Suicide: A Small Informal (Personal) Study
"Why did you try to kill yourself?""You told me to be happy."- Anonymous source, internet forum, (validity unconfirmed)
A few days ago, as a result of an unfortunate series of coincidences,I found myself experiencing some old familiar feelings. I wanted thepain to be over.As I have been through these experiences before and lived to thinkand tell about them, I decided to do a small experiment to see if people who believe they know me could recognize the telltale signsof potential suicide we hear about (always after the tragic eventitself).What, I wondered, would people do if they knew I was troubledenough to rant, with little self control, about the state of the worldand my life? Such ranting is as common as depression as a sign of someone who is potentially suicidal. Would people recognize aperson in trouble, someone in danger of considering suicide? Ormight they just think I had not had enough sleep? Or that I washaving a bad hair day?How many would care enough to ask if they did suspect something?I expected that most, if they recognized anything, would gointrospective or selfish and try to avoid meddling.
“Did you really want to die?""No one commits suicide because they want to die.""Then why do they do it?""Because they want to stop the pain.”-Tiffanie DeBartolo, American novelist (b. 1970),
How to Kill a Rock Star
I also wondered what people would do if they found someone atrisk, what actions they would take. Would they, in fact, do anythingor would they be too afraid to "interfere" in something they knowlittle about.Finally, I wondered what kinds of clues might cause people to clue-in that they were suddenly aware of a person they knew who was introuble.
“A lot of you cared, just not enough.”-Jay Asher , American writer (b. 1975),
Thirteen Reasons Why
Most people who believe they know me paid little attention when Iseemed to go off the deep end. "He has done it before, so we knowhe will be all right" they thought. It never occurred to them that Imight see that as a challenge to prove them wrong. Suicidal people