Talking about suicide is helpful, it is useful, it is absolutely necessary. This post is neither of those things.
I didn't want to share the actual post but without it, I won't be able to properly break it down and explain why it's so dangerous to share messages of this nature. My annotations to this post are in red. Clickable links are in blue.
Wanna kill yourself?
First of all, suicidal people don't WANT to kill themselves. It's not about wanting. It's also not about killing oneself. In 2015 I wrote a post about Suicidal Ideation. It talks about my preoccupation with thoughts of suicide. When a person considers suicide, they will have thought about all of the outcomes. They will have spent time thinking about what their actions will do to others. They will have thought about how people will react. The butterfly effect if you will. This is not something people just do on a whim. Anyone who has reached that point will have exhausted all other options known to them. They may not be all of the options known to YOU but this isn't about you. This is about them! This is about their desperate NEED to end their own suffering. People who are feeling this way know that their behaviour is affecting others and the only way they can see to stop that is to complete suicide.
Imagine this. You come home from school one day. You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up. So you go to your room, close the door, and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten over and over and over You take out those razor blades, and cut for the very last time. You grab that bottle of pills and take them all. Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, you close your eyes for the very last time.
A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to come tell you dinners ready. You don’t answer, so he walks in. All he sees is you laying on your bed, so he thinks you’re asleep. He tells your mom this. Your mom goes to your room to wake you up. She notices something is odd. She grabs the paper in your hand and reads it. Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name. Your brother, so confused, runs to go tell Dad that “Mommy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.” Your dad runs to your room. He looks at your mom, crying, holding the letter to her chest, sitting next to your lifeless body. It hits him, what’s going on, and he screams. He screams and throws something at the wall. And then, falling to his knees, he starts to cry. Your mom crawls over to him, and they sit there, holding each other, crying.
This! Is any this actually fucking necessary? If you think that sharing a graphic description of someone taking completing suicide then you would be very wrong! This is dangerous and has the potential to push a person over the edge! There is absolutely NO circumstances that would make this ok. None whatsoever! It is irresponsible and reckless!
The next day at school, there’s an announcement. The principal tells everyone about your suicide. It takes a few seconds for it to sink in, and once it does, everyone goes silent. Everyone blames themselves. Your teachers think they were too hard on you. Those mean popular girls, they think of all the things they’ve said to you. That boy that used to tease you and call you names, he can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how beautiful you really are. Your ex boyfriend, the one that you told everything to, that broke up with you.. He can’t handle it. He breaks down and starts crying, and runs out of the school. Your friends? They’re sobbing too, wondering how they could never see that anything was wrong, wishing they could have helped you before it was too late. And your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it would get that bad… Bad enough for you to end it. She can’t cry, she can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, and just sinks to the floor. Shaking, screaming, but no tears coming out. It’s a few days later, at your funeral. The whole town came. Everyone knew you, that girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, the shoulder to cry on. Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, there were a lot. Everyone’s crying, your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young. Your parents just said you died. It hurts him, a lot. You were his big sister, you were supposed to always be there for him. Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it. She cries and cries and doesn’t stop for days. This paragraph is just as bad as the one before it! Do you really want to burden a suicidal individual with all of this guilt? This is also reckless and irresponsible!
It’s two years later. Your teachers all quit their job. Those mean girls have eating disorders now. That boy that used to tease you cuts himself. Your ex boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls. Your friends all go into depression. Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did, but she tried…your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide. Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mom got diagnosed with depression and just lays in bed all day. Oh look, more guilt! Gee, that's going to make a suicidal person feel better... NOT!
People care. You may not think so, but they do. Your choices don’t just affect you. They affect everyone. Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for. Things can’t get better if you give up. I’m here for absolutely anyone that needs to talk, no matter who you are. Even if we’ve NEVER talked before, I’m here for you. DO NOT Copy and paste this as your status to show people there are people out there that care.let's see who actually read all of it.
For anyone that feels this way
This entire post is just so god damn irresponsible that I can't believe people are actively sharing it and thinking it will help. I wish I knew who the originator of the post was so I could give them a slap!
If you want to help people, be there for them. Send them a message every now and then, just say "hey". It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Even if the person doesn't open up about how they're feeling, the will know that you are there for them.
All this post does is make suicide about everyone else and lays the burden of guilt solely at the feet of the individual suffering. How is that even slightly helpful?!
A suicidal individual doesn't need a graphic description, they don't need to know how their death will impact on everyone else. They need a shoulder to cry on. They need an ear to listen. They need a friend who won't tell them to pull themselves together.
Tell me, if I came to you right now and told you I was suicidal, what would you say to me? Would you tell me how my suicide is going to impact everyone else? Is that how you save a life? Well, more fool you because this kind of post is likely to cause more harm than good. Take it from someone who knows!
If you REALLY want to help people share this:
Direct them to Sane Textcare
For men specifically, go to CALM
For students, go to Students Against Depression
Direct young people to Papyrus
Share this blog
The NHS also has a website with a whole load of links. I've done most of the legwork for you!
Do anything other than share THAT post because believe me, the only thing that post will do is add fuel to the fire.
All it takes is a quick Google search of suicide support to find a wealth of useful information for those in need.
Think before you share!