Q. I attempted suicide a year and a half ago, and I still feel very bad about what happened. In other aspects, I have gotten my life back together. I am no longer having crying spells or thoughts of hurting myself. Still, I go through phases where I spend long periods of time, sometimes hours, reading about suicide on the internet and trying to gain some insight into why I did it. I attempted suicide after a disagreement with someone. The incident was way more distressing than it should have been with me. But it’s not enough to say, “I was upset” Was I doing this just to draw attention to myself? Was it that I wanted to punish other people and make them feel guilty? I’m not sure about my true motives–I just know that I was angry at myself and at the other person involved and I acted on a whim. Inside, I know that this wasn’t about wanting to die. I’ve accepted that my behavior was selfish, irresponsible, and hurtful to others. But was it worse than that? I sometimes wonder if this was really a form of emotional blackmail. If so, then I guess I’ll have to add the word “manipulative” to my list of adjectives.

A. Without therapy it is unlikely that you will discover the underlying causes of your behavior. I think it is counter productive for you to ruminate over your actions without professional guidance in the process. If you are no longer suicidal, you should put that event behind you. Even with professional help, you may never come to determine the reasons which lead you to your decision. If however you are depressed to any degree, I would suggest you immediately enter counseling. Good luck.