Borrow my hope: There’s no one reason for suicide


In a previous newsletter, I had discussed the harmful myth that people who end their lives or think about ending their lives are somehow being selfish.

Today, I want to tackle another enduring myth, which is that suicide and suicidal thoughts stem from a single reason.

That is, suicide and suicidal ideation don’t take just one form. More than this, there’s some nuance I want to make. Not only are there different factors for different people when it comes to thinking about suicide, but multiple factors can exist in the same person.

For instance, in my case, depression made things pretty awful in my life, at least internally. But it was whenever a lot of stress or anxiety came along with the depression that things began to feel unbearable.

Many other influences exist concerning suicidal ideation.

VerywellMind identifies several of the most common reasons people end their lives, including mental illness(es), trauma, hopelessness, and suffering a loss or fearing a loss.

Other factors may include chronic pain, one’s economic situation (over 10,000 deaths by suicide in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are attributable to the Great Recession, according to Forbes), homelessness, or any combination of the reasons mentioned.

With this in mind, we can’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to suicide awareness and prevention. In future newsletters, I’ll address many of these factors in suicide and suicidal ideation and what society needs to do to reduce them.

Again, it’s also important to realize that on an individual level, someone may experience suicidal thoughts for a variety or multiple reasons. They may feel like a failure and/or a burden and/or unlovable. It’s complex, multifaceted, and difficult to work through.

Maybe that’s why there’s such a lack of conversation in our society about suicide. Because it takes time to peel the onion, so to speak.

Because there are issues on an individual and systemic level.

Because it’s going to be hard.

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