Why Suicide? RIP Kurt Cobain and Matthew Warren
Why would someone choose suicide? What could compel a human being to "give away" the gift of life? If you haven't been to a place of deep emotional despair and turmoil, it is difficult to empathize with the plight of those who have been to emotional "hell" and back. This morning I woke to find that it was both the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death and also the announcement of Matthew Warren's suicide this weekend.
Unfortunately, suicide is an option for so many and is the tenth most preventable causes of death in the USA. As a therapist that has worked in acute treatment for many years, I don't shirk from suicide. I look mental illness, emotional despair, depression, grief, fear and anxiety straight in the face and ask why? What problem will this suicide solve? How long has suicide felt like a way out? What has to happen today for suicide to no longer be an option. At the same time I realize that life must be so overwhelming for someone to get to this place at all and I respect that pain and the journey that one undertakes to fight back against those thoughts and emotions.
There are many questions in a suicide assessment but the questions that restore power to an individual help to get some perspective. We should also make sure that they get to the nearest emergency room or screening center for more intensive help and treatment, at the very least they should call the national suicide prevention hotline.
Working with both suicide and addictions, I see so many parallels. Overwhelmingly I see people feeling trapped. Regardless of lifestyle, income, status or even loving friends and families, individuals who consider suicide feel that they are trapped and have no other options. Sometimes the most empowering gift we can give our loved ones is the sense that there is a way back.