Is it worth explaining suicide urges to people who don't understand?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by jameslyons, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    So I'm in a bit of a low period right now, and when I went to express myself to people elsewhere, I continued to be surprised by people's lack of understanding regarding suicide ideation.

    1. The fact that you have so many attempts prove that you can't stick to your principles. [LOL :D ]

    2. Why are you whining?

    3. Think about the people who have it worse than you.

    OMFG! I hate that shit. It's like apparently some people go through life without feeling a constant unrest in their being. Their worlds are not drab and full of anxiety and sadness. I mean, how do you explain to somebody who has never dealt with depression that suicide urges can come while eating yogurt or a bowl of cereal? Depression doesn't come from the outside, it's internalized.

    Depression just wears you down. People aren't depressed for days, weeks, or months - it goes on for years. And after a while, the self-preservation rubber pad is worn away entirely. I think that people who are suicidal have been the strongest people around. But your brake pads only last for so long.

    So should I respond to these people with how depression is, or just move on? I mean do people really not understand suicidal depression?
  2. Kemra

    Kemra Well-Known Member

    Noone can understand it unless they've had it.. I just snapped with my dad, really had a go, told him exactly what I have to live with on a daily basis.. he stood there shocked.. then asked me if a bit of cash might cheer me up, that he had a bit of painting work for me if i wanted it >.<

    Is it intentional when people are like that? Is it denial or just plain ignorance and lack of empathy...

    I'm so damn tired, bone deep tired.
  3. mdmefontaine

    mdmefontaine Antiquities Friend


    thinking about what you wrote. remembering my first bout of depression 10 years ago when my dad died. . . it kicked in a bit after his death, actually, and i recall my then-husband standing and watching me sit at the dining room table crying.

    hands in the air, he looked all around and said "what do YOU have to be depressed about? you have a nice house, children, a nice life, you're healthy...i don't understand, i don't get it. . . "

    clearly - that was the most intelligent statement i heard from him in 13 years together. he did NOT get it. it DOES come from within - and it has nothing to do with externals - though - it may worsen because you have difficult living conditions. he's the crazy one. why would anyone think if you ''had a nice house'' you'd be mentally healthy, happy, and have no emotional pain?
  4. Princeofhope

    Princeofhope Well-Known Member

    It's hard to explain it to anyone, regardless. The surge of your lungs collapsing, your heart wanting to rip out your chest...your mouth having no tastes.

    It hurts, but most of the gets better.
  5. Leiaha

    Leiaha Well-Known Member

    I honestly don't think it can be explained. You can try till you are blue in the face but i doubt you will ever manage to get through. People will think either how sad it is, or that you are pessimisstic and need to 'snap out of it'. tThey will say things like 'a nice cup of tea will sort you out' or 'why not get a hobby/job to take your mind off it' or 'get out for a bit, go for a walk'.
    Its the same as someone with a physical illness trying to explain to someone who is healthy what their pain feels like, you can sympathise but, you cant empathise unless you have been through the same yourself :(

    I personally don't even bother trying to explain it anymore.

    Lea :hug:
  6. Thinice

    Thinice Well-Known Member

    I've never bothered trying to explain it anyone. Partly because I'm only 17, people just think that it's another stupid teenager being dramatic and trying to get attention. Someone actually said that to me when I was diagnosed with my anorexia, they thought I was just trying to get attention.

    I'll never talk to my parents about it. If I do decide to take my life, I'll write a note explaining everything. But people on this forum and an online friend in America are the only people who know how I feel.
  7. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    In general, no, it isn't. However if you're living with someone for a period of time in all fairness you should probably should at least let them know that something is causing you a great deal of unhappiness. Whether or not you should mention having a suicidal ideation, I think you'd have to take that on a case by case basis.

    The only lies I've ever told to my wife relate to feeling suicidal. Not that I'm proud of this, but it is just how it has to be.

    I guess I don't have this problem, in the sense that I've never received a great deal of empathy on this or on most topics, so I have no expectation of ever getting any, especially re: my thoughts on suicide.

    I suppose I get surprised when I read that people expect others to actually be empathetic. That just hasn't been my experience, in fact it has been quite the contrary. The couple of times I've been truly honest to others have had some of the most horrible results, from lost friendships to being gossiped about, etc. Since that time I pretty much keep my own counsel, though I do open up a bit more on this site that I ever would elsewhere.

    Not that I disagree with you that the above is ridiculous, but what sort of reaction were you expecting? FWIW, I've been on the receiving end of #2 and #3, though since I've only attempted twice and don't do any visible self-harm (and what SH I do, I don't do that often) I've been spared #1. But that list seems pretty typical, usually with the addition of shit about having so much to live for, maybe plus the effect on your parents/spouse/child(ren), etc., added to the mix.

    I think you can discuss being depressed with some people, but not most. However, I don't think there're all that many people who understand or would be willing to even try to understand suicidal thoughts. I'd also hazard a guess that any on-line venue not specifically geared toward discussing depression, mental illness, etc., would probably also attract at least some unkind responses, as in people mocking you for your disability. Just how the world works, for better or worse.
  8. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    I used to cry to my ex gf last summer when I was really going through a bad period, only for her to tell me after 2 minutes, here is the samaritans number and cut me short when I tell her, all I want you to do is shut up and listen to me, she does so, but then says here is the samaritans number. I had to tell her, 'tell me you love me,' as I know what I need and I will ask for that.

    I've actually given up reaching out to so many people I don't even tell my therapist because I don't think she'd help :dunno: and she's really shocked I can do that but it just doesn't dawn on me to tell her?:huh: I think over the years, I've given up expecting anyone in real life to hold/comfort me when I'm feeling so awful.

    In answer to your question, no. It's not worth the pain of being at the receiving end of that treatment (and I don't get severely suicidal recently, I've never really had a serious suicide attempt it's been severe depression with loads of suicidal urges). I've experienced the responses you write, from MH workers who supposedly 'have some insight' into emotional distress and I don't want anything to do with them they trigger me so much with the bad experiences I've had with them.

    I agree with world's edge here :dunno: I've never really expected people to help me I mean ..........the f'ing A+E have treated me with those responses you post, and even a psychiatrist when I was 17 actually urged me to attempt and I was so unwell then, I can't even rely on the Crisis Team here, it's so useless.
  9. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Yeah... I suppose so. Still, I'm envious of people who have never dealt with those feelings. Especially those who haven't dealt with them for 16 years :(...
  10. Feared.Desire

    Feared.Desire Well-Known Member

    A few things.

    First off, no, I don’t think they understand us. But not any less than we understand them. I’ve seen man posts asking how people can live happy lives, yet we’re stuck in this endless spiral of depression. And it’s the same with them. They don’t understand how we live in the same world, yet seem to be utterly displeased with it. In fact, they probably understand us even less than we understand them. Some of us may have had the luxury of being happy at some point, and thusly have a kind of reference to how they are feeling and their way of thinking. Most of them have never been depressed, so they’re at a total loss.

    Another thing, one of my least favourite things people have said to me is, ‘other people have it way worse than you/me/us’.
    However, what they fail to acknowledge is that depression, or sadness in general for that matter, is caused by the loss of something, not the lack of possession.

    So, if you never had a nice house, and a porch, you won’t miss it. You may long for it, but that’s quiet different.
    On the other hand, if you once lived in a castle, and owned a porch, and then lost all of your money and were reduced to live on the street, you would severely miss what you lost and not know how to live/survive/react/cope.

    Some one can be in a lot worse of a situation than I, but be happier. As opposed to me, who is in a better position, but unhappier. It’s just the way of things.

    Fun Fact: America is one of the ‘most unhappy countries’ in the world.
    Are they poor? Do they have a very low standard of living compared to other countries? No.
    So it’s not just you/us.

    Just because our situations maybe better than others (ex - starving kids in Africa, etc…), doesn’t mean we have to feel worse about the way we are. We are what we are, and that’s the way humans are.

    Sorry, that was a lot of rambling, hope some of that made sense.
  11. PaleGhostGirl

    PaleGhostGirl Member

    I've gotten that a lot in the past from "outsiders" or even friends but many people in my family do seem to understand because so many of us have dealt with depression.

    I've just learned to keep my mouth shut anymore towards people who will never have a clue.
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