Suicide – The end of all Hope

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Not many of us could have escaped the news about the death of Gary Speed a few months back. . Whilst the actual reasons for it are not known and may never be known, the consensus of public speculation seems to indicate that it was suicide because of depression.

“What on earth could have he had to be depressed about many have asked?” To all intense and purposes he had everything, and more than most, to live for.

We have two ways of viewing the world. We have an internal locus of control which means that we know exactly who we are and are happy in ourselves. We feel “ok” with the world and everyone in it. This doesn’t mean that we agree, like or view the world as being perfect. But we learn to ride with the good and bad and make the most of each day. However if we have an external locus of control we don’t have that inner peace – we are more likely to believe that our lives are determined by outside controls. We are only as good as the “World” ,whoever that may be, shows that we are. Our personal self-worth is pretty low however confident we may seem. So when we lose our status in the outside “World” we have little inner resources to fall back on. We see ourselves only as we perceive the world thinks of us.

If we have lived our lives with this external locus of control our self-worth is usually pretty low and any loss of perceived respect can throw our internal compass completely off balance and our self-worth plummets further. We can then withdraw from the world, maybe not in a physical way, but into a personal world where we try and deal with these new feelings. For some this leads to depression and sometimes medication and talking it out can help reset our internal compass. But for some it can lead into a very black, lonely time. For some the loss of perceived respect and status hits them just as the death of a close friend would have. However at least in that scenario their pain would be obvious and acknowledged but how can someone explain how they feel when it seems so trivial when voiced. Without help depressed people can isolate themselves in their own feelings of worthlessness. Crazy – people may say. In the case of Gary Speed he had everything to live for. True from other people’s perspective – but by his own he, and others like him, obviously didn’t and don’t. They become trapped in blackness and all hope goes. They can’t see the beauty of life around them. They are as though they are blind not seeing how much they have to live for.

We can all judge people who commit suicide but to them they feel that all hope is gone and everyone, including themselves, will be better off if they die. You could call that cowardice or you could call that supreme courage. “But he seemed happy and was making plans just the day before” people have been heard to say.  He would have been.  Just like the son who calmly kissed his mum goodbye early one morning in unusually good spirits giving hope that he was turning his drug addiction around, only for her to be informed that he had hung himself within the hour. A calmness descends as they can finally see the end of a tunnel. Unfortunately it is not an end that anyone who was not depressed would have found appealing.

So should we be angry and call them selfish – these people that take their own lives without seemingly any regard for those that they leave behind? We all have a view. Mind would be that a depressed person needs help to come through the blackness and to reset their own personal compass in life and to understand that we must truly be happy in ourselves and our lot in order to live the best life that we can in this imperfect world. If help is not available or sought then that person is doing the best that he/she can with the resources they have. To them this is the answer to it all. There is a strange sought of logic and “rational” thinking gone into the decision. The real sadness is that we all try and set the bar too high for ourselves instead of accepting that we are all just normal human beings with flaws and exceptional beauty in equal measure.  Just by enjoying each day and dancing with its ups and downs instead of expecting it to be something that it may not be, the world can be a beautiful place to be.  In our humility we should also be able to accept that humanness and ask for help when it is needed – sadly many people don’t. So is suicide an act of cowardice or courage? I think it is neither. It is a decision that is made in the absence of hope. The trick is to always find, and give, hope in all things.

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Categories Addiction, Anger, Counselling, Depression, Psychotherapy, Relationships | Tags: | Posted on November 20, 2012

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