emotions, Personal

Suicide

ftpcory

Yesterday, the world lost one of the best performers/comedians I’ve ever seen: Robin Williams. His death, apparently by suicide, seems also tragic. How could someone who seemed to have what most of us want, feel alone enough to end his own life.

The story of Joseph Grimaldi comes to mind when discussing this. It’s a story about a man who goes to a doctor about his depression. The doctor tells him to go see the famous clown at the circus. The man then tells the doctor, that he is that clown.

I’m not a clown (insert joke here), but I’m all to familiar with suicide. I’ve had serious thoughts of, and even tried, to kill myself repeatedly. The first time, I was 10 years old. Since then, I’ve struggled with it many times in my life (most recently, right before I went to rehab).

I think this would be a good time for a much more public discussion on why people get to that point. Also, it’d be a good time to talk about effective techniques for helping people who are in such a dark place.

I can only speak from my experiences, so here’s some of my thoughts about when you’re “in the trenches”:

Stuff That Doesn’t Help

Stuff That Helps

In summary, I’d say that nobody can ‘fix’ the person with these issues. All you can do is listen, and provide options to do things. Getting out, working out, whatever, is the only way I know to get past all of it.

Something else, perhaps more important – I really hope recent events help to further remove the stigma about suicide. This is something that a lot of people struggle with, but are scared to talk about publicly. Being known for having thoughts of suicide is bad for employment, and bad for relationships.

That’s a damned shame.

If we’re a tolerant society, if we’re going to profess to be inclusive of all people, then we need to allow people to speak publicly about how they feel. Having thoughts of suicide doesn’t make you a bad person. It means there’s something up with your brain chemistry. It means that you might need help sometimes addressing that.

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