Is Suicide the Answer?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Hi. I’ve been suicidal for the past couple of months, but it’s recently become a more realistic issue. Before, I had suicidal thoughts and ideations, but only thought seriously about them on occasion, whereas now, it seems to be the only way to end everything. I find i spend the majority of the day thinking up ways to kill myself, and am waiting for the right moment (ie. when family would be less hurt.). I have many different plans — they’re sort of separated into 2 columns. One column: what i deserve. Second column: What’s more likely to be successful. Thing is, my mood goes up and down — sort of like Bipolar, but the majority of the time, I’m depressed. when i’m in an “up” mood, (which is more like unbelievable anger rather than elation, with the occasional happy high,) I hate myself for even thinking it, and punish myself for being so selfish — not thinking about what it’d do to my family, but when I’m in a depressed mood, It seems to be the only way out, and the thought is a sort of stimulant. I think to myself “It’s okay, Not long left in this life.”

Part of me says “don’t say a word to anyone, kill myself and get it over with, do it!” And this IS what i want; I DO want to die, without a doubt. But guilt takes over and stops me from doing it. Thing is, i’m feeling closer and closer to the edge as every day goes by, and I’m beginning to realise that i’m completely out of control of my emotions and actions. I guess i sort of act on impulse in that area of issue. I know that it won’t be long before I will go through with it, and ignore the guilt pangs. In a way, this is a relieving thought, as I’m desperate for the day I end my life, but I also worry about how my family will feel when I do it. I love them unconditionally and want to hurt them as little as possible.

I know your first reaction may be: “consider hospitalization” But that’s not the way to go. I am NOT going into a psych ward. That’s sure to make me worse?! And I don’t want to be stopped either.. I don’t REALLY know what i want. Everything I want is wrong in one way or another, so I’ve given up “wanting” I guess. I’ve been dx’ed with depression and anxiety, but there are many, many other issues, including the following; derealization symptoms, possible Bipolar symptoms?(Not 100% sure about that one), SI, Low self-esteem, mild paranoia and a few other things i’m not keen on going into. I have been sexually abused in the past (Not by parents), and have had many other experiences that, again, I don’t want to go into. I do have a therapist but he’s not very helpful. I don’t like talking to him about things anymore, and I end up feeling extremely angry at him, as he doesn’t seem to understand. I’m a complete state and I guess I’m just looking for a “magic answer”. I know I’m hoping for more than is possible, but I don’t know anymore. I don’t know WHAT advice I’m asking for myself really.. I guess it’s just a sort of cry for help. Help in any form. Please?

A. Life is so precious. It truly is. But I know this is difficult to see when you are depressed. Day-to-day life is so much more difficult for someone who is feeling so sad and hopeless. I am sorry that you have gotten to the point where you think suicide is the only answer. I know this is not a “magic answer” (and thanks for not expecting one) but it is my advice based on what you have written.

I remember working with someone, who like you is also 13, regarding this very issue. Her name is Jen. Jen began therapy feeling much like you, suicidal, depressed and hopeless. She thought constantly about ending her life. She said that she hated herself, so much so that she would spend entire days locked in her room cutting herself as a way to punish herself for being such a “horrible person.”

When she began therapy she was so sad. She saw her life as basically over. She envisioned no real future for herself. She very often spoke of suicide but like you could not bear the thought of what this act would do to her family. She realized it would destroy her family and this realization was, according to her, the only reason that stopped her from actually ending her life.

After working with her for some time, Jen came to realize just how wrong she was about herself and her future possibilities. She had mistakenly judged her life, her abilities, her future and her potential to be happy. She misjudged reality. She thought she would never stop being depressed. With intense therapy, she eventually grew to love herself and see herself in a new light, as someone who has the potential to succeed and be happy. In therapy, she learned new ways to deal with her emotions. She learned how to overcome the constant self defeating and negative thinking she had regarding herself. She was able to overcome the struggle with depression and this is a battle she did not think she would ever win. She has said many times that she shudders to think that she almost ended her life. The thought terrifies her. She is now getting ready to attend college, and she spends her days painting, writing, and hanging out with friends, attending a depression support group, instead of sitting in her room, alone, crying planning her own demise.

I tell you this story to show you that there is so much hope for you and others in your situation. There are people who have been in a very similar situation and they have managed with help to alter their life course for the better. Suicide is not the answer. Getting help is the answer. Jen emphatically believed that suicide was the only answer for her at one time. It was all that she thought about but she was so clearly wrong. She could not have been more wrong, she says. She had misjudged her situation, her emotions, and her future and now lives a much happier life. She still has days where she gets down, but these are the normal fluctuations in mood that everyone typically experiences.

What if, like Jen was, you are wrong about your situation? My sense is that you are misjudging your situation and mistakenly believing that you have no alternatives at this time. If Jen could talk with you personally, she would beg and plead with you to re-evaluate your situation and get some help. She says getting help saved her life. I strongly suggest that you talk to your parents, see a school counselor, or consider going to someone in your church and asking them where you can get help. If you are feeling suicidal, I do also strongly suggest that you go to the hospital (I know you do not want to do this). Do consider getting help immediately either from your parents, a trustworthy person or from the hospital. Please take care and thank you for writing. Lastly, please consider writing again to let me know how you are doing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Nov 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Is Suicide the Answer?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/11/28/is-suicide-the-answer/