Considering Suicide

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I feel like I am close to possibly killing myself, and I don’t know what to do. I have these disturbing thoughts that had followed me into each night, and now they persist into my waking hours(they are thoughts of my throwing myself down a long flight of stairs, or throwing myself off of a tall building), there are thoughts of hopelessness and despair each and every day.

I am in love with a woman who only thinks of me as a friend, it seems that every woman now only thinks of me ‘as a friend’, I am unemployed with no prospects(but plenty of skills), I have few friends(but plenty of acquaintances), I live in my parents basement(which further destroys my self-esteem). I have not had a genuine sexual encounter with a woman in years.

I am disabled, though no longer seriously. Yet when I was more seriously disabled I had a lot of friends(women didn’t only think of me as a friend), I was working, and I had a descent sex life. I am now growing more and more cynical and untrusting of people(especially single women). I don’t want to be a cynical person, I want to trust people…..but if conditions persist, I fear that my self-loathing will grow.

It seems as if there is little hope for me now, if now that I am more physically capable women treat me as if I am not worthy of being loved, if now that I a more mobile I am not treated as if I am capable of working.

I am currently seeing a therapist, but I am worried that if I tell her about these dire thoughts she may be forced to have me locked up.

I fear for my life.

A. You are experiencing a difficult time. Virtually everyone can relate to having a similar period in their life. Problems are a part of life. They are inevitable. It is the nature of life. Bad times hit everyone, some not as bad as those you are going through and some much worse.

Life might be difficult now but it would be a mistake to believe that it will always be that way. Your life can improve.

When someone says they are considering suicide, I often refer them back to the stories of individuals who have attempted suicide but who had survived. Survivors of suicide attempts are a unique group. Their stories are both sad and inspirational. They experienced the depths of depression, decided that their lives were not worth living, attempted to end their lives but then recovered from that experience with a powerful and hopeful message: life is worth living.

Conventional wisdom might suggest that these individuals, who failed at their suicide attempt, would simply try again but they did not. Why? Because they realized that their lives can improve and even a troubled life is worth living.

Survivors were thankful that they had failed to kill themselves. Some felt so strongly about their experience that they then dedicated their lives to suicide prevention. They did not want others to make the same mistake that they had.

I would strongly urge you to speak to your therapist about your suicidal thoughts. Generally speaking, an individual cannot be hospitalized against their will unless they are posing an imminent threat to themselves or to others. The operative word is imminent. In addition, an individual has to have a specific plan for suicide or homicide, and the means to carry out their plan for them to be involuntarily hospitalized.

You are in therapy. You need to honest with your therapist so that they can do the job that they were trained for: to help you. They are there for exactly that reason, to help you in every possible way. You have chosen them so that they could help you, now trust them to do their job. Tell your therapist exactly what you are thinking, hold nothing back.

If you feel that you cannot keep yourself safe, then go to the hospital immediately. Call 911 if necessary.

You have access to a therapist. Utilize that help to develop better problem solving skills. Learning those skills will not make you immune to life problems but they can significantly improve your ability to solve those problems. Please take care and be fully open with your therapist.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Considering Suicide. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/27/considering-suicide/