I cannot count the number of conversations I have with people who try to tell me suicide is a sign of weakness! I challenge this perception until I’m blue in the face, even writing it down pains me.
People who die by suicide are not weak, they are ill!
It is very tiring to hear the word ‘weak’ in association with suicide. We don’t call people with other illnesses weak, yet people struggling with mental illness, suicidal feelings or people who take their own lives are. I’m honestly dumbfounded by this notion.
Someone isn’t weak if they end their life. They are desperate. Mental illness isn’t weakness. It’s a disease, a pervasive, sometimes terrible disease. People don’t deserve anger and skepticism. They deserve compassion. Their loved ones deserve compassion.
If someone has a mental illness and/or is experiencing suicidal feelings, they should be encouraged to express their feelings and reach out for support. Not be deterred at the fear of being deemed weak. For many people, the hardest thing in the world can be sharing their distress with others, and sadly this can often lead to the end of someone’s life!
We don’t have to be experts or ever begin to understand how it feels to be suicidal. We can just recognise that people do and that it is absolutely awful for them…and not use negative language in reference to mental illness, suicide or anything that can discourage someone receiving the help they need.
It is my strongest belief that we lose too many people to suicide. More often that not, people do not want to die, they just struggle to live! I wish we could reduce this struggle and give everyone the opportunity to live.
x Rebecca x