Suicide: Who’s Talking?

Is suicide one of those taboo words to say aloud? Some words lead to an immediate stigma. Depression, mental illness, psychosis, suicidal, or whatever word or whatever the feeling is used to describe the hopelessness that can envelope a person, and can be more detrimental that the condition itself.

The misunderstanding and the preconceived notions about mental illness, including depression, are a big part of the problem. Predetermined views of someone else’s condition or problem, is a simple lack of awareness about the real issues and an incredible insistence of what should be right or “normal”. There is also a larger issue, and it affects many and is a part of the bullying cycle, I call critical lifestyle. We learn many things from parents, siblings and culture and we must be mindful that when a cycle of oppression occurs and is entrenched into the daily way of life and thought it will take much time to reverse. We must be open to and aware of the conflicts between culture, tradition and human rights. It may be a case of “that is always the way it was”, and so much education and talk is required to identify the critical lifestyle and to make efforts for its change.

Who hasn’t thought of suicide, considered it, dwelled over it, and in many instances, contemplated it? For many people it isn’t just a thought to consider, but in their minds a viable option for an overwhelming situation. At first glance we think of the financier and a very tall bridge or high rise window or perhaps a jilted lover and a gun. Those few examples are very real and not outdated. What has made huge and tragic gains is the loss of identity resulting from bullying, social pressure, along with physical and mental abuse; and it is ruining many lives. The amount of pressure on the youth today is not to be understated, and there must be much more done regarding the tools and facilities to recognize and help them.

It is at this point when we see the impact or influence of bullying or critical life style that recognition and awareness are so essential. You can not only identify the situation but have the tools to intervene. Do your part and be aware of yourself and those around you.What is so desperately sad now is that most lost identity is from peer to peer bullying abuse, and not critical lifestyle. Alone and isolated there seems to be no urge to fuel the evil by participating in their game and continuing the pattern and therefore the obvious and most enticing resolve is to say good bye and end it all.

Are there signs of what one is to do? What options do young people have in dealing with daily abuse? The fear that has a basis does not disappear even after the origin is resolved. The lifelong agony and paralysis that results from chronic bullying does not end or go away once the bullying stops and can influence many aspects of daily life. It can take many years to regain one’s self reliance and confidence.

Bruce Leslie
January 2012

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