What would make someone want to die- after all, we are dead for an awfully long time. 

From time to time, we all have a passing thought about killing ourselves. But for the vast majority of people it’s a flippant thought, one that’s it’s swept away as quickly as it appeared. Yet despite us all thinking of suicide, it’s something very few people are able to understand. 
Through out life we are constantly told to make the most of everyday. We have it repeatedly drilled Into us that life is short and we never know what’s round the corner. We are told to appreciate what we have, because there are always others worse off. And after all, death is certain and last for an awfully long time. But it often doesn’t matter. When feeling suicide, we are blind to what we once accepted as fact.
For an alarmingly high, but statistically negligible, number of people, suicide isn’t just a fleeting thought. It’s a thought which lingers, that screams, that becomes an obsession. It’s a thought which can’t be silenced by the fact we are lucky to be alive of that we will eventually die. When a person is in such a place where suicide becomes a realistic option, they could have everything or nothing and it wouldn’t make a difference. 
Suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate. They don’t only plague a specific type of person. A business man, a celebrity, a homeless person, a parent, an addict, a hair dresser….. It doesn’t matter. No one is immune to thoughts or even acts of suicide. 
So what would make someone attempt, or complete suicide? Well simply, there is no one right answer. Trauma, stress, financial worries, relationship breakdowns, mental illness, addiction, employment, physical illness, natural disaster, guilt, beliefs……anything which negatively impacts an individual’s social, mental, physical, spiritual or emotional health may lead to suicide, or thoughts of suicide. 
For many, the thoughts just stay thoughts, but for approximately 8,000 people around the world, thoughts turn into fatal actions and for many more, thoughts turn into attempts to end their own lives. 
When a person is well, they are able to think rationally. They can see that the pain won’t last, they can problem solve, or they can move forwards. But for a suicidal person, even if they have previously managed well, sometimes there seems to be no hope, their thinking is impaired and they are unable to see a way out. They stop seeing all that anchors them to life, and instead believing they are a burden or someone replaceable (the individual not the anchors) and that death is the only solution. 
It’s not easy to kill ones self. Not only because no method is 100% reliable, but because the body instinctively fights to survive, even if the mind wants to be dead. But when the world feels so dark and when each breath is exhausting, it doesn’t matter about the risk, the danger of what could go ‘wrong’, that the body will fight back, they just need to stop, escape, leave. 
We all die eventually and we are lucky to be alive when so many loose their lives so early. But a suicidal person is ill. And just because they choose death, it doesn’t make it any different to someone who lose their life to a physical illness. They are still killed by a condition, we just have no tests that can show us it’s there. And those who attempt suicide and survive, they need help, no matter what. Because they are poorly and with the right treatment they have an opportunity to be made better and have an improved quality of life. 
But we should be waiting until someone has killed themselves, or attempted to in order to ask what we could have done to help. We need to step in before. Just because a person is suicidal at some point, it doesn’t meant they always will be. They can be helped, they just need to be given help, before it’s too late. Tell a person you are there if they want to talk. Tell a person that it gets better. Take a person to see a doctor. Give a person hope. Sit down and help a person find a potential solution to their worries…. Be a friend, a parent, a sibling. Be yourself, but allow a person to feel they can lean on you and that you won’t run away. There are many reasons why a person may feel suicidal, attempt suicide or complete suicide, but it doesn’t have to get to that point. We can’t predict who will seriously consider suicide as an option or when it may become an option- but we can be there for them, before, during and after. We can prevent suicide. 

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