- They’re impulsive - Dr. Lickerman associates this mostly with drugs and alcohol. Under heavy influence, people may try to end their lives. They often feel remorse when they are no longer under the influence. In this case he recommends the substance abuse be treated aggressively.
- They’re crying out for help, and don’t know how else to get it - This is one of the saddest examples he cites. These are the folks who take a bottle of pills they think are harmless in the hopes of getting attention. He gave an example of how teenagers would take a bottle of Tylenol not realizing that it would have irreversible damage to the liver.
- They have a philosophical desire to die - He describes these folks as those facing a painful terminal illness who wish to take control of their own destiny. This present one of the biggest moral dilemmas as there are those who feel they should have a right to die. This could be an opinion piece all its own. While I am not callous to the plight of those suffering from terminal illness, I have to say that I believe what this world often considers to be a valuable life is a little skewed. There are those who desire to end their life because they don’t feel productive. I think a lot of this is due to the pressure that we put on ourselves and how we define being a valuable member of society. I believe life should be held sacred.
- They’ve made a mistake - And who hasn’t made a mistake? For some people however, they take it to the extreme. He points out the recent trend of young people depriving themselves of oxygen to get high. Sometimes they take it to far and they die from the act. I am not sure about this last point. I would consider it flirting with death, but it is definitely not intended suicide in most cases. However, I do believe it is rooted is some of the same triggers of suicide such as loneliness, lost sense of purpose, etc… They are trying to fill the void with a thrill.
The Fight of Your Life
I believe that all life is precious and that our society has placed too much emphasis on fortune and fame. I grew up pretty poor and I remember actually having to go to an outhouse to go to the bathroom. I remember as a child living in a 2 room house. I had a kitchen and a living room/bedroom. Now I have more money than I did back then, but happiness seems to be more elusive now than ever. You see, the quest for a meaningful life is more than the desires of self. The famous have often fallen into the trap of self and they realize that it really is lonely at the top. What’s crazy is our society’s inability to see how miserable and fake this lifestyle really is.
So what do you do if you find yourself in this miserable trap? Get help! Though I care very much about people, I would never recommend you listen just to me. Please find a qualified counselor who will fight for your life! Your life is valuable and you need to fight for it. If you are depressed, see a doctor. Everyone has down days, but those days shouldn’t turn into weeks, months, or years. If you suspect someone is depressed or suicidal, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a great website for knowing the signs. If you need help, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
As one who has been through depression, I know how humiliating and silly it feels to have to take that first step and reach out. Very often depression is irrational and you will want to question yourself why you feel that way. Get over it! Depression is a disease that needs treatment, just like a cut on your arm or a cancer. Reach out and keep reaching until you get the help you need. Yours is a life worth living, fight for it!