While in high school, we had these things called assemblies where we’d all gather as students and teachers to pass on important communication and receive words of wisdom from our headteacher. They usually happened on Monday evenings when most of us were tired from a long hard day especially considering that Monday comes after the weekend and so most people haven’t quite regained their pace. Therefore, most headteachers’ communications which came last on the agenda found me uninterested and inattentive. However, my ear is highly sensitive to statements that border on the ages of sanity. Like this one time, my mind had wandered off to who knows where when I heard the headteacher give us advice on how to uneventfully end our lives by simply piercing our jugulars and bleeding to death arguing that it was a fairly easy way to commit suicide rather than making a declaration of our intentions and thereafter failing miserably in our endeavors. Again, my mind had wandered off so I don’t quite remember the context of his statements.
Today I want to explore why some people make a big deal of their suicides instead of choosing the less invasive way of leaving uneventfully; why people jump off of high buildings instead of dying in the privacy of their own homes, why they leave suicide notes and why they choose elaborate failure prone suicide plans over concise fool-proof tried and proved methods of committing suicide. Now, some of these choices are limited by lack of knowledge but there could be some that are deliberately elaborate and indiscreet for the purpose of making one last call for attention to the person’s pain.
Think about this, why is suicide an emergency? Because the person is at risk of losing their life and their death will reflect badly on our practice as a failure to save a life? Do you know what is not an emergency; unemployment, lack of education, homelessness, bereavement, chronic debilitating illness… for as long as none of these situations push you to the edge, we are not concerned about you, deal with it.
I am not suggesting that we treat everyone that has experienced an adverse life event like a ticking bomb but that we seriously consider the subtler cries for help before one takes to the roof if only to be heard at least once or at least in death. Depression is characterized by absurd misconceptions of oneself and others that often hinder one from seeking help even from those that would be willing and able to provide it. When one attempt to finding help is ignored, we are one step closer to the final call.
Featured Image: help wallpaper