This isn’t the only article about the number of suicides that are happening. Teenagers, children, soldiers, elderly almost every walk of life are experiencing epidemic increases in suicides. Blaming internet, government, and other entities misses the point.
My personal study on the subject is the rising wave of hopelessness, feeling they are a burden on society, and general disconnect/rejection of those around them are significant factors in the suicide epidemic. An invisible person doesn’t matter if they live or die. The long lasting appeal of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the message that you matter. What you do matters….who you are matters…..you make a difference that you don’t realize when you look at a narrow hopeless future. Bullying is the tip of the iceberg of messages hammered into another person’s head that they are ridiculed and their future is only more pain….no hope of anything different. This is my opinion from years of battling suicidal thoughts. My counselor mistakenly tried to reassure me that my life pain was bearable. I said, “Yea, I can take pain. No big deal.” He sat back and stared at me. I knew when he did this he was working on a puzzle I presented him because I didn’t give the answer he expected. Slowly he sat forward, “Suicide is an execution for you.” He finally got it. I was taught at a very young age that I didn’t deserve to be fed. I was the problem in my mother’s life. If I didn’t exist then everything would be right in her world. Hammered home day after day after day. Snidely, quietly, when no one else was around. Then when an audience was there she would chirp, “Have I told you today how much I love you?” Or the deathly advice, “Hate is not the opposite of love, ignoring is.” Then she would ignore me. So I was looking for love and my father denied my reality. Told me I was lying. The neighbor consoled me then betrayed me and his hatred grew for me as I aged. At the neighbors and at home was the pounding message – you are a wasted existence. At school, I had a horrible 3rd grade teacher that had to be fired. That put me further behind so I was a stupid wasted existence. I was taught that I harmed other people and the world would be better without me. Into adulthood I heard the cliche, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I am I hurt person, I don’t want to hurt people…the only thing I could think of on my own was to end my life. This is the opposite message of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life
NOTE: I required intensive counseling to help me view myself differently. I am thankful to my counselor that stubbornly and persistently taught me I was worthy to live.
So what is the solution? Off the cuff, “Fire some parents.” In away they do when children are put into foster system that gives the child a better chance of survival than some homes. I believe that the solution is multifaceted and a monumental World task teach hope, train people in coping skills, change focus from testing for perfection to progress from the day before, connect with other people, a smile, a kind word, and many other things that cost little or nothing. Do I expect to see this solved in my life time? Not likely. What I can do is treat myself more kindly….smile at those passing me at the store, at work, anywhere I go. Talk kindly to those I greet. Let someone merge into traffic on the freeway. Work at connecting with others. Reach out and open up as much as I am able to do. Not easy. I back slide and don’t venture out much. Then I strengthen my resolve to move forward again. I stopped reading one of the other PTSD blogs because they were spiraling down the rabbit hole of “I-have-PTSD-I’m-Doomed.” I wanted to scream at them, “I am not.” I said nothing, I don’t read it any more. I struggle enough with believing in hope and that It’s a Wonderful Life.