Suicide is not a typical behavioural choice. Human beings have a strong sense self preservation. This is why people find it hard to accept when someone chooses this way of dealing with challenges. A common reaction is to blame the victim. Some act disgusted, calling them weak… crazy…stupid…selfish…misguided…sinner. Others laugh and make fun, snickering and belittling with jokes and sarcasm, and still others, just dismiss it, preferring the deluded false security of denial.
I want to understand all these reactions. And I do, usually. But there comes a time when such ignorance and insensitivity becomes unforgivable. The time is when you have been told differently and appealed to with knowledge and scientific research and still, you persist in perpetuating this type of destructive attitude.
Can we just agree that all behaviour is on a continuum? “Normal” is quite encompassing. Very few behaviours are actually abnormal. No one chooses to be mentally ill. Unfortunately, our bodies and minds are susceptible to breaking down, and like any physical ailment, we must treat our mental ailments. Left unattended, they become unmanageable and debilitating.
Would you leave a sore to fester? Would you let a broken limb heal badly, crippling you for life? Would you not take your insulin? your blood pressure pills?
It’s really simple. We are ruled by chemicals. When there is too much or too little, our brains don’t function well. Our perceptions become warped causing us to make harmful decisions. So, we take medication to correct the imbalance and we seek therapy to re-learn to think and regulate our emotions so that we can make more productive decisions and engage in more effective behaviour. This works for most everyone except for those suffering with the more serious and persistent mentally ill, eg, personality disorders and psychosis.
Like everything else. Get educated. Have some patience and show some humanity. You will need someone to show you just that one day.
Engage. Educate. Encourage. Empower.