How can I stop someone from hesitating all the time
Suicide - talk, talk, talk!
Suicide. A big issue. A difficult subject. An important issue. Which is why it gets its own post on my blog. A post full of facts, information, experiences, tips - and hope.
I will tell most of you something new when I write that last Sunday was World Suicide Prevention Day. In 2003 the World Health Organization joined forces with the International Association for Suicide PreventionIASP and the World Federation for Mental HealthWFMH launched this day - nice formulation in this case. Find since then every year on September 10th Events, campaigns and projects related to the topic take place around the world.
And this year the motto is: Take a minute, change a life. Taking a minute for another person. Really listening, asking serious questions, being there - that can change lives. Save lives.
I've said it so many times, but I like to say it over and over again: we need to talk! About what's going on in our heads. Which thoughts draw their (dark) circles in it. Depression, worry, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness - all invisible forces. Who only manage to become visible through words. If there is a recipient for it.
please only read this article if you feel stable enough. If you have landed on this page because you are currently in a crisis yourself, then I recommend the telephone counseling service 0800 111 0 111 to you.
A great infographic from FRIENDS FOR LIFE E.V. https://www.frnd.de/zahlen-ffekten/
Let's start with a few facts. Hard facts:
The WHO states that 800,000 people worldwide every year take your own life. So a human every 40 seconds. And in addition to these "successful" suicides, there are multiple suicide attempts.
In Germany takes about every 53 minutes someone's life.In 2015 it was10 078 people.
There are also about 10 to 15 times as many Suicide attempts - So in Germany about 100,000 to 150,000 or every 5 minutes.
This clearly dies in Germanymore people through suicide than through, for example, traffic accidents, drugs and HIV combined.
According to WHO, suicide is the most second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 29 Years.
The claim that there are more male suicides than women is only a half-truth: behind this is the fact that men tend to resort to "harder" methods, which unfortunately are often "more successful" than the "softer" ones preferred by women .
On average, one person's suicide hits six others (relatives, friends, acquaintances).
And, perhaps most importantly:In eight out of ten cases, the person concerned announces his suicide intentions in advance!!!
Not enough? More (terrifying) facts on the subject can be found here.
These numbers are not new to me. I've known her for a while. And yet I am always frightened, shocked at their height.
Depression and / or other mental illnesses are behind many of these acts. Which doesn't make the shock any smaller when you know that depression can be treated relatively well. When people get help. What the fear of the reactions of those around them often prevents those affected. Which brings us back to the topic of this article: Talking helps!
And yes, at this point I can of course grab my own nose. Because how long did it take me to talk. To get me help. And even today it is difficult for me to open myself to someone when the world inside me keeps closing.
There are many reasons why I and many others cannot open their mouths. First, of course, the stigma. About mental illness in general, but especially about suicide, of course. And then there is the fear, the worry, the fear of not being taken seriously. For his openness only downplaying phrases or hurtful statements à la »Don't act like that«, »Pull yourself together«, »Now stop complaining!«, »You have everything you need to live!«, »Others are much worse off« to get. This fear is great and powerful. And justified.
Know ≠ feel
Here, too, I can speak from my own experience. I have also heard these sentences. And yes, you know that you should "actually be happy", that "others are much worse off". But do you think that makes things better? That you know that and still feel miserable? That you just can't turn your thoughts into feelings?
Correct. That doesn't make things any better. And is one of the nastiest superpowers in depression. When knowledge and feeling just don't come together. Knowing that you are "actually fine" and still feel lost and miserable and hopeless. That makes the guilt of feeling this way, thinking this way, even greater.And the disease already has you even more firmly under control. Help is even more remote. Suddenly make sense of the empty phrases and statements of others that are meaningless. You agree with the other, loathe each other a little more and the vicious circle goes on and on.
In this way, unfortunately, many words that are said reinforce the depression and its peers. Many of those affected have this experience. Once. Twice. 3 times. Too often. And at some point you prefer to stay alone. Don't even try to speak anymore, to find words.
But that's exactly why this article. Because there can be another way. But I'll get to that in a moment.
How does it feel?
Well, I can't answer what suicide feels like. But I can try to describe what it feels like to be close to it. What it is like when death takes up more space in your head than life.
As with so many other places on my blog, I can only talk about my own experiences. And for me, the main reason for suicidality is my depression.
In the rarest cases it is really about not wanting to live anymore. It's about so not wanting to live anymore. If this disease has shed any hope of a light at the end of the tunnel, why go on a train?
Thinking about the future in suicidal phases is weird or even impossible. So abstract. You know it's there, but it doesn't feel real. Because you think so briefly yourself. Next week? I don't know if I'm still alive there. Next summer? Sometimes I find it difficult to think about the future for just a few hours.
When depression drives suicidal tendencies high, then my head shows me a future without me that is better for everyone. Shows me scenes in which others are happy that I'm gone. Always new scenes. And repetitions. Show me until it feels like the only way to go. Most of the time, my ratio saves me. Somewhere in my head seems to know this is bullshit. But it also happened that I lost this corner and I no longer had any doubts that my death would be really good for everyone around me.
That's when I have to protect myself from myself. If I realize that I am crossing this line, help is needed. Friends. Or a crisis station. Fortunately, it has always worked out well so far!
The Dommi and the suicide
Even though I have already thought a lot, a lot about possibilities, reasons and variants in my life to put an end to it - I have never attempted suicide - and believe me, this fact can also be used against me by the dark corners of my brain, just like from the outside and disguised in sentences "If you haven't jumped yet then you can't be that bad!"
Regardless of whether the sentence comes from my head or from the mouth of my counterpart, it is a pretty powerful weapon with a long blade that digs into my core.
But what kept me from doing it? If the thought of your own death lingers in your head for weeks, months, years, then you need a strong reason to resist it. And for me it was my family for a long time, and I didn't want to cause them any more worries than were already there. For me it would definitely have been the simpler, often more tempting solution.
Sometimes it took an incredible amount of strength and will to continue. When the thoughts turned black again, the pressure too great, and hope too small, then self-harm and alcohol have helped me a lot. And I say "helped" on purpose. Even if I simply shifted the problem, I am still here today thanks to these helpers.
Now I have banned these helpers from my life over the last few months and years. With my coming out and the knowledge that my family now knows what things I'm struggling with, this reason has unfortunately also weakened. And I have not (yet) found a new, equally strong one. Which I struggle with very much. Overall, the whole system could use a little more stability.
Especially after my last big hole in the spring, I realized how much I depend on external reasons that keep me alive. How little I am worth it to myself. That I am not reason enough myself. Sounds bad, but that's how it is.But I also noticed that I can still rely on my previous helpers. That might not be the best finding either, but it's one that gives me a sense of security.
And yes, I have a lot of little reasons. But when in doubt, they have no chance against the dark giant. But what I do notice is that the mission I am on (including this blog) could sooner or later grow into this strong foundation. To change that and how we talk about mental illness. Noticing that something is moving. That I can make a difference feels good. Brings my insides to shine in the truest sense of the word.
And no, I don't think about killing my life every day. Somewhere in the back of my mind this possibility, this option is always buzzing around. But mostly the small reasons and my ratio can keep them in check. A lot has to come together for the thoughts to become more concrete again.
What to do?
And then what? What can I do? What can you do For me or for your acquaintance who is in a crisis? Well, as already announced, help in this case is once again not rocket science:
To be there. To listen.
That is the basis of all help. All recovery begins.
The Friends for Life have put together a great Do & Don't list for loved ones of people who are contemplating suicide:
What suicidal people don't want
* Be alone.
Rejection can often make a problem ten times as bad. Having someone to turn to, on the other hand, gives things a completely different face.
* Receive good advice.
Teachings are of no help. Just as little as the encouragement 'Cheer up' or your frivolous assurance that 'everything will be fine'. Avoid analyzing, comparing, categorizing, or criticizing.
* Be queried.
Don't change the subject, don't feel sorry for yourself or appear condescending. Talking about feelings is not easy. People who are suicidal do not want to be pushed or put on the defensive.
People tired of life do not look for answers or solutions. They look for a safe place where they can express their fears and worries and be themselves. Listening - really listening - is not easy. We have to pull ourselves together not to reply immediately - to make a comment, not to start talking ourselves, to tell a story or to give advice. We not only have to react to the facts that we hear from the person concerned, but also to their feelings or emotions. We have to learn to see things from the other person's perspective, not from our own.
What people want who have thoughts of suicide
* Someone to listen to you.
Someone who really takes the time to listen to them. Someone who does not judge the same way, gives advice or opinions, but turns to his counterpart with undivided attention.
* Someone you can trust.
Someone who respects them. Someone who keeps everything strictly confidential.
* Someone who cares.
Someone who is happy to make himself available, who takes his counterpart's bias and speaks calmly to him. Someone who gives a sense of security, accepts despair and gives faith. Someone who says, 'I don't care about you'.
Another request. Or two.
My request to everyone relatives and actually to everyone: deals with the topic sensitively. Don't take it lightly. Do not make hasty judgments.
If someone tells you directly or you have the suspicion that someone might harm themselves, then be there. Asks. And listen. In this article I have given some pointers and tips that I hope will help you should you ever get into such a situation.
In addition, I ask you: deal with the topic sensitively even if it is not about a person you know directly. If you read a headline or the train is delayed again because of »personal injury«. Again, try not to judge. Remember that this person knew no other way out. That he didn't want to die - he couldn't go on living like this.
And my request Affected: look for ways, reasons! Try to talk. Hold on. Keep fighting. So far you've got through 100% of your worst days, a pretty good rate right ?! Do not believe the voices in your head that depict a future without you in the most dazzling colors. Turn the tables. Imagine someone close to you is suddenly no longer there.
Do not think of "in a year" or "in a month." Think about now Focus on the little things, the little victories. Got up? hot! What ate! Excellent! Made another day? YOU'RE AMAZING!!!
I would like to close this article with a wonderful, accurate quote from my most revered Benedict Cumberbatch aka Sherlock Holmes, Season 4, Episode 3:
Taking your own life ... Interesting expression. Taking it from who? Once it's over it's not you who'll miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own. Keep your hands off it!
Info & help
The telephone counseling not only offers a 24-hour hotline (0800 111 0 111 or 11 123) but also email, chat and face-to-face advice. Everything anonymously if you wish!
There is also the Psychiatry Crisis Service especially for Bavaria, which can be reached on 0180 655 300.
Further numbers and addresses are available from the German Society for Suicide Prevention.
Concrete advice on how relatives can act if they think someone close to them may be at risk is provided on the great side of friends for life.
Lots of information, well prepared, for those affected and their relatives (English): befrienders.org.
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