IDEATION : the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas <suicidal ideation>
It is something that affects people of all ages, all racial backgrounds, and all economic standings. Males are 4-5x more likely to commit suicide than females, and people ages 35-85 are 1.5x more likely to kill themselves than people 15-24. Children 5-14 kill themselves (with intent) at 1/10th the rate of people 15-24.
More people die from suicide than homicide.
But what you hear about in the news is either murder or teen suicide.
Suicide among the elderly is brushed off as compassionate, suicide among the middle-aged is taboo, but suicide among teenagers is a travesty, because that is what society wants us to believe. Whether it is you parents, siblings, children, or grandchildren burying you, we are indifferent.
Suicide is usually a last resort for a tortured soul. Someone who has been hurt by others, scarred by events in their lives, or overwhelmed by the world they have found themselves in. It is not something that comes lightly, to most, and most suicidal people carry a lot of guilt. It is when the guilt of living outweighs the guilt for the living, even momentarily, that the wheels of fate are set in motion toward an irreversible end.
It is not just the mentally ill, the bullied youth, the destitute adult, or the ailing elderly that seek solace in death.
There are those who are happily married, have jobs they generally enjoy, and growing families, who find themselves contemplating suicide. Who wake up in the morning, get ready for work, kiss their family good-bye, and on their way to work realize how easy it would be to end it all. A quick jerk of the wheel, a concrete barricade, and a 70mph decision could take their stress away.
Not all stress is bad stress, but even too much good stress can be bad. Ask someone with Autism. It is just as easy to be overwhelmed with the good change and exuberance around you as it is with the failures and trials that come with life.
It can be one one big stressor: the death of a child, the experience of war, grave disability/illness, the loss of a career.
Or it can be a bunch of small stressors combined: the changes in weather, a minor unexpected bill, a growing project list, growing family/changes in dynamic, medical issues, social stress, family stress, work stress, grocery shopping, needing to go to the post office to mail an overdue package, needing to plan a vacation, needing to organize a team (or two), needing to get your vehicle repaired, being in the middle of your parents’ divorce, issues with the ILs, IEP meetings, making dinner, tracking activities, keeping up with laundry, cleaning the house, cleaning up after everyone, potential shifts in work schedule, constant activity reschedules due to weather, issues with coworkers, forgetting lunch at home, unexpected medical appointments, issues with customers at work, the dog getting sick, the dog having a laundry list of food allergies, etc.
Nothing on that second list is in-it-of-itself a horribly stressful event, but you put them together, and anyone can feel overwhelmed.
Add to that a history of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and you’ve got a powder keg at a welding shop. One errant spark, and BOOM.
Don’t be mistaken, people who commit suicide usually have loved ones they care very deeply about. People they cherish, and would do anything in the world to protect.
But when you are at the point when the boughs are breaking, and everything is flooding in around you, those loved ones, those beautiful cherished ones that light up your life, they are dimmed out by the walls of overwhelming stress, pain, guilt, and shame. Apathy sets in, and nothing matters except ending those feelings. Of doing something to take away the helplessness. Suicide is the final way to take back control.
It is the liberation from love and hate.
The cleansing of stress and the atonement for wrongdoing.
It is the ultimate deliverance.