Suicide and the stigma

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Caster, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. Caster

    Caster Well-Known Member

    I wasn't sure what to title this thread, but anyways...I've noticed as many of you probably have how if you try to talk with someone in real life about how you're feeling and mention suicidal, they either say quit being a baby, they get angry, act mean or hateful, or just don't want to hear it. Or they say you're just seeking attention. But then when someone does commit suicide they say if only they would have just asked for help or said something. I just don't get it. In my extended family there's been several suicides and a lot of hatred toward those that did commit suicide after the grief passed.

    I've heard bad things about hospitals too and if you're honest with a doctor you'll get sent to one and that's mortifying when everyone in your life finds out.

    So what do you guys think? I almost feel like it's best to just cover up everything along with how I feel and pretend like everything is well in life. It's hard but that's what I do for the most part. And that if you can't cope it's best to just off yourself without saying anything.
  2. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    There's a stigma attached to mental health in general I think, a lot of people find it hard to relate to or take it to mean that the person is unstable and therefore a hazard of some sort. In my family at least we generally brush mental illness under the table and don't talk about it, which in a way just makes things harder because it almost feels like I ought to be embarassed or ashamed of myself for having these kind of issues.

    I haven't really heard much about getting hospitalized and such, but I know from experience that when I mentioned being suicidal to my doctor and my therapist you always get a kinda shocked, awkward reaction. Like they don't really know what to do with you or what to say. :huh:
  3. Caster

    Caster Well-Known Member

    You're definitely not alone avarice. There's rarely any talk of depression or anxiety issues in my family. Everyone either has pills or uses alcohol to cope, and puts on a happy face. I guess I can understand why though; sometimes it's easier to just act like everything is honkydory. I hate when I can't hide certain things and people at work ask if I'm ok.

    And yeah, I know what you mean about therapists or psychiatrists not knowing what to say. My last therapist was shocked when I told her I was having suicidal feelings often and made me sign something stating I wouldn't harm myself. And that was just from telling her I had thoughts about it but no intention of acting on those thoughts at the time.
  4. Ringo

    Ringo Well-Known Member

    I can totally relate to everything you've said. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that people who have never been suicidal have absolutely no idea what it is like.

    I don't think you should ever cover anything up though. Always be truthful about how you feel because there's always a chance that things can improve.
  5. xToxThexGravex

    xToxThexGravex Well-Known Member

    My dad likes to ignore the fact that I have a problem, and he perceives those with mental disorders to be weak and pathetic, saying they should "buck up" and other bullshit like that. That's why I never talk to him about any of it! NEver have, and never will.
  6. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    There is definitely a lot of stigma attached to mental health, and I've found that I tend to not mention my issues to my friends, even the ones who know about them (and never to my family, we just don't talk about such things), because they seem to just keep expecting things to be better the next time they see me.

    My counsellor knows I'm suicidal, but not how bad it is. He handled it really well, although I don't like to talk about it myself, so I suppose he is spared that awkwardness. Although it's him that brings it up, so I think he can deal with it.

  7. barto

    barto Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Like Avarice said, I think it surrounds mental illnesses. And the same is now applied to self harm when it is dismissed as an "emo thing."

    Nobody really knows I'm depressed/suicidal. I hide it very well. I told my very best friend that I have been recommended to seek out a therapist 7 times and her response was "What do you need therapy for?" She might as well have told me to "suck it up."
  8. Caster

    Caster Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input guys. I'd pretty much come to the same conclusions. I just wish I'd done it sooner though and not have told anyone how I was feeling.
  9. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    I've told my family and they said they just don't understand.. Now my neice has the same problems I have and they are all ooohh awww over her..I tried several times to talk to my therapist about it and she just changes the subject..I guess you just have to remeber thirty years ago no one talked about such things.. If you were really in bad shape they just put you in a sanatorium..
  10. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    A person does have to put on a false face and carry on in a normal fashion when their psychiatric illness is chronic. When the pain causes you to wish and plan for death you have to try to step back and be objective about your situation. As chronic and treatment resistant as depression is for some people there is always enough help out there today to eliminate the pain or lessen it to where it is manageable.

    Tell the people closest to you that you that you are absolutely not seeking attention and remind them of your relatives who died by suicide. A hospital stay is not particularly stigmatizing, every time I've been in the hospital several patients were highly functional but there to get off of a drug especially painkillers. I hope you find the support you need and relief from treatment.
  11. the_snowcub

    the_snowcub Active Member

    I can understand what you mean. I ran out of meds last week (I'm bipolar) and couldn't be bothered to go to the GP to get more. I went this morning. After being pushed as to why I had left it a week, I explained that it would have been a waste of money getting them, as all I have on my mind at the moment is suicide. I was told I had to phone someone to pick me up and take me to the local Psyche ward. I refused. Then told that if I didn't go, she would call the police and have me taken there forcibly. By the time I got to the hospital, I had my answers worked out and my happy head on. I left an hour later. If there hadn't have been such an over reaction, I might have got the help that I need. Instead, I just checked, my suicide kit is still in place
  12. solutions

    solutions Well-Known Member

    Suicide awareness is still stuck at the same basic assumptions that people have always had about suicide.

    "If someone talks about suicide, they won't do it."
    "If you talk to someone about suicide, you're encouraging them to do it."
    "Any attempt that fails is only a bid for attention."
    "Only the insane commit suicide."
    "If someone says they are going to commit suicide, there is no stopping them."

    Assumptions like these are why suicidal individuals often don't get the help they need. I remember a story of a mother whose son told her he was going to kill himself that night. She remembered a social worker telling her that if someone talks about suicide, they won't do it. So she did nothing. That night, the young man tried to hang himself. The next morning, he told his mother what he had done. His mother acted unconcerned, convinced he was not going to kill himself, because she assumed that if he really meant it, he would have succeeded. Again, she did nothing. Later, he successfully killed himself. All because of myths about suicide being taken as truth. And this story happened no more than a few years ago.

    Just think. All she had to do was say, "Sit down, tell me what's going on." And that may have been enough to stop him.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2011
  13. Ringo

    Ringo Well-Known Member

    Wonder how the social worker felt after that.
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