rationalise why not to call me saying ‘Mike said to call him, however he doesn’t really care. He just said it because he runs a mental health organisation but really he doesn’t care about me’. But call anyway.

Oddly I didn’t call the Samaritans like I have before. I didn’t reach out to my kind followers on Twitter at first either.

I need everyone who’s had this experience to help me unlock the reasons for the blockages at that moment.

We need to ask the question:

Why don’t people seek help when planning their suicide?

Copyright MEN HEAL 2015.

5 thoughts on “Lessons on Suicide: Silence is not golden

  • Pingback:Why Don’t People Who Are Suicidal Seek Help? - Depression Help

  • August 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I love your honesty and inquisitiveness and openness about such a difficult topic, for most! So glad to have stumbled across you!

    I think, when you’re familiar with helping others, and even having those idealizations yourself, you think you can handle it. You can “feel that feeling” and you know it’s not good, but believe you’d not really do. We convince ourselves it’s just our thoughts, not our state of mind, no big deal; and we shrug it off. That’s one thought that crossed my mind.

    The next thing is, if you’re like me, “Why tell anyone? I know what they’re going to say, the questions they’re going to ask, I know what happens if you might be ‘a harm to yourself,'” And then, of course, there’s the side of me that says, “No one cares or wants to hear it anyway. It doesn’t matter. I’m probably not even good enough kill myself either.” And then I keep to myself. When you already know how crisis situations are handled, you come to predict them in your own life. So you know to give all the right answers. People won’t know you’re hurting unless you tell them.

    So the question is not, “why don’t people,” albeit, good deflection. The question is why didn’t you?

    I’ve asked myself the same question before, in the past. Do you know what I (painfully) discovered? I think there are suicidal moments caused by crises or mental illness, and then I, personally, believe that one can live in a state of wishing he/she is not alive. Not so much suicidal, but it’s like a quiet voice whispers on the inside everyday that it wishes it was dead. And most days, you can ignore it. Most day, you put on that smile and you help the next person, and you’re okay.

    And we’re always okay, until shit hits the fan, real life kicks your ass, and you’re face first in your own broken pieces.

    At least… those are just my unprofessional, racing, random thoughts. ♥

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:26 am

      Hi Grace. Yes, there’s certainly an element of knowing how to play the game if you’ve been on a suicide awareness course yourself. Great point. Your points are insightful. Let’s encourage more people to talk about this. I know it will help me, the more I gain insight from others like yourself. Thanks for sharing. Mike

      • August 13, 2015 at 12:38 am

        I plan to do just that. I’ll be talking about it the rest of my life, I’m certain! It’s time to start having some conversations that matter! ♥


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