Understanding suicide

Planting the seed

Posted by kvdl on October 28, 2008

My last post raises a very common fear,can we somehow plant suicidal thoughts in someones mind By openly talking about suicide?

The experts say no but who trusts experts. Imagine your going through a bad patch in your marriage and a friend asks you has it come to the point of divorce?.  Would this make you go and get a divorce? The fact is that you probably wondered about divorce already and ruled it out or thought maybe it will come to that. The point is that your friend did not make you  think “thats it, I have to get divorced.”

In my work I have asked countless numbers of people about suicidal thoughts and the reaction varys from “No,I could never do that” to ” I took a load of tablets before we met”. In all cases the people had thought about it and my questioning brought forth their thinking on the matter.

Its a subject we avoid out of fear,stigma and we usually change the subject in ordinary life. now Imagine you are having suicidal thoughts and its a taboo subject, you feel you cant say it to anyone because of the stigma and if you broach it people change the subject or say”dont talk like that”. Imagine the isolation and loneliness you would feel. Then imagine the relief you would feel when someone asks you and is willing to talk about it.

At a course I attended recently one person asked about suicide cluster suicides, did one death not plant the seed for another?  Yes, but asking someone sensitively about their suicidal feelings is a lot different than the death of a peer or idol. That somehow sanctions suicide. Exploring suicidal thoughts does not condone or sanction the act.


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