When does your quality of life get so bad that life is no longer worth living? I understand the notion that you may feel you are insignificant, and that you think you wouldn’t be missed if you left this world. You are wrong! These are the thoughts of a suicidal mind. If you are thinking this way, you may not be thinking straight. What can we say to you to make you see that your life is precious? What can we do to stop you from doing what you are so driven to do? We can do nothing, other than to get you the help you need.
I’ve talked to a few people who have attempted suicide, and the common thread between them is that life for them has become unbearable. One of my relatives a few years ago drank a significant amount of antifreeze. He didn’t die, but his life will never be the same. Because of his actions hee now has to go to a dialysis clinic three times a week to stay alive. Every time I see him he is a terrible shade of green. He reminds me of the character that Bill Bixby played as the Incredible Hulk-not his body structure, just his color. For him, life had lost its luster. He had somehow lost his will to live. I believe we all have an innate will to live. If you don’t believe me, try holding your breath under water. You will come up and take a breath before purposely breathing water into your lungs-that is if you are thinking straight.
When a family member is in self-destruct mode, the family is in crisis. What do you say or do when your loved one is trying every way possible to self-harm? The family becomes dysfunctional, in that the members of the family become the security guards to protect them from themselves. However, no matter how hard they try, the family cannot know what is on the suicidal mind.
Try living in a home where you have to keep your cutlery locked up because your son or daughter has fantasies of slitting his/her throat? Imagine being a husband that worries constantly while he is at work that he may come home and find his wife lying in a pool of blood, or hanging from the ceiling with a chair kicked out from under her? Imagine being the mother of this person that you love so much and that there is nothing you can do to make her stop harming herself.
If you are a mother, father, husband or wife of someone who is so disenchanted with life that they would rather die than live, there is nothing you can do to change their mind. You can’t talk reason to them. You can’t watch them enough. You can’t try to protect them from themselves enough. Maybe your daughter makes a trip to the bathroom; you believe she is going to do what everyone does in the bathroom, right? Not so. Her eyes, the eyes that belong to the suicidal mind fall onto the razor that sits on the shelf in the bathtub. She picks it up, takes it apart to remove the metal razor and puts it’s sharp edge to her throat.
If someone in your family is acting out with thoughts of suicide, get help. Your loved one may beg you not to call for help. He/she may tell you that it won’t happen again, but it will. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your can protect anyone from themselves. They might tell you that you just have to keep them company, and keep them engaged in conversation, but it isn’t true. There is nothing you can do, other than getting this person the help they need. Dial 911 and get emergency treatment for this person, or take him/her to the emergency room yourself.
As a husband or wife, you may feel helpless to watch your loved one go through the process of going to a hospital, but there is nothing you can do on your own to stop the thoughts of suicide in your loved one. You take all the precautions, you hire a body guard for him/her and still it isn’t enough. You have to take a stand, and be the voice of reason, even if you have to go against their wishes, just to save them from themselves.
One of my friends tried to commit suicide by taking all of his psychotropic medications. His wife came home from work and found him unconscious on the floor. She found the empty bottles. An ambulance was called and he was admitted to the hospital for treatment, he had to stay in the psychiatric unit for a few days. When he was released he was no better than he was before, until he changed his thinking. With ongoing therapy, he is improving and finding joy in life. He no longer dwells on killing himself. I believe everyone that has this self destructive urge to kill the self, has to come to accept the self, and embrace it. What do you think?