Category Archives: suicide

What It Feels Like To Be Suicidal

This is a personal piece. Please be aware that some of the content may be triggering.

I have spent a huge amount of time feeling suicidal. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve been making plans at all times but it has involved wishing I was dead and attempts at some points. It’s a complex feeling so I thought I’d try and explain what it is like to feel suicidal.

Feeling suicidal is exhausting. It is tiring fighting against a brain that wants to kill you. It takes a supreme amount of effort to get up in the morning and functioning at all is wearisome. Feeling suicidal leads to you wanting to hide away from people and it takes a huge amount of effort to keep seeing people.

You also often hear how suicide is selfish. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When I have been feeling suicidal I have spent hours going over and over in my mind about how people are better off without me. I spend time imagining how their lives will be improved without me in them. I go through thinking how hurting them in the short term will be worth it for the long term improvements in the future. Thinking of others is my major concern. I don’t want to be a burden to them anymore.

When feeling suicidal it can feel like your thoughts are crushing you. The weight of them is a burden that is hard to bear. The thoughts become intrusive and make it difficult to do normal things. The whole time you can be ruminating over why you should die or even how you could do it.

Suicidal thinking is tough. It is the most unnatural thought process. We are meant to strive to survive but instead our brains want us to die. It is far from easy. It is definitely not a sign of weakness.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal there are people you can talk to. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a week or see the page of crisis numbers from the menu above.

If you have any thoughts you want to share then feel free to use the comments, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

Advertisements

Dealing With A Suicide Attempt

This is a personal piece. Please be aware some of the content may be triggering.

Just a week ago I made an attempt on my life. I was in a dark place and couldn’t see the light. I felt like everyone would be better off without me. I felt I was a burden to everyone; my parents, my friends, the state and NHS. I just didn’t want to have to deal with everything anymore.

This may sound selfish but most of what I was thinking was how people’s lives would improve without me in them. It was far from a selfish decision, although I can see it may seem that way to others.

After I realised that I was not going to die I felt disappointed and like a failure. Why couldn’t I even kill myself? Was I that useless? It felt that way. I felt I was too weak to even manage to die. And I was still that burden on everyone else. I was also scared about telling people what I had done. I didn’t want them to be angry. Anger scares me. It’s a lack of control.

As the days moved on I felt like a failure on different levels. For one I felt a failure for still being alive, for another I felt a failure for not being able to use the DBT skills I had been learning to any effect. I felt I had let everyone down.

I was most scared about telling the professionals involved in my care. I started off by meeting with my care coordinator and told her what had happened. I thought she would be disappointed in me but she wasn’t. She said that she understood I’d tried my hardest. I then had to bring it up in therapy. This was tough because it is a group and I didn’t want to appear like I was attention seeking. It made people upset that I’d tried but the psychologists in charge were really good and said I’d tried hard so I wasn’t a failure. Although this is still hard for me to believe even now.

So where am I at now, a week on? I still am struggling with feeling like a failure. I still feel I am a burden. And also I still feel like I should no longer be living. I also feel bad that I’m not regretting it, or at least I’m not regretting that I tried. This feels wrong as people always tell you that they regretted trying. But I think that may come with time. I don’t know though as my previous attempts I have never regretted them. Am I odd for feeling this way? Who knows? Maybe it’s more common than I think? Or am I just too broken? There’s a lot of questions going through my head now and it’s very confusing. Hopefully this will become more clear with time.

If you feel suicidal please talk to someone, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you want to keep in contact with me you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

I don’t look ill

This is a personal piece. Please be aware that the content may be triggering.

I don’t look ill. But I am. I’m ravaged by mental illness. To look at me you’d think nothing was wrong. I smile. I laugh. I keep going. I say I’m fine. But I’m far from fine.

I don’t look ill. But in my head a voice tells me to die every single day. Sometimes multiple times a day. It tells me that I’m worthless. A mess. Useless. It says I deserve nothing but bad things. It gets louder and louder when I try to drown it out.

I don’t look ill. But my arms are covered in scars and fresh wounds. Self harm is my coping strategy. Self harm is a constant in my life. Self harm has taken over my life.

I don’t look ill. But each day I take medication to help my brain. I take medication to stop me feeling low. I take medication to keep my mood stable. I take medication to stop the voice in my head.

I don’t look ill. But I have tried to end my life on numerous occasions. I have wanted to die. I still want to die. These thoughts pulse through my head everyday. I can’t get rid of them.

I don’t look ill. But that means nothing. You never know what’s going on inside someone. Don’t judge.

To follow me further click here for Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Picture from Pinterest

World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

Suicide. It’s still a taboo subject. So many people are scared to talk about it. And even when they do they’re not sure what language to use. In 2017 there were 6213 deaths by suicide in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The highest rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49. The suicide rate for men has decreased and is the lowest it’s been for 30 years, however female suicide rates have remained the same for the last 10 years.

All these statistics are shocking. That is 6213 deaths by suicide too many. So what can be done to change that number? I’m no expert but I feel we need to keep pushing forward with getting people to open up. Talking helps. It’s undeniable. The problem we have though is making sure there are enough people to listen. It all comes down to money as it so often does in mental health care. We need to have more money to fund more resources so people have a place to go to talk, where they can get expert support. Charities do an amazing job at plugging some of the gaps but it seems not to be enough. The politicians need to start looking at these statistics more seriously. To stop what really are preventable deaths.

Another thing I want to see change is the separation of male and female suicide. Yes, I understand more men are dying by suicide but clearly something is wrong when the male suicide rate is decreasing yet the female rate remains consistent. Every death by suicide is one too many regardless of gender. We need to tackle all suicide, male or female. Sometimes it feels like females who die by suicide are forgotten and this should not be the case at all. One life lost is enough.

So why am I writing all this? Why do I care? Because it could of been me. I could of been a statistic. I’ve tried to end my life five times. I still struggle with suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. Behind each of those statistics are people. People with a story. People with loved ones who miss them daily. People who have been let down. It’s not just a number. It’s about lives lost. And it doesn’t even begin to quantify the number of lives effected by those losses. Things need to change.

If you are feeling suicidal please reach out. It’s tough and probably a really difficult conversation but it will be one of the most important ones of your life. You deserve help and love. You are worthy no matter what your mind is telling you. And people do care. I care. I’m not going to promise it will be easy but it will be worthwhile.

For more information on suicidal feelings check out the Mind website here. For support you can contact the Samaritans here. For suicide warning signs check out my blog post here. And if your feeling suicidal please read this.

To keep up to date or share with me feel free to use the comments or Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Running Out

This blog post is a personal piece. Please be aware some content may be triggering.

I’m about to start a change in my medication. In particular to the antipsychotic I take. This is nothing unusual; I’ve changed my medication lots of times before. Yes, it can be anxiety inducing waiting to see if you get any side effects or if it is actually going to help, but time things feel different. Why? Because this time I’ve been told they are running out of options.

I have recently found out that there is a problem with my heart, caused by medication I have taken (prescribed). Please don’t be alarmed by this, it’s just something that can happen, not always though. This does mean, however, that a number of medications are off limits. It’s restricted my options for treatment a lot, especially for antipsychotics. This has left me with a lot of different feelings.

First of all I’m kind of scared. I’m scared for what the future might bring. As someone who has anxiety anyway this has piled it on. My thoughts have been racing, filled with what if’s. What if this new medication doesn’t work? What if there is no alternative? What if I can’t get better? At the moment I feel a long way from coping with the voice I hear. In my own mind I’m not sure how I can cope with it without medical intervention. What if I can’t cope? In my mind I can’t face living with this voice forever. 

This leads me on to my next feeling; desperation. I was going to call it hope but it’s beyond that. I’m not just hoping for this new medication to work and have few side effects, I’m desperate. It is a longing that I can’t describe but I’m pinning everything to this new medication. This is a dangerous thing for me to do as if things don’t work out I know I won’t react well. 

In my mind there are suicidal thoughts starting to surface already (linked to this in particular; I always have some suicidal thoughts). I’m beginning to wonder if I’m untreatable and what this means for my future. Do I even have a future? I mean I don’t know if there are other options outside medication; I’m already doing therapy and struggling. The thoughts just won’t stop invading my brain no matter what skills I use to try and slow them. It is overwhelming. 

None of this is helped by the anger I also feel. Anger is a difficult emotion for me to deal with anyway but I’m truly angry at myself for having this issue. I hate my body for always reacting to medications in the worst way. I’m angry that I need the medication in the first place. Anger is rippling through me and I’m not quite sure what to do with it.

So what’s next? There isn’t much I can do about this situation. I have to accept it and hope for the best. This is of course easier said than done. I’m lucky to have good support in place. I have a team of professionals looking after me and support from friends and family. If you are experiencing something similar this is my suggestion: get a good support system in place. If you have any advice feel free to share in the comments or on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Campaigns And Charities: The OLLIE Foundation

This blog post is a different one and is, hopefully, the first in what will be a series of posts about different campaigns and charities linked to the topic of mental health. I hope to highlight some of the great work being done in mental health. The first charity I am looking at is a small charity, local to me, called The OLLIE  Foundation. I am proud to announce that I recently became an ambassador for the charity and want to tell you more about them.

What is The OLLIE Foundation? 

The OLLIE Foundation is a charity based in St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire in the UK. OLLIE stands for One Life Lost Is Enough and the idea behind this came from three parents who lost children to suicide and decided they didn’t want anyone else to go through the pain they had endured, and wanted to help prevent death from suicide.

In 2015 there were 6639 suicides recorded in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, a number that is far too high. OLLIE aims to help reduce this by providing suicide prevention and intervention training to people who are working with children and young adults. This age range they have chosen to target in particular as suicide is the leading cause of death in young people aged 20-34, in the UK, with 1659 young people dying by suicide in 2015.

What does The OLLIE Foundation offer?

The OLLIE Foundation offers two courses to parents, school staff and sports group leaders, as well as young adults themselves, to get them talking about suicide. The courses are offered at a highly reduced rate, thanks to the charity. 

The first course they offer is called safeTALK and is for half a day. It gives people the skills and confidence to have a conversation using the word “suicide”. It looks at ‘invitations’ that suicidal people may give to indicate they are vulnerable and builds up to a skin the direct question of whether someone is considering suicide.

The second course on offer is the two day ASIST course which aims to give people the skills the need to keep someone considering suicide safe. It answers the question “if you ask someone if they are suicidal and they answer yes, what do I do with that information?” ASIST teaches people how to create an intervention plan to keep those people safe.

Both courses are accredited, with all participants getting a certificate on completion. OLLIE does its best to get as many people trained as possible for the small fee of £80 (compared to £250) though they are open to discussion. 

For more information about The OLLIE Foundation you can check out their website theolliefoundation.org or Facebook and Twitter. If you have any queries about the training check out livingworks.net or email verity@theolliefoundation.org. 

Life Update 

This weeks blog post is a little more informal because 1. I am working on a couple of things I want to get right and 2. I’m really struggling at the moment. Therefore I thought I would just do a bit of an update of where I am at mentally. I was in two minds whether to post this after receiving some hate on Twitter but I thought this is part of my story so I should share it. Please be trigger aware when reading. 

So as I said I am really struggling at the moment with different things. One of my main issues is the voice I hear. It is more insistent than ever at the moment and is there more of the time. It is highly negative and convinced I should die in the best interests of everyone else. It is really hard to hear and I try many different distractions to shut it out. Not many are effective at the moment. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been taken off my antipsychotic medication, so where I was getting some help with the voice, I now have none. This is going to be reviewed soon though.

Hearing the voice more has also been heavily isolating for me. Because of some of what the voice has been saying, I have felt the need to withdraw from people. I know I shouldn’t do it but it is hard when the voice is telling me what a terrible person I am and how much people must hate me. People tell me this is not true but the voice is stronger, to me, and also tells me they are only saying it to be nice. This is why the voice holds so much power over me. It us stronger than me and can keep going when I am too broken to fight it.

As well as hearing the voice I have been having pretty constant suicidal thoughts. These have been quite distressing and I have come close to making plans to try again to end my life. I’m currently safe and my mental health team are aware of what’s going on. Its hard though to accept help when I feel so worthless and such a burden to everyone. I feel life would be better for everyone without me. 

I’m not sure if my suicidal thoughts are part of the Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD or BPD) or part of my depression coming back. I have however definitely noticed signs that my depression is back. Sleep is becoming a big issue for me at the moment. Not only is it taking a long time to get to sleep (a couple of hours) but my sleep is very broken and restless. It is filled with incredibly vivid dreams that are rather unpleasant. This means I have no energy when it comes to getting up, or throughout the day. Another reason I think my depression has returned is that I am back to not being able to concentrate. Reading is impossible, writing is difficult and even watching TV is hard. None of it gives me any enjoyment at the moment. 

So how am I coping? Badly is the answer. I am still self harming and it is probably the worst it has ever been. But I don’t feel I can manage without it. The urges are just too strong. 

I realise this has been quite a negative post but that is the way life is sometimes. Hopefully things will improve soon. To keep up to date you can keep in touch via Twitter too.