Suicide Notes Explored!
There are many things that can lead a person to take their own life. The top three reasons for suicide today are Mental Illness, Substance Abuse and Bullying. Bullying has become the third leading cause of suicide among teens and young adults recently, and suicide as a result of being bullied is on the rise, as more and more people turn to violence as a means of crying out for help and or attention. (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
• Untreated depression and other mental illnesses:
Depression, if untreated can become overwhelming to a young person. Thoughts of despair can drain you emotionally as well as physically, leaving you with a feeling of hopelessness. Many people suffering from depression often contemplate suicide, even if they don’t attempt it.
Sadly, only about 80 percent of suicides related to mental illness can be prevented with the help of therapy and medication.
• Substance abuse:
Approximately 75 percent of people who commit suicide have tested positive for at least one illicit substance, though the substance many not necessarily be the method of suicide. (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
Many people will use substances first to deal with the feelings they are having before contemplating suicide, using suicide as a last resort, only after the substances fail to make them feel the way they desire to feel.
One in every three students is bullied at some point during their school career. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2013). Victims of bullying often feel like they are unwanted, useless or unloved. These feelings can lead to thoughts of suicide and self-harming behaviors.
Some victims may feel like they have nowhere to turn for help, others may know how to seek help, but fear dastardly consequences if they do. Bullies often use threats and psychological manipulation techniques to keep their victims silent.
Some other causes of suicide may include; when a senior citizen loses a loved one to death or divorce, when a parent loses a child, terminal illness and abuse of any kind. The statistics are much lower with these causes, but they are no less despairing to the person dealing with them. Any kind of grief can lead a person to feel like they have no reason to continue living. (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
Less common reasons someone might commit suicide include the few people who are born of privilege and wealth, that find themselves desolate, penniless, without hope, and those who commit such terrible acts in their lives that the guilt drives them to take their own lives in an attempt to atone for their actions, these people often feel they do not deserve to live or that they cannot continue living if to do so would mean living out their days incarcerated in one institution or another.
Suicidal Behaviors and Misconceptions:
When a person feels they have nowhere else to turn, but to suicide, they often exhibit behaviors that will alert loved ones that they are looking to suicide as a solution to what they are dealing with. Some of these behaviors can include, but are not limited to, sadness, despair, violent outbursts, substance abuse, isolation, and even talking about and or threatening suicide. A loved one that is looking for information on how to write a suicide note should be taken seriously and is desperately crying out for help.
Other ways you can tell if a loved one is contemplating suicide is through the “pop Culture” they exhibit. Though not all people who wear predominantly black clothing, listen to destructive “Death Metal” music, and write poetry about death and despair are suicidal; these behaviors can be signs of someone who is suicidal, when the behaviors are out of character for the person in question.
However, some signs that someone is suicidal aren’t so easily spotted or identified. Often a suicidal person will seem happy, calm, almost euphoric right before the end. They may give away prize possessions, or make out a Last Will and Testament, leaving their belongings to loved ones. They may even make phone calls or write letters to loved ones in order to say goodbye. People who are suicidal may also lose interest in things they once cared about. (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
A common misconception is, “If someone cries suicide, they are just looking for attention.” Never discount a suicide threat, even if it sounds like a joke or a cry for attention, many people will follow through with the threat, especially if the threat goes unheeded.
Another misconception about suicide, “If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.” Everyone who has attempted suicide, successfully or otherwise, has had conflictions in their feelings about death. They choose suicide when they reach a point where they feel they have nowhere else to turn, but they still harbor some hope that someone will come along and save them from the despair they are feeling.
Some other misconceptions about suicide are “If someone is suicidal, they must be crazy.” This is not true, while suicide is often a result of severe depression, it is not a symptom of psychosis. “Talking about suicide will give others the idea to go commit suicide.” Is another falsehood, talking about feeling suicidal is not going to encourage anyone to take their own life, in fact talking to someone about suicide might actually help them to see they have someone who cares and other options to cope with whatever brought them to the place in their life where they feel like suicide is the only option they have. (SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, 2014).
Not all people who choose suicide as a means to an end leave behind a note. Some people who commit suicide don’t even understand how they came to such a state of despair, therefore, they can’t begin to explain their feelings to another person, even if only in a suicide note. For others, writing a suicide note only furthers their confusion.
Some people might fear leaving a suicide note will only delay what they feel is an inevitable outcome to the life they have been living, they may even fear that in writing a note, they might lose their nerve and the thought of going on living with the pain they experience is unbearable, so they go quickly and quietly, leaving their loved ones guessing as to what happened, and why?
However most people who have made the decision to end their life, often feel the need to explain to their loved ones how they came to feel that suicide was their only option and in writing down their feelings they often come to peace with their decision.
Others who have come to suicide as the only way, sometimes have a lot of anger and resentment, and might choose to leave behind a suicide note to direct those feelings of rage and pain toward the person or people who caused the feelings in the first place.
For example, a person who is being bullied, might leave behind a note filled with rage, and aimed at the person who bullied them, or even the people who did nothing to help put an end to the bullying, like parents and teachers.
Throughout history, many people have been immortalized by the suicide notes they left behind, or the public broadcasting of their final moments. Media coverage of suicide and the notes left behind by famous people can really drive home for a person contemplating suicide.
Sometimes a suicide note left behind by someone famous and publicized by the media can help a suicidal person find the strength to go on. Some suicide notes are written for just that, to encourage others to seek help, to reach out to someone, anyone. In recent years suicide as a result of bullying has become common among teens and young adults, and the suicide notes collection that are left behind by the victims help to bring awareness to the bullying in their neighborhoods, though it is sad that it has taken such drastic measures to bring awareness about bullying to light.
Others might reconsider their decision to end their own life based on something they might have heard or read in actual suicide notes or suicide notes book. Some others may even, after seeing the grief of the loved ones left behind by a suicide, rethink their own plans of suicide.
However this is not always the case. For some people faced with the decision to commit suicide, seeing famous suicide notes written by someone they admire, or idolize before committing suicide, only reassures them that they are doing the right thing. For a person who feels like they are nobody throughout the life they have lived, might believe that they can be somebody after they are dead and gone because they will be immortalized through the note they leave behind.
Teenage suicide notes are sometimes overlooked or not taken seriously, teenagers have a way of communicating that is often misunderstood by adults. It is common for people to write sad suicide notes, however throughout history some real suicide notes have been cheerful, even humorous, despite the morbid circumstances in which the suicidal notes were written.
It is said that “Dying men don’t like to die with secrets.” When it comes to suicide this is often the case, and many suicide notes are written so that the author can share his or her secrets with others before they die. Many people will use their real suicide note as a way of confessing their sins one last time before they depart.
Suicide Prevention and Help:
If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, please seek help. Most people who chose suicide, do not want their life to end, they just want the pain to end, and do not see any other way to end the pain. According to the World Health Organization close to a million people die from suicide every year, however most of these suicides could have been prevented by simply recognizing the warning signs and speaking up to get help.
There is always an alternative to suicide, no matter how bleak your life may seem. It may seem like you have no one to turn to, or talk to, but there is always someone willing to listen and help or point you in the right direction to get the help you need.
If you are considering suicide because you are being bullied or abused, then you can always talk to a school counselor, nurse, doctor, police officer, or a family member whom you can trust. Talk to them all if you have to, keep trying until someone listens and gets you the help you need.
If you suspect someone you know is suicidal, do not wait and see if things will improve on their own, talk to the person you are concerned about, look for warning signs, and seek professional help if you can.
Talk to the person, ask questions, no matter how hard it is to do so. Some people fear that if they talk about suicide with someone that might be suicidal will do more harm than good, this is not true, in most cases talking about suicide and offering alternatives to suicide may actually be helpful.
If you are contemplating suicide and do not know where to turn here are a few resources you can utilize.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide prevention telephone hotline funded by the U.S. government. Provides free, 24-hour assistance. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
• International Suicide Hotlines – Find a helpline in different countries around the world. (Suicide.org)
• National Hopeline Network – Toll-free telephone number offering 24-hour suicide crisis support. 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). (National Hopeline Network)
If you know someone who is suicidal and need help and advice on how to intervene, here are a few resources to help you find answers.
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Questions and answers about suicide prevention, including what you should do if you’re worried and what to do if someone refuses help.
• The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill – Suicide fact sheets answer questions about those at risk and what friends and family can do to prevent suicide.
• Metanoia.org – How to handle a phone call from a friend or family member who is suicidal. Features tips on what to say and how to help.
Suicide is not a joke, a threat of suicide should never be treated as such. Watching for warning signs, talking openly about your concerns for yourself and or others at risk for suicide, may someday save a life.