Suicidal thoughts should not be a secret. — Medium

Posted by

When You're Finished, Don't Believe It! Get Other Opinions...
When You’re Finished, Don’t Believe It! Get Other Opinions…

For some time now, I’ve believed and advocated a certain position on mental health stigma: it kills people.

Lots of people, actually.

In America alone, over 40,000 Americans kill themselves each year.

All symptoms, all experiences, all decisions happen in a social context.

Context steers people. It encourages some choices, discourages others. Most people respond.

Stigma produces shame, isolation, and secrecy.

When people desperately need help and support, when they are on the cusp of death, stigma adds shame, isolation, and secrecy to the mix.

Do the math: often the product of this equation is death, preventable, if only the context were rather less hostile.

I work with people often who would be dead if left to their own devices. They managed, against all odds in our hostile and ignorant culture, to find help, support, safety. They lived, and they got better in time. The success rate is rather high, IF THEY SURVIVE. If not, they’re finished of course. Forever.

Stigma steers people away from survival , from all the factors that provide it.

Stigma kills. Every day, until we eliminate this lethal context.


Check out the post that set off this post:

Suicidal thoughts should not be a secret. — Medium.


  1. Greg,
    I enjoyed this post. So many people accept the fact that we should be concerned with our physical health and yet still stigmatize mental health. I think once Western Medicine starts to acknowledge the connection between the two (the body & the mind) – we could start to see huge strides.

    Considering the rate of mental health issues in society.. one can only hope we grow wiser as a society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you enthusiastically, Erica: health is health. Our nervous system pervades our body. To separate them is fantasy. Psych illnesses have ‘medical’ symptoms, and medical illesses ‘psychiatric’ symptoms. It’s nonsense to ignore the obvious, isn’t it?


  2. Mine have never been a secret. It makes most people very uncomfortable when I talk about them. I’ve grown past caring about the stigma, though. Almost desensitized to it, you could say. Dark humor is how I deal. And therapy, of course. But I’ve been in and out of therapy for over half my life, and that’s frustrating for me. I get tired of struggling everyday. Still, I know I’ve come a long way from cutting and trying to drink myself to death, so it gives me hope. After a close relative of mine hung himself back in 2008, I saw what that does to a family. I’m doing my best not to be that person.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, it’s like some kind of intervention (this post). I’m at this point right now. Two people who came into my life a few years back have managed to tear my family apart. The thing is, I have nobody. Absolutely nobody and I am terminally ill so basically I’m waiting to die. I have been thinking about this a lot. My dad died a few years back and I was always daddy’s girl so I was thinking maybe this is my dads way of telling me that he needs me and he doesn’t want to be alone wherever he is. If there is a heaven and he is up there and he sees what is happening to me and he is not helping me, it must be for a reason. Maybe he is lonely and maybe his reason for not making my life any easier is because he wants me to join him. He is only there with his mother and possibly his cousin and maybe he needs me and wants me to be with him. I’m in a position where I have absolutely no one and have had no human contact with anyone for months, i have been dying of an illness alone and I was just thinking, as I was washing my face and i wiped my face off with a towel I saw black and I really thought it was the end until I took the towel away from my eyes and things were as usual. Everyone’s got to die sooner or later. There is no medical Marijuana to help me cope with this but a doctor has prescribed me Marinol to take the edge off the pain. The oxys and the addictive stuff makes my nauseous and does nothing but make my feel sicker. I’m not afraid to die. I just want to be prepared as in selling my condo that I own in full and having someone make my funeral arrangements the way i want them with the money that someone can get from selling my condo but I know no one and have no friends so I don’t know whats going to happen with that. My time has come and gone. there is no way back. I just waiting to die and it stinks. Thanks for posting this. This post was made for me. I know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You express yourself quite well. No one should have to endure such isolation and suffering, but we all know shoulds and shouldn’ts have prcious little influence on reality. I focus on the most common form of suicide, in which thoughts are distorted by depression, and life is thrown away for no good reason. You focus on another variety, and for obvious reasons, no less valid than mine. Just as we could do better as a society for people in life, we could also do far better for people in dying. It would likely make suicide less tempting and common. Alas, chaging society is hard and slow, leaving us how to cope with things as they are. Have you tried marijuana? When things get desperate enough to contemplate death as an option, breaking the law in a way that harms no one seems to me preferable, at the very least to see if it helps. As for isolation, I can only offer my own good wishes and conversation, such as it is through this medium. If you let me know generally where you live, there may be other options as well. Good luck and take care – Greg

      Liked by 1 person

I love your comments! Please, take a moment & share.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s