Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's talk about suicide

The current, long-standing argument is that we and the media shouldn't discuss it/gloss over it lest articles glamorise the act of suicide and encourages others to follow suit.
Well, guess what?
This whole not talking about it thing?
It's not working.

Both my eldest and Feral Aspie teen have depression amongst other issues and both have attempted suicide, multiple times with Feral Aspie teen, still ongoing.

We talk openly about suicide at home and how it is the need to end something in a persons life - be it an emotion, a habit, a group of friends, bullying - but actually ending the life itself is not the answer.

Did you know suicide is the leading cause of death in our youth second only to car accidents?
And how many of those car 'accidents' aren't accidents?
Which leads to many farm 'accidents' aren't accidents?
How many 'accidental over doses' aren't accidental?
How many pedestrian accidents aren't 'accidents'?
The list goes on.

Our bright young children, our future, the next generation - these are our beloved babies, those little beings we guided to adolescence with their knee scrapes, birthdays, school reports and everything in between.

And they are killing themselves.

Not talking about it hasn't stemmed the suicide numbers.
How about we try openly discussing suicide to explain that it isn't the answer to every miserable feeling, it won't cure lovesickness, that it won't change the world... that the only thing it will achieve will be to snuff out their future chances of being on top of the world...and crush those who love them.


GB's Mom said...

Important post!

Anonymous said...

The one thing that stopped me was not knowing what to do with the kids.
I can talk about it in regard to other people, but still not in regard to me.....

Eccentricess said...

It is GOOD to talk about it, especially in this way.

Anytime I thought of suicide, I would think of how badly it affected my Hubby when his Mum gave up the ghost and determine I couldn't do that to the people I loved.

More importantly, I DID find that there was fun to be had after depression. Five years of darkness is hard, but to know that there can be smiles afterwards... worth putting up with the dark times.

You said it good, Ma'am.

Andrew said...

A lad I went to scouts with was a single motor vehicle accident victim in the country, straight into a tree. It later came out it was suicide and that it was probably about his sexuality.

Cheryl D. said...

This is certainly the toughest subject to discuss, which is why it gets swept under a rug. A friend of mine is now dealing with the suicide of her 16 year old daughter. Just devastating!

I hope talking about this issue with your children helps them realize that suicide isn't an answer.

I wish my best friend had realized that as well.

Gia said...

Ugh, it's so awful to think about. And kids doing it are younger and younger... :(

Madmother said...

It was what stood out at one of the Tony Attwood conferences I attended.

The "hidden" suicide rate amongst Aspie teens.

River said...

Too many of our young people are dying this way, and I suspect many of the accidents, aren't, just like you said. I'm putting a lot of the blame on the pressures of modern living. There's the pressure to have and
do "everything" and the pressure of everything needed, wanted or "must be done" NOW. Rush, rush, rush, keep up, don't fall behind...
it's all crazy. Then there's the bullying and body image issues.

I hope that more talking about this issue will help, but there will always be those who don't believe that talking will help them, their situation/feelings are too bad, no on will understand.....if they don't/won't talk, they can't be helped. And that's sad.

jeanie said...

I think, as an issue, it does need to be discussed openly, definitely.

I think the research behind not publicising instances of suicide is because there have been links between subsequent spikes in similar suicides.

While those of us who have been affected in the past do try and talk about it to those we love, there are a lot out there who are shut out when they need to talk, and see it as a viable option.

Hugs Ro.

Carly Findlay said...

Such a good post - an important topic. Last years experiences for me- helping someone I love throug addiction and depression - really showed me the importance of talking about suicide, feelings and tea bonfire in general - both to help someone and ask for help.

I also think talking about suicide in the media/blogs/public sphere more would make it easier for those helping others in need to know what to do and say. I wanted to make sure I was saying the right things to him and was so worried what I said may be the thing that broke him. I ended up seeing a counselor for a plan to help me help him.

He's ok now. He said he wouldn't have made his way through the fog if it wasn't for me and family members who supported him.

Mum said I did a good thing, helping him. To me, I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

I hope your kids are doing ok, and you are too.

Cathy said...

Such a powerful and important post. Keep up the fight. I will be sharing this xx

Carly Findlay said...

'tea bonfire' was made by autocorrect sorry!
I don't know what the word was supposed to be - maybe 'depression in general'

Kay Walker said...

Obviously you have a lot on your plate! All the time! Re suicides in Aspie teens-yep- I've seen 3 and I'm not even a mother myself to hear things on the parental grapevine. With the Aspie crowd I'm not sure they really understand the absolute finality of suicide, nor do some ordinary youngsters. However, most people [except the personality-disordered who are a mixed bunch] know exactly what they're doing & I think more publicity about who and what sort of people commit suicide can only help others be more hopeful and maybe realistic. I'm depressive and have been on & off all my life. I attempted suicide once in my 20s but was disappointed that a major attempt didn't work as I'd calculated. I got help and hope and didn't have any suicidal thoughts until a couple of years ago. Now I tend to be "chronically suicidal" for about 8 or 9 months of the year but with no sudden attention to getting it over with. I've lost my hope of a better future, since I've been unemployed & have no superannuation. Everything I looked forward to when I was younger is impossible as everything requires money- even living day to day comfortably. AT the moment I'm going back to a shrink who helped me in the past. If she can get me through winter and I can reconcile myself to a future of not much, I will be OK. However, I think, like most people contemplating suicide (including all those young people), that getting rid of the pain permanently is an awfully attractive proposition. It wins out over possibly hurting others when you have no one directly dependent on you- you think people will cope in the end and go on without you. I've known quite a few suicides- one friend last year I was talking to and then 5 minutes later he hung himself. My brother-in-law aged 47 killed himself- leaving his wife, 2 teenagers and a 10 yr-old and he was in the middle of therapy. No one ever discovered what was bothering him. I used to work on the road accident research team here and the number of 15 year old boys brought in for autopsy [alongside the road fatalities], after suicide was appalling- but was never told to the public. It's still happening, obviously, but we need to know these kids and their reasons- they're ordinary kids with ordinary issues. And unbearable pain.

The Elephant's Child said...

I do some voluntary work with Lifeline. We are taught that suicide is THE leading cause of death, and that it exceeds deaths by motor vehicle accident (some of which as you said are dubious). Talking about it as you are doing sounds just wonderful to me. Good luck with it.