You asked the “why” question. In therapy, and I am generalizing since there are many forms of therapy, it is very common for clients to ask “why.” They always seem to think that knowing the answer will solve their current problems and quite simply stated, it will not help in the least. You have identified a number of issues and no doubt they related to your childhood. Perhaps it took extreme problems or circumstances on your part as a child to get attention from your mother or other parent. Perhaps, you are attempting to shame your parents and seek sympathy from others.
All of my guesses are irrelevant.
Your known behavioral problems and the thoughts that underlie them are what need to be dealt with in therapy. Therapy is a corrective process, a way to develop a more appropriate approach to life in general. Find a good therapist. You may need to see several to be able to find the best one. Interview 10-20 on the phone, see who seems the kindest, the most knowledgeable and the one who is the easiest to talk with. Narrow your list and then make an appointment with three or four and finally make your choice. A good therapist will literally save your life.
There are many forms of “suicide” that allow one to go on breathing while living a life without direction or fulfillment or meaning. To anyone reading this answer, never underestimate the power of counseling if done by a talented individual. Degrees, framed nicely and covering every bare inch of space on a large wall, rarely correlate with the “talent” that I speak of.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 2, 2007.