I’ve been quite open and honest about my struggles with depression and anxiety and some of you might remember previous blogs I’ve written for Time To Change Wales, but I felt it was time to write about the hardest struggle I’ve been trying to overcome, purely because I find it easier to write down how I feel and then at least people know, so if they’re comfortable enough to talk to me then I’m more than happy to talk about it but also to let people in the same situation know that they’re not alone.
Before I start, this is outlining the symptoms of suicidal thoughts, something which isn’t understood nearly as much as it should be.
I have suicidal thoughts and have recently gone through a patch where they’re becoming more frequent than I’d like, but let me explain how this doesn’t necessarily scare me; suicidal thoughts are, for me, just that, they’re thoughts.
These thoughts can sometimes come from nowhere, they can be triggered by my anxiety or just from a bad day but the overwhelming desire to escape life just consumes me, I find myself driving home from work and thinking about how easy it would be to drive into a wall or over a bridge, or I can be walking my dog along the coast path and I’d just think about how easy it would be to slip off the edge and all my worries would be gone.
So, what’s the difference between these thoughts and the people who actually go as far as attempting suicide or worse? As I said, these are thoughts, I know that I won’t go through with it, for a start, I don’t have the courage, because believe me, suicide is far from a cowardly act, it takes every ounce of energy you have.
"It’s something we need to be talking about because a problem that’s spoken about will eventually become less taboo."
When you’re contemplating suicide, you’re not doing it for attention, it seems like it’s the only way out. A way of getting some respite from a never ending situation and most certainly for me, at these times, I’m not thinking about myself but how much better off people would be without me. Colleagues wouldn’t have to deal with me on a daily basis, friends wouldn’t have to have me texting and bothering them all the time. Quite honestly, nobody would notice if I wasn’t around, everybody has their own life and I’d soon be forgotten. Again, this isn’t for attention, it’s how anxiety and depression demons work, in the back of your mind, you know they’re lying but sometimes, they win.
These thoughts are debilitating and not to be taken lightly, it’s something we need to be talking about because a problem that’s spoken about will eventually become less taboo. Luckily I have a couple of fabulous friends who I can be open with. They don’t patronise me and say I’m being stupid but tell me what I need to hear, that I’m not a burden and that I matter.
Suicide is a legitimate cause of death and needs to be treated the same as any other cause of death. Death is death, a sad occasion all around. However, those who die by their own hands deserve the same respect and dignity as those who die in any other way. Let’s talk about suicide and be there for each other.
If you would like to write a blog post about your experiences of stigma or related issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org