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    • “Suicide is not the singular moment of death, suicide is the process resulting
      from losing all hope of resolving a severe emotional trauma, and
      subsequently engaging in high risk behaviors in an attempt to
      permanently end the severe mental pain and anguish.”

    • HI Katie, it's awesome to see you here! You said something to me that really made me pause, about Ms. Depression, the lover who knows some of us best, who is always willing to visit in the dark of the night when no one else is there.

      I have thought of suicide as something that results from someone just suddenly snapping. Can you explain your point of view on that?

    • Suicide resulting from a sudden snapping ... not in my experience. Suicide is usually a thought each of us has had wandering around our brain for some time.

      My experience as a suicide attempt survivor, and now a suicide prevention advocate / trainer, suggests that for most people, suicide is the final step in a progression of thought. And suicide is not the result of wanting to die. Suicide will appear to be the only solution, the only mechanism available to end the emotional pain one is struggling to cope with.

      It is the pain we wish to end, not our life.

      Until / unless we engage our capacity of neural plasticity, the same thought trains keep their patterns aligned with what Ms. Depression needs.

    • I believe depression is directly tied to loss of hope, which comes from loss of self-worth, loss of honor, loss of dignity. These issues are even more impactful to males, esp. males who live in rural areas, and impactful to all law enforcement and veteran communities. Communities such as law enforcement and service people / veterans are ultra masculine groups. I don't think of them as toxic masculine traits, but the whole ultra masculine culture of man-up, don't cry, don't express emotion, measure up, be-a-man, toughen up, etc. lead both males and females in those communities to strive for approval from the group. They bury their individuality to conform to the group expectations. Once they gain some approval they then seek acceptance. After that they hope for inclusion. If they feel disengaged with the group, their fallback is to isolate, self-medicate, not be a wimp and acknowledge their struggle, much less ask for help.

    • Ugh, those are horrible thoughts but very telling. I have heard doctors say their patients become far more at risk of health and mental wellness problems when they retire because everyone wants to feel needed, appreciated and liked, and they lose that daily affirmation when they retire.

    • What we know from the data is that there is an upward spike in suicide attempts of older males. Males are conditioned by society / culture to be providers, to go off to work 5 - 6 days per week. With commuting time factored in, their job typically occupies 10+ hours of each work day. Once they retire, how will they fill that 50+ hours per week with something they find meaningful? How will their spouse / partner react to them being "underfoot" and interrupting the daily routine? How will the change in income flow be resolved?

      One key risk factor for males, service veterans, and law enforcement is they often use a firearm, which is a deadlier method of suicide attempt. This is doubly true for those who live in rural areas where guns are part and parcel of the culture, either for hunting or for dealing with varmints.

      Females actually attempt suicide more often than males, but non-veteran / non-law enforcement females tend to use less deadly methods for their attempt.

      I myself believe everyone has the right to die by suicide if they so wish. What I do try to get people to reflect on is why they are pondering such an action, and look not at the symptoms but at the root causes of their distress.

      If the root cause(s) can be addressed in some positive manner, usually the need to die diminishes.

    • I believe we own our lives. We own our beliefs. The pain of depression is as real as the sun coming up tomorrow.

      If my son could have made it past one moment he might have made it to the sun the next day. I believe these demons exist in many of us. My wife and I we’re talking about this tonight. A component is selfish. What kind of mess do we leave behind and have we given that part of pulling the trigger some thought? We are all connected by some form of empathy. While still being in charge of our own lives.

      We can all try to help each other and try not to hurt each other.

    • I think it is important to recognize that when someone is that deep into depression, their vision, their perspective, has narrowed to such an extent that they don't usually think about being selfish. I know I never did. None of the people I've worked with ever had the goal of being selfish. To think about being selfish would have required a different capacity of thinking that was, quite simply, beyond our ability.

      Think of it as a horse with blinders on. Extreme tunnel vision is another way to describe it. As our emotional pain escalates, the rest of the world ceases to come into our awareness, much less our focus.

    • It used to be that trauma had no cure. One could do talk therapy for years and years and still get triggered and snap, then fall into depression. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, persisting for life. The constant battle to avoid triggers, feeling crazy, and the dysfunctional coping behaviors that result.

      It is important to realize that is no longer the case. There exists today EMDR therapy, which has been shown in case after case after case to provide a permanent cure. There is also an experimental treatment involving MDMA (ecstasy) combined with talk therapy that works. It turns out our brains are more plastic than we thought. We have built-in healing mechanisms, related to sleep and memory processing, and its just a matter of re-activating them when they become frozen by trauma. The demons of the past can, after all, be vanquished.

    • I understand what you are saying. Trust me I do. I do believe however that when talking about it and especially when people are calling suicide prevention hotlines this should be part of the education process. We all know the tactics used in hostage situations where they try to bring in a family member to snap them back into reality.

      Had my son thought/knew his sister whome he loved very much was going to be the one to find him 4 days later he might have had a moment of clarity. I appreciated your comments and I do understand.