World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention day.  I have read so many blogs today telling me about the prevalence of suicide worldwide and about the symptoms to watch for in the people you love.  I want to talk about something a little different.  How do you tell when your own thoughts veer into suicidality?  WARNING: TRIGGERS AHEAD!!!

I’m not talking about the times when you have a sudden descent that is obvious to you and everyone around you.  I am talking about those times when that oh-so-negative voice in your head gets louder in small increments, so you adjust and don’t really notice.  Those times when a passing thought of suicide (common in the entire population) becomes repetitive and all-too-frequent.

This is what happens to me.  People around me have told me more than once that they had no idea anything was wrong prior to a hospitalization.  In a way, neither did I.

In the past few years, my most common thoughts of suicide involve driving my car into a concrete wall or divider.  Might seem very odd, but it ensures my family gets any insurance left after my debts.  It also means that my family doesn’t have to know that I did it on purpose.  I’m fully aware how morbid my thought processes are in this.  Sadly, there are actually more thoughts and reasons behind this, but I will stop there.

When I randomly have these thoughts anyway, how am I supposed to know that I have actually reached dangerous territory?  For the many of us that have the random thought or quiet whisper, when are we supposed to know to ask for help?

I can’t tell you your answer, I can only tell you mine.  When that thought becomes an urge, when every time I get in the car I think about when and how to do it, that’s when I check myself into the hospital.  I check myself into the hospital because I am terrified of allowing someone else to have that sort of power over me.  I also do this as a kindness to myself, my family, and my friends.  Even though others will tell me they didn’t have a clue, and some will even imply I am faking, I know when things get too bad.  Now, I can choose to ignore those warning signs, or I can take action.

For each of us, mental illness or none, that have had suicidal thoughts/urges/attempts, we need to make a commitment to ourselves as to what we plan to do the next time.  Making a commitment to someone else might help, but the most important person in the equation is me/you.

So take a few minutes today (or any day) to think about what you can remember leading up to those thoughts/urges/attempts.  See if you can discern a handful of behaviors that are unique to that rising tension.  Make a commitment to talk to someone if those behaviors become an issue.  If you can’t figure out what you are looking for on your own, talk to your therapist, psychiatrist, parent, close friend, someone you trust to help you figure out how to help you best.

It all comes down to the individual in the long run.  Yes, it is so important for family and friends to be aware of the people they love and their mental states.  But no one knows what is going on in our heads but us…and frequently not even we do.

On a side note, this is being published on my old site because the new site is having issues.  I didn’t want to let this day go by without a post, though

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on September 10, 2012.

2 Responses to “World Suicide Prevention Day”

  1. […] World Suicide Prevention Day […]

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