Why Do People Get Suicidal Feelings

Whenever I read about cases of suicides, especially by kids, teenagers, or celebrities, I have often wondered what must have prompted them to take such an extreme step of ending their lives.  What pain did the child or teenager have to undergo (apart from study problems, extreme discipline, or love related matter) to take this drastic step?

The recent news about the suicide by 25 year old actress Jiah Khan shocked me no end. She was one of those lucky actors who started her career at a very young age with Mr. Amitabh Bacchan. She was young, beautiful, had a head start in the film industry. Why did she end her life? News stated that she was depressed since some time as she had no acting assignments in hand. Later, a six-page letter found by her family, indicated that the Jiah may have committed suicide over a failed relationship. In the letter, Jiah accused her boyfriend of cheating on her. She stated: “If you’re reading this I might have already left or about to leave. I am broken inside.”

Broken inside. This is the major problem and culprit. A person who is broken inside, lives in depression. A person who lives in depression does not have the any positive thoughts a healthy person will have.  The unfortunate truth is that you may feel broken because of various problems in life—rejection, pain, loss of love/money/family, abuse, panic, failure (at work, studies, love, etc.), disciplinary issues, social/school problems, not allowed to do what you want, no freedom, no family/home support, etc. This mental imbalance will not allow you understand the options available to help you relieve your suffering.

Just as different substances have different boiling points, different people have different tolerance levels (breaking points). Some loose heart very fast where as some others have a more tolerant level. But ultimately we all are human beings. Once you go through the painful experiences, the heart breaks, and depression sets in. You may begin to believe that you are useless, unwanted, unloved, and unneeded. Faced with an unbearable situation, unsolvable difficulties, overpowering feelings of guilt, failures or conflicts, feeling of being unloved and unwanted, you may start to think that life has not done justice to you. So you are likely to feel alone, withdrawn, sad, depressed, and irritable.

Repeated painful experiences will make your distress seem unbearable. It can break you completely. It can lead you to blame people or yourself to the extent that you can no longer see why you should go on living. Death seems to be your only option. That is exactly what pushes you into committing suicide. From being broken inside to taking the decision of ending your life is indeed a painful journey.

It is understandable to be angry with people who have hurt you. If you have been badly hurt by someone close to you, you may be thinking of suicide as a way of getting back at them and making them feel guilty by your loss of life. But at that moment, what you don’t understand is that suicide turns that anger on yourself as you are thinking of destroying yourself and the people very close to you. The person who has hurt you will NOT be affected. If the person had to feel guilty he/she would have felt it after hurting you, when she/she realized that you were feeling hurt by their behaviour.  Why do you have to hurt yourself and the others (parents, siblings, friends, children, etc.) who love you very much. Why give all the importance to one person who is not even worthy of your attention. Why take away your life for that person?

Unfortunately, suicidal feelings can be terrifying. You are in the most vulnerable state of mind, and then, it is difficult to relate to others, let along thier feelings. Even if you have family and friends around, you may find it impossible to tell them how you feel—it could be because of guilt, shame, or simply because you feel that others will not understand you and will ridicule you.

What people need to know:

  • People commit suicide for a number of reasons. However, the majority of the people who take their lives suffer from acute depression, mental illness, and/or abuse problem at the time of their death.
  • Having said that, we also need to understand that all the people who think about suicide are not mentally sick. Most of them are fighting pain and depression. We can help such people with awareness, education, and treatment so that suicide does not become an option.
  • Most people who attempt/commit suicide don’t really want to die. They actually want to kill their pain and suffering—they want to put an to end to the pain and suffering. For such a person, the desire to stop suffering is more stronger than the desire to live. During the vulnaerable moment, suicide seems to be the only way to do it…at that moment, the person feels that there is no reason to continue living.
  • Chronic depression can lead to feelings of despair, loneliness, lovelessness,  hopelessness and helplessness.  Some people choose to express these desperate feelings by attempting suicide.
  • Never ignore a suicide attempt. It is a cry for help and is a warning that something is terribly wrong in their lives. Without intervention and proper treatment, a person who has attempted suicide is at greater risk of another attempt and possible suicide.

10 Responses

  1. Well written post. I hope that it gets read by the people out there who count.

  2. I started reading thinking this is another post written by someone who is going to judge the depressed and suicidal folks. The final bullet points you mentioned are spot on, Sadly few share your concern.
    I am depressed btw.

  3. Well thought-out post. I struggled with depression and contemplated suicide when I was a teen. Being shy, I had difficulty making friends and was an easy target for bullies. (It didn’t help that I made good grades and that my curly hair and fair skin didn’t look like the other kids.) We moved a lot when I was a child, which was fine because I wasn’t really attached to anyone. Well, by ninth grade, I had several friends, but I fell into depression because I knew the next year, it would be over. In tenth grade, I would have to go to high school and the kids who’d made my life miserable years before would be there and I’d lose the friends I had made. It was a small town and there was only one high school. I thought death would be better than than dealing with the loneliness and teasing again. Two things helped me through it: a conversation my grandma had with me about suicide (not about me- she never let on if she knew my intentions) and a well-timed move to another state because of my dad’s job. I took the chance to start over again.

    I have encountered several depressed people in my life. I talk to them and be a friend. Many are alone because they aren’t fun to be around when depressed. I don’t even know if people around them realize they are pulling away, and it only makes the depression worse. I’d like to think that just the simple act of being someone to talk to might make a difference, even if it is a small one.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts…. this will surely help people realize that if they are depressed, they need to talk to someone who will listen to them and most importantly, understand them.

      In general, people should realize that if a loved one (spouse, child, sibling, friend, colleague, etc.) seems to be depressed, they should take the effort to talk to the person. The idea is to make the person share the issue and talk about it. Most of the time people feel releived after talking about the problem… bottling up does not help.

  4. Well written. The point we don’t actually want to die, actually want to put an end to our suffering is on spot..

    • Yes, you are absolutely right. But the point is, but putting end to the suffering, we put many other near and dear ones through pain and suffering! Communicating the feelings with some one and opening up helps.

      • Yes that is what one needs to think even for a minute which helps prevent taking that drastic step…

      • Very true. I once told a person, “”Whenever such (suicidal) feeling come into mind, take a look a picture of parents, siblings, spouse, and/or children. Think about how they are going survive without you and with the fact that you committed suicide. That would probably give some strength or willingness to live.”

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