Despite the decrease in suicide rates over the past few decades, suicide still remains somewhat of a taboo and an unspoken topic in our society. No one wants to talk about it. People are afraid to ask about it. But why is this? Why are we afraid to ask “what is suicide?” and what causes it?
Many people are under the false belief that if they mention suicide or ask someone if they are contemplating suicide that they’ll somehow put the “idea” in their mind and be the reason behind that person taking their own life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Suicide isn’t as simple as many of us may think. Asking “what is suicide?” or watching movies, reading, or discussing the idea of killing oneself isn’t what causes suicide; the primary cause behind suicide is depression.
Depression is more than simply feeling sad for a day or two. Depression is a serious mood disorder that can greatly affect how someone thinks, acts, and feels for a lengthy period of time. To many who suffer from depression, “hope” is just a faded memory and despair is all that they see. They are in pain. They are suffering. And they feel that they have no other way out other than to end the source of their sadness: themselves.
Though most of us can easily see that the ending of one’s life isn’t any sort of solution, those who are under this dark, grey cloud of depression see suicide as the only real answer to their problem. They see themselves as a burden. They may have no money, no job, and think that they have no close friends or family that they feel they can reach out to. They feel isolated, alone. No one will miss them when they’re gone – or so they think.
Depression has a curious and concerning way of causing irrational thoughts. To most of us, death isn’t an answer. We see ways out of situations. We know that there is help out there. But to the downtrodden and depressed, they see themselves as just a mere inconvenience, a source of pain, a “nothing”.
The good news is that there is help, and it begins with you asking, “What is suicide?” and learning more about prevention and treatment. We at the Western Sydney Suicide Prevention & Support Network can then provide you with the resources and tools necessary to reach out and connect with your suicidal friend or family member and help them change their life.