I Want To Die - I Want To Live
Suicide is a subject which has fascinated me for a long time. Some may find this morbid but I think it’s more philosophical than that. Probably if we are honest, many of us have at some point in our life thought ‘I want to die’ but usually it is no more than a passing thought which is never acted on and is probably prompted simply by not getting our own way.
For others however, this thought is more heavily recurrent to the point where it actually becomes a desire. Even at this point, I feel that there is a wide gulf between harbouring this thought and acting on it. I went through a stage in my twenties when I found the prospect of suicide almost exciting which seems strange. Looking back, the likelihood of ever carrying it out were next to nil, partly as I couldn’t inflict that on those left behind but also the only method I could use would be a gun as other methods would probably have seen me change my mind half way through and of course, guns are not as easily available in the UK.
But why did I find the feeling that I want to die exciting? Well, I think it was a feeling of control. My life wasn’t awful at that time but it wasn’t exciting either. I was living alone and had been in the same job for far too many years and life was just dull and didn’t look like it was going anywhere else. The prospect of killing myself seemed to be something that I and I alone had any control over.
But as they say, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and that is true in the vast majority of cases. Some of course may be more permanent and my own feeling is that there are cases where suicide is completely justified if all the right things are in place and the person has thought things through completely and had access to all the advice and counselling that they may have needed.
One thing which I found interesting during my research is how many people searched for the term ‘how to kill yourself painlessly’ … It was the painlessly part which I found interesting. Why was this so important for someone who I guess had had enough. There would be no memory of pain so was that really relevant. Of course, most people that investigate this will never carry it out .. It may well be teen angst but then there is always the possibility of failure and all that would follow that which must be incredibly hard to deal with.
Is it easy to spot a potential suicide? Well, probably not, a friend of mine who works in the profession told me that most people that talk about it never do it; it’s the ones that don’t talk about it that carry it out. This is supported by the recent suicide of ex Wales footballer Gary Speed who it appears, hung himself. It seems that there was absolutely no indication of it happening but he must have been quietly tormented for it to have reached that point.
Of course one very famous suicide was that of singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, and whilst many read the inevitability of this in his lyrics, Kurt always denied it and said it was self mockery because he was such a negative person. He even joked that the album that was finally called ‘In Utero was going to be called ‘I hate myself and I want to die’. In reality there was much going on in his life which may have caused him to contemplate suicide but the reality is that there was a long history of depression in his family and my own feeling is that he probably would have killed himself at some point in his life even if he had never become a rock star and had worked in a bank.
In some ways I believe it is fear that causes people to take their own life in many cases although I accept this isn’t always the case. For most people the situation they find themselves in which causes them to feel like they want to die, can be changed, but most people are probably also afraid to make those changes and of course, anyone badly depressed probably would not have the energy or motivation to make the changes.
If you do find yourself thinking ‘I want to die’ however, just remember that it doesn’t have to be like that. There are many wonderful anti depressants around along with counselling services. These can really help you to change your life and open up new avenues which can change those feelings of ‘I want to die’ into ‘I want to live’.