If you are or have been experience suicidal thoughts or have attempted to end your life by suicide, this episode is NOT for you. The topic we discuss today can be extremely triggering for someone who is struggling with suicide ideation and could be completely and understandably misinterpreted.
If you are a Listener, again, who has attempted suicide in the past or experience thoughts about killing yourself, please, skip this episode. Go listen to Part 1 with Andy instead or simply move along to something else.
In the latest statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017, 10.6 million adults aged 18 or older reported having serious thoughts about trying to kill themselves, and 1.4 million adults made a non-fatal suicide attempt during the past year.
For every one of those adults, it is safe to say that there is at least one other person trying to support them. But you can easily imagine that the number is actually higher, right? We are talking about moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, co-workers, husbands and wives.
There is no question that understanding why a person wants to end their own life is vital to preventing deaths from suicide.
However, suicide is a taboo topic in our society and let’s consider for a moment that one of the reasons is not just that there is a concern that talking about suicide gives suicidal people the wrong idea about benefit to die at their own hands.
What if one of the reasons we don’t talk about it is also because it would open up a Pandora’s Box of shame, judgement that lives in the hearts and minds of the people who are in the trenches with someone who constantly thinks about killing themselves.
It is not easy to live with someone who has a severe mental health condition and yet we are not allowed to say that. We are not allowed to feel exhausted. Angry. Sad. Frustrated. Depressed. People outside of this turbulent world are quick to point out how shameful and selfish those feelings are.
So, the soldiers on the front line in this war to save another persons life keep these feelings to themselves. They keep their own battle hidden and can become anemic.
It is proven however, that maintaining connections with people who have thoughts of suicide can greatly reduce the deaths from suicide.
So, it is just as important that we also talk about supporting those who are out there riding out the storm with someone they don’t want to die so that are fully resourced and able to maintain the life-saving connections with the people they love.
If you are one of us – someone dealing with supporting a person with a severe mental health condition on a regular basis – then this episode is for you.
But I’m also warning you - Be ready to hear a frank, honest, raw and brave conversation from a wife who’s husband has suicidal thoughts and how she deals with this battle on her terms.
If this episode triggers you – that is okay. Take your time or stop listening. But you know me – there is no room in my world for false judgments or shaming other people. This is about supporting one another.