Our western society has made suicide one of the biggest taboos a person can commit. Throughout the course of human history, suicide has existed in one form or another. It is as old as mankind itself, yet we consider it one of the biggest sins you can commit. Our mindset towards suicide has been molded by religion and other moral standards. Since I live in a western society, the religions that have shaped the minds of the people around me are Christianity and Judaism.
The fact that suicide is considered a taboo is a sad fact of the cultural standards we place on ourselves. Suicidal thoughts are common among people, that doesn’t mean that everyone with suicidal thoughts will commit to their plan. I’ve had personal experience with this, I have depression and sometimes those thoughts pop up, but I don’t act on them. However, I know and understand the pain that someone is feeling when they get to that point because I have been there before. In a previous blog post, I talked about my diagnosis with depression and the journey of getting that diagnosis. That deep dark place people go when they plan or commit suicide is familiar to me. I know it is familiar to other people as well.
The only way we can lower suicide rates is by making suicide less of a taboo to talk about. People with suicidal thoughts or tendencies don’t want to seek help because they fear the stigmatization that comes with seeking help. Suicide is more common than people think, the pain people feel is very real even if you cannot see it. Depression is a battle that can end in suicide, but other mental illnesses also have the same battle. It is 2017 and things are getting better, but we need to make sure we keep making progress and do not go backward.
I’ve decided to gather some statistics to show just how common it is and how we need to start helping people more with those thoughts. Here are some interesting facts that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has gathered about suicide in the united states.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
- Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
- For every 25 suicide attempts, there is a suicide
- On average there are 121 suicides a day.
There are more statistics and you can find them here –> American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide is hard to talk about but it needs to be a conversation everyone has regardless of what your beliefs are. If people really believe that suicide is the biggest sin someone can commit, then they need to start helping people who feel this way instead of shunning them or making them feel like they are lying. What they are feeling is extremely real and should never be taken lightly, no matter what. If someone you know starts acting differently and seems off, talk to them, see if they need help. Even if they don’t want to talk, just being there for someone makes a huge difference. If you honestly believe they are going to hurt themselves take them to a hospital even if they protest. We need to have this open conversation, we need to be there for each other, we need to be kind, and we need to start believing each other. The only way we can lower suicide rates is by being there for each other, no matter what.
If you are having suicidal thoughts please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
Suicide is not the answer to a temporary problem, I know it’s hard to remember that when you are experiencing that level of pain but please know that you aren’t getting rid of your pain, your simply handing it over to someone else. I’m here for anyone who needs someone to talk to, I’ve been there, I understand how hard it is.
Thank you for reading and remember if you are having suicidal thoughts please contact the number above or visit the website. There are people who care about you, I promise. And if you don’t feel like there are, remember, I care for you.
At the moment I am researching historical views on suicide, along with other facts that have to deal with suicide. I’m hoping to write a research article with the information I learn. I’m excited about this article because I love learning about things and I’ll have a historical understanding of suicide in the western world. I’m an advocate about being open about depression and suicide because I’ve been there. I hope to touch some people with my article. Be on the lookout for that in the next month. Thank you for your support and as always thank you for reading.