In 2013, it was reported that 41,149 Americans had committed suicide, averaging to one life taken every 12.8 minutes. For many of the loved ones, the reason as to why an individual would take their own life is a mystery that may never be solved. History of depression or mental illness is often times not a reasonable enough explanation, as specific thoughts will never be known. Many people today believe that suicide is a “coward’s way out,” which is an incredibly inaccurate statement.
What causes mental illness? Often times it is a result of a traumatic event, a genetic predisposition, or a hormonal imbalance. In all cases, as I had previously mentioned in my post on depression, it is not something that can be ignored. Mental illness isn’t something that can or should be overlooked. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds- hard work and dedication do.
It is true that diseases of the mind are extremely difficult to handle. Counseling may not be financially possible, doctors’ visits may not be an option with a person’s schedule, and medication may not be beneficial. The most frustrating thing about seeking treatment for mental illness is that it takes time and patience. There are many layers to peel back and work through. Also, mood stabilizers are often very tricky; it is a trial-and-error process to see what will work best. Every person is different, and what works best for others isn’t necessarily what works best for you.
So why suicide? How can someone get to point so dark and desolate that they consider (or attempt) leaving this world? If you’ve never struggled with mental illness, this is something that you may never understand. Those who have dealt with their demons may know, unfortunately, the disparity and hopelessness that a suicidal mind feels. Victims of bullying are nearly 10% more likely to consider suicide. What’s cowardly isn’t the person who couldn’t take the pain anymore- it’s the person or people who made that individual suffer so much that they couldn’t bear life on this earth anymore. Also, many times, treatment options are not available or working. Mentally ill people may have to fight their thoughts day in and day out, which is more exhausting than others realize. The feelings of being alone in this world can take over your mind as a virus would take over its host cell. The human brain becomes ill and weak and frail until life seems like it is too much to deal with.
What I want people to realize is that suicide is not a “fad” or a joke. It is a severe and permanent result of a chemically imbalanced mind that can’t deal with pain anymore. If you or someone you know struggles with thought of suicide or suicidal actions, please reach out to someone. Often times, one of the most helpful things to do is talk to a trusted person and clear your mind. It’s okay to admit that you’re not okay, but you need to do everything in your power to fight back. With mental illness, it is understandable to have those dark thoughts and moments of pain, but we have to fight back and push forward. We are stronger than we realize, and we can’t let the darkness win.
If anyone needs someone to talk to in regards to mental health, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise you this- you are not alone.