Suicidal feelings don't last
Suicide.Sad. Selfish. A waste. Incomprehensible.
That's the worst part for those left behind - every 16 minutes in the U.S. - thinking that in those final moments the love of family or friends didn't seem enough to overcome a sense of hopelessness. Did I not tell him enough that I care, that he has value? Did I not call her enough? Was it my fault?We all hurt deeply from time to time. Sometimes, difficult life events make that hurt seem too much to bear, the resulting self-reflections and feelings of "failure" from common events such as job loss, death, divorce, or serious illness may feel permanent.
They aren't.Still, sometimes the impermanence of these, or of mental illness and its many effects, isn't so obvious. Sometimes the chemical effects of emotion linger too long in the blood and brain and make positive thoughts and hope difficult to hold on to. The broken record of negative thoughts won't change its groove.
That isn't about anyone else, but if given the opportunity, anyone else could help. The most important message to convey is the impermanence itself."This feeling will go away." "You will feel better." "One thing you can count on in life is change; this too will change."
No matter what they say, go over there. Don't let a suicidal person be alone.Next, professional help. That can't be forced, but often you can talk someone into help of one form or another. Once in that deep whirlpool of suicidal feeling, it's very hard to get out on your own. If professional counseling is refused (try, "I'll go with you and wait outside"), a confidential hotline is the next best thing. The folks on the other end of the line are trained to help others overcome suicidal feelings. They can also help family and friends dealing with suicide or suicide attempts.
Getting past the moment is the key. The moments may recur for a while, but suicidal feelings are always temporary. Always.Hotline: (800) 273-TALK. Information and local support: SPAN (Suicide Prevention and Action Network) (208) 290-6161.
A free suicide prevention workshop will be held May 18 at the Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn, 506 Appleway, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register, call (208) 282-4436.I'll miss you and your beautiful mind, Bob.
Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network.