Have had this question up in stories for many hrs now, & can tell by the # of responses, this is a topic of great interest. Enough of you have responded, that a trend seems to be forming: right now it’s at 60%, but at least half or more of you believe that the strength of ideations outweigh stigma as a reason as to why we lose so many to suicide.
First let me acknowledge there are many factors beyond these 2 (IG Polls only give 2 options). Second, there isn’t a “right” answer here – it’s an opinion bc the answer to this question is near impossible to prove. All of that being said, I find it FASCINATING, that more than half of the respondents understand just how strong ideations are, & just how much they can overpower us.
Little context for those who don’t know my personal story: when I felt the ideations at their strongest, they felt like they developed “out of nowhere.” Nothing “bad,” situationally had recently happened to me. They overtook me, & (from what I believe was the build up of past chronic stress & trauma that had built up in my system over many yrs, untreated), my “Jenga Tower” had one too many pieces removed, & my tower came toppling down.
I couldn’t stop the repetitive thoughts of self harm (in my case, related to a bottle of pills). However, I knew I didn’t WANT to do die. In fact, part of my brain was asking at the time – what are you thinking? Fortunately, I was at my family’s house at the time, I screamed out for help, & was taken to where I could get it.
Do we lose ppl where there are notes, & plans & overwhelming feelings? Yes. But we also lose MANY to suicide where the is no note, there were no outward signs anything was awmiss, & we are left w little to no explanation. Strength of ideations or a “brain break” would appear to be at play.
Here’s my main point: if we can have a heart attack & immediately go into something like cardiac arrest (from the build up of plaque in our arteries), can we not have the MH equivalent of a heart attack – major suicidal ideations (from the build up of stress/trauma inside of us)?
And…if we can look at one of the major causes of suicide that way – biological changes leading to changes in our thoughts, doesn’t that A) remove some of the stigma, B) allow us to more openly talk about it, C) EDUCATE people as to what to look out for when it comes to ideations, so they can make a plan as to how to quickly ask for help (like the 988 #)?
I don’t propose to have the answer to eliminate this epidemic plaguing us. But, I do think we can be realistic in saying: these thoughts live somewhere inside all of us (even if they only surface for 1/19th of one second at a time), they can hit us out of what feels like nowhere, & bc of that we can prepare folks just like we prepare them for other emergencies, which will at least put a DENT in this epidemic.
Why am I so hellbent on this “1 in 5” vs “4 in 5” issue” we have w the current campaigns? I’m hellbent bc the 4 in 5 tune out messages bc they haven’t been diagnosed w disorders (nor do they want to be).
But how many are we losing to suicide, who exist in that that 4 in 5, could we save, if we more openly discussed this topic, in a way similar to the above? Life & biology happens. There is no shame in it. We have to take the shame out of the suicide discussion if we’re gonna reverse the trends & save more lives.