“every patient who has survived a period of suicidal thoughts or actions reaches a point where they say . . . ‘I’m so glad I’m alive’.”
-- Medical Director and owner of Philmont Guidance Center, over 15 years experience, Daniel G Hartman, MD
This does not describe me.
I have Borderline, Bipolar (the type depending on which psychiatrist you ask), PTSD (some say yes, some said no), Major Depressive Disorder, and Personality Disorder NOS, with Chronic Suicidal ideations complicated further with an unexplained, neurological movement disorder.
As I understand it, people with depression and who have suicidal ideations want to live, they just don't see a way out. As Dr. Hartman says, people who have attempted regret it at some point, usually immediately after. And this coincides with those people I have met in therapy groups and hospitals. But I have had a low will to live for the past decade or so, and I have lost my instinctive drive for life that seems inherent in the human species.
Even if I had the power and riches of Donald Trump, and the body of an athlete, I still would not want to live a long life. If a genie came to me and granted me 3 magical wishes, likewise I would not want to live a long life either. The earth, and this stinking mortal plane of existence is simply not worth it to me, and I am puzzled and envious of those who continually struggle with life's aches and pains.
I have been on over a dozen ineffective medications, I can't have anti-depressants, I have been hospitalized 5 times this summer in 4 different hospitals and been under the care and counseling of more people than I can count on my hands and toes just this year, of different levels of experience, of different backgrounds and races.
So you are probably trying to come up with something to say. But before you do, I have a list of common reasons I have heard and read that either do not apply, or that I have already considered and discounted.
+ Thinking of everyone who will miss me makes things worse. I am draining resources for those few who do care. I am not worth the amount of resources spent on me. This is how justice is met out, and in the long run, the only way I can care for my family back.
+ An escape from temporary pain is not the reason. While some days and many moments are painful, I have enough self-awareness to realize where it comes from, what causes it, and what triggered it in the moment. I can quickly locate and isolate the source. Pain and discomfort, in any form, does make matters worse but it is not the inherent reason.
+ I am suicidal, even without depression being present.
+ My suicide attempts are not based on quick, impulses. My attempts, aborted and otherwise, are part of long-winded planning, plotting, logistics, and hours, or days, of careful consideration and/or research, including contingency plans and thoughts about what would happen if I didn't go through with it or if the attempt failed. Because of this, standard delay and distraction tactics do not work.
+ Don’t pull an argument about what I’ll be missing out on;
I know what’s on the other side for me.
+ The Suicide Help hotlines are useless to me, and will make me feel worse.
+ Do not provide positive assurance while discounting negative probabilities. In fact, when someone usually tries to assure me that things will get better, they get worse.
+ My basis is from a mathematical pattern that forms a logical thought process. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of finding good therapy help is that I am a creature who intakes and processes the environment logically, but reacts emotionally. As such, emotional comforts can't be received into my mind because they are illogical. And all of the smartest people I know and talked to are silent, with no usable advice.
+ I have a large support system; more than a hundred people have offered to be there for me, and to be someone to talk to. And it makes me feel worse knowing I have this, and I struggle still.
+ I have a social group of people I can meet and hang out with. I am not sitting alone in a dark room every day.
+ I had once studied psychology, in school and independently recently; true or not, it feels like I already know most of the tips and tricks in the book.
+ Group therapy sessions often make me feel worse.
+ I am a difficult patient case with a problem called Invalidation. There isn't much that is more heart-wrenching to me than listening to the broken record of basic, elementary information that is non-applicable. If you need your car's A/C fixed to drive in the Texas heat, having car mechanics tell you about rolling down your windows, being hydrated, maintaining the car, and saying it is your responsibility to bring it in and make the most out of driving, you would probably be frustrated too. If after talking to a number of car mechanics about your A/C, it feels like they are avoiding the subject and accuse you of not wanting to get the problem fixed. This is Invalidation.
+ Coping mechanisms don’t work.
+ Living day-by-day or ‘in the moment’ is overly exhausting.
+ My inherent problems and their origins are not secrets that I need help unlocking. I can eliminate 3-4 therapy sessions worth of questions and time-crunch them into the first meeting, or even an introductory email. All of the mental health professionals I talk to who listen are either dumbfounded and silent without any way to give feedback even when asked.
+ After living a life dedicated to avoiding debt and loans, this past year my conditions have me suddenly drowning in $38,000~ of debt accumulated in a few months of time. This comes from losing my apartment, and the local crisis team misunderstanding the nature of my address and so they and the mental hospital fined me for my stay of 13 days; and an unwanted ambulance ride. As such, the specialized form of treatment I need are extremely limited; I've had multiple professionals inform me that what I require is not available where I live.
+ My situation is so pathetic, debt collectors leave me alone, and bankruptcy lawyers do not respond to my messages or try to pass me on to someone else.
+ Mental health organizations and professionals play hot potato with me. I've been in a halfway house where a counselor asked me what would happen if I were discharged the following day, after she assured me it wouldn't happen. "I would absolutely try to go kill myself," I said, "and you shouldn't guarantee people like that in this industry for anything." She assured me that the question was just part of the assessment. ... The next day, I was forcibly discharged by the director of the program because of a medical condition, a neurological movement disorder. They were the same ones who called the ambulance, against my wishes. I was brought to a medical hospital, and there the doctors said there was nothing they could do, and they sent me back in the same condition I left. $5,000+ debt for me from that alone.
+ Most importantly having potential doesn't mean anything. Telling me you think I'm talented or worthwhile is inapplicable because the problems I face aren't about that. I'm not worthless because I can't amount to anything; I'm worthless because by fate or divine intervention, I am not allowed to. You can have the most powerful engine in your high performance car to drive through a race, but if every time you start driving, natural disasters, random events, and other external interference outside of your control hamper your ability to physically continue driving, its all for naught.
+ Medication -- Everything I have taken is either detrimental to one of my conditions, or simply loads a heavy amount of side effects with no, noticeable benefit as my body is very sensitive to the desirable effects of medications. The third- and second-to-last psychiatrists told me they were running out of medications to prescribe to me; the latest in her good conscience didn't prescribe anything. Unfortunately, in order to continue services with MHMR they require all patient clients to be taking something.
Moreover, I am fully aware that medication is only a treatment for pain, with mixed and sometimes questionable results. I'm not going to a physician with pain in my stomach and simply asking for relief. In fact, even without depressive pains, I have still been suicidal.
I have hung myself in the bathroom while admitted in a mental hospital, something staff and other patients thought was impossible. It was interrupted by my roommate who woke up and got the staff; he thought I was already dead. Having the life choking out of me was one of the happiest feelings of my life. "I'm doing it. I'm finally leaving, I'm finally going home," I thought. I was incredibly miserable and humiliated when put into 1-on-1 with staff to be watched. Then two days later, the hospital was urging me to discharge as soon as possible, even though I was still a danger to myself. I was just costing them too much money for nothing to gain.
I've had a friend take all of my accumulated medications away because I was considering overdosing, and I have regretted it every day since for the past several weeks.
I am bitter that I am still alive. I am hurt that my suicide attempts have been aborted or failed. I'm stuck here. Looking back on nearly 30 years of life, I wish I had never been born.