Suicide And Its Wake of Horror
The act of dying is a fact of life. We will all do it at some point in our life. It is a certainty for that is the one caveat in the gift of life we’ve been given. We are here on this plane for a limited and decreed amount of time. None of us know how, when, or where we will leave so the act of living is a blessing but does have an invisible but indelible expiration date.
People die of disease, accident and other unexplained causes every day at every age and those are unfortunate and very sad circumstances. Those folks had no say in the matter; death just stole their time from them. “It was just their time” is the age old refrain used to justify or explain their passing. Maybe so, maybe not; we’ll never really know.
When someone takes their own life, they leave a disaster in their wake. Their family members and friends are tinged with an imprint of sadness that stays with them the rest of their days and nights. The act of suicide is a brutal, violent end to a beautiful life. The pain ends for the perpetrator who is ironically also the victim but lingers for those who are left behind. In that sense it is a very selfish act as the collateral damage is widespread and has a very long half life. People who commit suicide cannot think of the others who will be pained as they are so deeply immersed in their own darkness and despair from which they cannot escape. No judgment for they know not what they are doing. I think that if they realized, then perhaps they would seek help instead of turning the act of destruction inward.
Statistics confirm that there are more suicides than homicides and that more people are lost to suicide than breast cancer. More than a million every year worldwide take their life. It is now the tenth most common cause of death in the United States, with nearly 35, 000 a year, not counting the more than three quarters of a million who unsuccessfully attempt it. In the military (active duty) so far this year there has been one suicide every day. That does not even factor those soldiers who have not been deployed. It is really sad and backward that mental illness is look at with a jaundiced eye. Our brains are our mainframes, and very much like our computers which when attacked by a
virus, need help and immediate attention to save and hopefully restore memory and data.
When we get sick, sometimes we can heal ourselves but at times we cannot and so require the knowledge, experience and expertise of the medical community to put us back in balance, restoring our health. Mental illness is no different. It is a virulent sickness that impacts the brain, putting the rest of our systems at dire risk of failure. The stigma of shame that existed for mental illness in the 1960’s has for the most part been neutralized but those poor souls who have and are experiencing serious mental ailments sometimes still see getting help as an act of weakness and failure. It is quite the opposite; in reality an act of strength to address and face one’s disease head on and fix it. So many times we all need mental help; this is a tough world and emotions can run awry making life seem impossible and situations insurmountable. But just that admittance can keep you on track. That very epiphany can save your life instead of taking it from you. People who take their lives are not insane, they are sick and need help. They have no right to be judged, rather guided in the right direction toward the source of benefit they need; a safe place where they can vent without criticism. They need to be defused before they explode or implode. There is help for them. Sometimes they just need someone to listen to them so they can unload their demons, unleashing the grip of resignation that has taken over their life.
So, the next time you overhear someone say they are going to kill themselves, heed the warning, do not take it lightly. This is a serious cry for help not abandonment. Stop whatever it is that you are doing and call 911, a suicide hotline, a hospital, the police; but do not just walk away. You may well save a precious life that would have been lost to a desperate and lonely act of self terror. In fact, you will have saved many lives if you consider the family who would have been so horribly devastated. If you are chosen to intercede, consider it a gift of random kindness.
Tags: Suicide , Mental Illness , Opinion , Depression , Mental Health
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