Believe it or not, most people are clueless when it comes to suicidal thinking. Some think happiness is a choice. Others might think sadness is just weakness. But no matter what you want to believe, people act accordingly. Those who don’t know this don’t know the full story. In fact, nobody does…except for the person experiencing the pain.
We get many questions from these people…and many thoughtless comments. The word clueless comes to mind; but then again, not everyone understands suicidal thinking…so we cannot blame them. But we can educate them. We’ll use the most common comment/question to expound.
Question: When people come to you for help, how can you tell if they are really suicidal or just looking for some attention?
Answer: It makes absolutely no difference.
Some people actually think suicidal thinking is something you either have or don’t have. As though people contemplating suicide can be differentiated from others by some outward criteria. Such metrics don’t exist…which means the measure of severity can only be determined by the person’s intentions. And guess what…the only way you can find out is by spending time with that person.
In fairness to most people, you can never know someones true intentions for suicide unless they actually do it. Those wanting to help others in pain are not in the business of absolute truth…they are in the business of finding perspective truth…i.e. the truth as it is perceived by the other person.
Those contemplating suicide generally feel alone. They believe that others don’t really know them because they keep their truth hidden. Moreover, they are afraid that if people knew the truth that others would treat them different…like they were carrying a deadly virus or something. These people go their whole lives without making a genuine connection with another human. The word alone doesn’t even begin to describe the loneliness.
Our work is not about offering personal attention…for their are much more efficient and fulfilling ways to get attention. Rather, our work is about offering personal connections…and they are always availiable to anybody and everybody still looking for one.
- Sister of suicide victim says more resources are needed (ktvb.com)
- Suicide Justification Process (suicidehb.wordpress.com)
- GILLESPIE: Prevention council offers new initiative (lfpress.com)