Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suicide Is Not A Joke!

Sometimes, I truly cannot believe the things I read on the internet. With each passing day, I lose more and more hope for the human race. This evening, I read something that totally stopped me in my tracks. I read the words, “just kill yourself” on a Facebook post. These words were written to a page administrator in response to a post on the page. This individual had disagreements with the page admin over some of her posts. However, It is NEVER acceptable to tell someone to kill him or herself. I cannot think of one single reason that would ever make this an acceptable thing to say. Just because you may disagree with someone, not get along with someone, even strongly dislike someone for whatever reason, it still does not ever give you the right to tell that person to “just kill yourself.”

This is something that is also never acceptable to say as a joke. Suicide is not a joke. Suicide tears families apart. It leaves parents, children, spouses, siblings, and other family members with the various pieces to pick up; it leaves them to wonder for the rest of their lives why this happened and what more they could have done.  In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and the 10th leading cause of death overall. Suicide took the lives of 38,364 people in the United States in 2010. That is not a joke!

We never know what anyone else is going through. It is easy to cast judgment from the outside but we never know what is going on inside. What if that person is going through a serious depression already? What if that person has recently lost someone to suicide? What if that person is already feeling suicidal? Will this be enough to push them over the edge? Could you live with yourself if that person did kill himself or herself after hearing your words? What about that person’s family and friends? What about all the people that care about that person? What makes your life more valuable than that person's life or any other individual’s life? Would you tell someone to go die from cancer? Would you tell someone to go die from a heart attack? I can only answer these questions for myself and not for you but I hope that they are enough to get people really thinking about this topic,
people who may not have seen a problem with saying these words prior to reading my post. I hope these questions are enough to get those same people thinking that these words are never acceptable and could be extremely detrimental to someone; they could even cost a life.

As some of you already know, I almost lost my life to suicide over six years ago.  You can read about it here if you choose; Lucky to be Alive. There has been more than one period of time since then that I have felt as if life is just not worth living; I’ve even felt that way quite recently. It has never been something I’ve made well known; people in my life didn’t know I was feeling that way at the time. If, during those periods of great depression, someone had told me to go kill myself, I just may have! It may have been all that was needed to push me over the edge. When someone is already having suicidal thoughts and is feeling life isn’t worth living, those words could be the only push an individual needs to go through with those suicidal thoughts. That could be the straw that breaks the camels back. You just don’t know!!! I will never understand why it seems so hard for so many to practice compassion towards others. There’s this little saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remember that one? It really holds true to what I’m saying! I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve seen something like this but that’s sadly not the case!

I will follow this up tomorrow with some more statistics about suicide. Please, please, please do not ever tell someone to “just kill yourself” or any variation of those words meaning the same thing! Don’t be the reason someone takes his or her life; be the reason that person chooses not to!

Thank you for reading! Until next time…
Sara Breidenstein
Kissing Stigma Goodbye

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