“Good morning worthless one”. Those were the words I heard on April, Tuesday 11th, 2017. I opened my eyes and I heard the voice once more, “Good morning worthless one”. I was barely awake when I heard a loud voice, screaming in my ear, “WAKE UP NOW!” I was given a laundry list of how to kill myself and when to do it. I attempted (i.e. running through my bathroom window, jumping out of the vehicle on the highway, taking pills then getting a bubble bath, etc.) several times and was now under the close watchful eyes of my husband and brother.
What I didn’t realize was that I had begun showing signs of suicidal ideation and I was constantly being monitored in my home. Now not everyone have the strong family support I had and still have. Suicide can be prevented with the right kind of treatment and support.
Who does suicide affect? It affects the rich & famous (i.e. movie star Robin Williams, fashion designer Kate Spade, who was 55, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who was 61), poor, ill, caregivers, elderly and young.
Did I tell you, I was a Clinical Therapist who had a client list of about 20 and I was not seeing my clients nor was I responding to emails about them. No follow up because here it comes; I was no longer aware of my surroundings or self and was now a danger to myself. Whew, there I said it. I finally disclosed. There is so much relief and I feel so much lighter just sharing this. Now you must be wondering what led to me being in that state of mind. Well, there is no one answer. There is a myriad of things that took place and we will get to that in the future.
Who is most affected by suicide? Those who are left behind. These include immediate and extended family, friends, acquaintances, and healthcare and mental health professionals.
Sidney Zisook, MD, professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, told Psychiatry Advisor, “I have treated people where a suicide in the family has never been acknowledged or talked about,” Dr Zisook recounted. He described a patient in his 70s who had lost his father to suicide when he was young, but it was never mentioned or discussed by his family. “Finally, he was able to talk and cry about it and regretted that he had never been allowed to talk about it until now and that it had been shrouded in silence,” he said. “Stigma is probably at the top of the list of issues that affect people bereaved by a loved one’s suicide,” Dr Zisook said.
• Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
• For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
• 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
• Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.
If You Know Someone in Crisis:
Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1–800–273–TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1–800–799–4889. All calls are confidential. The Crisis Text Line is another resource available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text “HOME” to 741741.