The Stigma of Suicide

I ran across these statistics today and wanted to try and raise awareness on the topic of Suicide among the young. Many are shocked when they hear of a young child who died by suicide. It’s not a topic often addressed because of ‘The Stigma of Suicide’.

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Watch for these signs. They may indicate someone is thinking about suicide. The more signs you see, the greater the risk. (YSPP)

  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Current talk of suicide or making a plan
  • Strong wish to die or a preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Signs of depression, such as moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Hinting at not being around in the future or saying good-bye

These warning signs are especially noteworthy in light of:

  • a recent death or suicide of a friend or family member
  • a recent break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or conflict with parents
  • news reports of other suicides by young people in the same school or community

Other key risk factors include:

  • Readily accessible firearms
  • Impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Lack of connection to family and friends (no one to talk to)

What to do if you see the warning signs?
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If he or she has expressed an immediate plan, or has access to a gun or other potentially deadly means, do not leave him or her alone. Get help immediately.

These steps can be effective:

1- Show you care …

Often, suicidal thinking comes from a wish to end deep psychological pain. Death seems like the only way out. But it isn’t. Let the person know you really care. Talk about your feelings and ask about his or hers. Listen carefully to what they have to say.

“I’m worried about you, about how you feel.”
”You mean a lot to me. I want to help.”
”I’m here, if you need someone to talk to.”

2- Ask the question …

Don’t hesitate to raise the subject. Talking with young people about suicide won’t put the idea in their heads. Chances are, if you’ve observed any of the warning signs, they’re already thinking about it. Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way. Get the conversation started.

“Are you thinking about suicide?”
”Do you really want to die?”
“Do you want your problems to go away?”

3- Get help …

Never keep talk of suicide a secret, even if they ask you to. It’s better to risk a friendship than a life. Do not try to handle the situation on your own. You can be the most help by referring your friend to someone with professional skills to provide the help that he or she needs, while you continue to offer support.

“I know where we can get some help.”
”Let’s talk to someone who can help…let’s call the crisis line,now.”
“I can go with you to get some help.”

I’m posting this because for me, Suicide is personal. I attempted suicide at age fourteen and again at 39; I have two relatives that chose this route, one of which was nineteen years old; I have a good friend that went this way, as well.

It’s important to be vigil in regards to these warning signs. Because many victims of suicide never speak of their intent to anyone, parents of children who have left us this way have their grief compounded. Thirty-four years ago when my nineteen year old brother-in-law who was ten years younger than myself chose this way out of his pain, it devastated me. The last time I saw him, the look on his face, still haunts me at times. The ‘Why didn’t I say something?’ still pops into my head and that occurred thirty-five years ago this coming November. As we can see by the statistics, this is very … too … common. We need to break the silence on this matter. If we are able to see any of the warning signs, we need to speak up. We can’t allow fear to stop us. We can’t simply dismiss any ‘gut feelings’ we may be having. We need to not avoid the Bereaved Parents in such a situation. Their battles are unimaginable often even for other Bereaved Parents. We need to educate, we need to reach out.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

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4 thoughts on “The Stigma of Suicide

    1. TY! We truly do need to break the silence and stand against the shame so many labor with in regards to this subject matter. (((HUGS))) I had written about this a couple of times in my book: ‘Gifts from the Ashes’, as well. There is also an article on my blog titled: ‘Wrong Number’ in which I go into more depth regarding my attempt at age 39. (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am so glad you are addressing this horrible problem. “Problem” doesn’t seem a good enough word to describe the pain and suffering for the action of committing suicide. Pain and suffering for the person and for those left behind, trying to make some sense out of such a tragedy. I want to comment more but have to go at the moment, so I’ll get back later. In the meantime, is it okay if I share this email “Blog” with my daughter-in-law? There has been a spirit of suicide in my ex-husbands family and both my sons and their father have considered this as an option from pain, emotional and physical. I pray against this generational curse all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely! JudyAnn…please do share. I wrote about it a few times in my book. You are correct in regards to the generational ties. When I was about ten, I had found my mom on her bed when I went for a ‘weekend visit’. There was a bottle of pills and a note on her bedside table. Thankfully, I ran up to her friend’s apartment where I then stayed and she got my mom help in time. I have battled with this my entire life. The odd thing is that my son’s demise in a way has kept me going. Don’t want to explain that here, though. Folks need to ‘CARE’. It so angers me that they are legalizing ‘death with dignity’ in so many states. But not at all surprising to me. Euthanasia was foreseen as soon as they legalized abortion. Folks are hurting deeply and their pain is so so often dismissed as ‘self-pity’ or ‘drama’ or ‘negativity’, etc. Folks truly see no other way out and the enemy whispers this as their option. Many who go down this road are called: ‘selfish’, too, when in fact they often believe they are doing the best thing for their families in taking this route. I once was required to give a speech at college. I chose the topic of suicide among the elderly. More elderly were committing suicide in a year than all the deaths of our military that had occurred in the entire Vietnam War. A dear friend of mine went this route just a few years ago. They moved him from his home to an apartment. I told them NOT to do this to him, that he could not survive it. But they said it was ‘best’ for him. Shortly thereafter, he ended it. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

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