Death is at times messy and difficult to understand, suicide
is almost always so.
The nature of such a death leaves many questions unanswered,
the most pressing and confusing of which often being "why?"
Why would someone end their own life?
Attempts to address this question often cite a string of
possible reasons – mental health, bullying, unemployment, relationship issues,
the list goes on. While such an approach can help categorise the possible
causes of suicide, it can also almost entirely miss the point on one of the
fundamental reasons why people take their own lives.
These commonly cited attributions to suicide aren’t wrong. Short
of being the impetus for suicide however, they are more often the generator of
the true catalyst of suicide – deep
People turn to suicide when the emotional pain they are
facing far exceeds their ability to cope with that pain.
Emotional pain in this sense can take a variety of forms.
Heartbreak can hurt so bad that it is physically manifested, humiliation can be
piercing, anxiety is paralyzing, and feelings of worthlessness damage more than
just self esteem.
While we all experience emotional pain to varying degrees on
any given day – how it can lead to suicide depends on the intensity of that
Pain can be one-off or may accumulate over several
instances. We are usually resilient enough to endure the
occasional blow life deals us. However, when a barrage of these occurs at the
same time or in quick succession, the pain that develops can be drawn out and
seemingly impossible to heal from.
This is the kind of pain that eats you up from the inside,
creating an endless void of darkness, dread, and despair. Any glimmer of hope
or optimism for the future is slowly drained and mustering the will to live
becomes a daily struggle.
As much as a person in this state wants to reach out for
help, this otherwise simple act becomes immensely difficult as they are
convinced that there is nothing and no one that can help turn their situation
The fear of being judged, labeled or reprimanded for how
they are feeling also stops them from seeking support. This leaves
them feeling further trapped and represents an added layer of emotional strain.
Very often, individuals experiencing a suicide crisis don’t
want to die. Yet, they feel increasingly powerless to resolve the pain in their
live or to remove the situation that is causing them that pain. The only option
they feel they have is to remove themselves by taking their own lives.
The point at which a person goes from being in pain to being
suicidal also varies based on how well-equipped someone is to cope with it.
Imagine your capacity to endure emotional pain as a bottle.
The events that cause pain are like water that flows in – mental health worries,
bullying, unemployment, relationship issues, the list goes on. Now, imagine
having holes at the bottom of the bottle where water flows out from. These help
you cope with diffusing that pain – your reaction to adverse situations, a good
support network of friends, family, a pet even. All this stops your bottle from
But the thing is, everyone’s bottle is different. Other’s
might be smaller, maybe there aren’t as many holes at the bottom or the holes
are smaller, some might have had trauma growing up, some may not have friends
or family for them to help cope with whatever happens in their life. That bottle
is going to overflow and suicide becomes a very real risk when it does.
Don’t let your bottle overflow. Don’t let it reach that
stage. Let someone know. Reach out. We all have something to work on and that’s
OK. You are not alone.
KNOW SOMEONE WHO MAY BE FACING A CRISIS OR GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME? LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SOMEONE IN CRISIS, OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES HERE.