Depression and other mental illnesses are a large factor in why people commit suicide. The overwhelming tiredness and lack of motivation to continue, or the constant feeling that nothing is worth anything could drive anyone into dangerous thought processes.
Alongside a lot of mental illnesses, especially depression and anxiety, come intrusive thoughts that encourage the person to believe negative things such as “you’ll never amount to anything” or “no one likes you”. Alongside a weak support system for mental illness, or lacking one entirely, this can lead someone to believe that suicide is the only way out.
Other possible circumstances for suicide may be depression brought on from a severe illness, grief or being put in a stressful and difficult situation (eg. becoming homeless). Not wanting to die of an illness and so choosing to die early by their own means may also be a cause to commit suicide. Harassment, abuse and bullying may also drive someone to take their own lives as a means of escape. There are many reasons people commit suicide and none of them are cowardly or weak, but the desire to kill yourself goes so strongly against the natural instinct to survive that mental illness usually plays a part in some way.
Once or twice I’ve looked into online boards where people have asked about being suicidal but not depressed. However I often found that these people actually described symptoms that proved they were depressed or otherwise ill, or had experienced severe grief or abuse. Nothing about anyone just randomly experiencing suicidal tendencies with nothing to relate them to.
I show no signs of depression. I’m perfectly able to get up and go about my day with no mental or emotional toil, and when I want to I can put my mind to doing work and motivating myself (though I am prone to a bit of procrastination). My personal hygiene is probably a little more clean than most people I know and my appetite definitely hasn’t taken any hits. If I sleep in late it’s because I went to bed late, and I definitely can’t stay in bed all day. I have no concerns that the people I care about don’t care about me, my self esteem is pretty good and I’m fairly certain than I can achieve things if I just try.
This doesn’t stop me from wanting to walk into oncoming traffic. If I see bottles of domestic cleaning products such as bleach I suddenly find myself thinking that I should drink it. Sometimes while cutting food I’ll have a fleeting mental image of me cutting my own wrists. Other timee absolutely nothing could trigger it and I’d just have a passing “you should kill yourself” float through my thoughts. Mostly, I just brush this all aside.
However, this has turned into me developing a ‘if it kills me, it kills me’ attitude to life. I’ll take risks or do things most people would advise I avoid, or at least take caution with. When I’ve expressed this new life motto to people they haven’t responded particularly well to it. Unshockingly.
Mental illness does not always mean that the person will be suicidal or have suicidal thoughts, but if suicidal thoughts appear they are a symptom of an illness. I have yet to find anything detailing suicidal thoughts and tendencies as a lone issue, but perhaps I’m unaware of other reasons or symptoms that may explain it. For all I know I may be exhibiting signs of an illness I’m completely unaware of, or perhaps experiences in my life have affected me more strongly than I am aware of and are causing me to thing these things.
Perhaps it is a generational thing. Around me many friends are struggling with thoughts of the future, with a collapsed economy as a result of the previous generation and university degrees amounting to nothing. Perhaps my default response to my concerns for my future career and health and safety is to consider it better to end it all now before I potentially fall into a horrible situation. Certainly my peers don’t seem to consider their futures bright.
Whatever it is, I think discussion of suicidal thoughts with no other obvious symptoms is something that needs to be more discussed. People should be aware that they are allowed to speak out about experiences. Until now, I’ve never properly expressed the extent of my problem and perhaps it’s my inability to discuss my issues that has made this problem get to this point. However, my past experiences talking to doctors has very rarely brought me any sort of improvement in my life.
I hope I’m able to get this sorted.