Suicide as an alternative to Insanity
It’s a fact, suicide is a huge concern among people with mental illnesses. I should know, I have survived it too many times to count. Those bleak nights, that impossible emptiness. It can make you feel dead even when you’re still breathing. Make you ache like you’re bleeding, and you’re so shocked that no one can see these gaping soul wounds.
I think that it is more than depression that makes the suicide rate in our little sub-group so high. There are a lot of socio-economic factors to consider. A study found that the cornerstones for good mental health are a home, a friend, and a job. Homelessness is a tremendously huge issue for us little crazies. There is the stigma to overcome, and there is the money thing, the jobs. Capitalist society doesn’t allow for disabilities, you’re either always a good worker or you’re on welfare or disability, constantly trying to prove you’re crazy and making yourself sick so that you don’t lose your meager income. Lose your income – lose your home. Lose your sanity and you could lose your home too, this almost happened to me in fact. I was insane and therefore not ‘deserving’ of a home.
Then there’s the stigma in day to day life. We are the pariahs, the lowest of the low, the scary people, the losers, the freaks and the weirdos and the psychos. Everyday our position in society as subhumans is reiterated, to make sure we remember that we don’t deserve the good life.
And there’s the fear, that quiet little voice sneaking up in the middle of the night to remind you of all your hopes and to tell you lies that they will never be now that you’re a crazy person.
Mostly though, I think it is how our society shuns people in mental crisis. Even if you’re not in mental crisis, even if the crisis is over, you can tell that people act differently around you, they tip toe, they back away. They stop calling. They leave you. They act like you’re an idiot, even if you can still do all the crosswords. And they can make you feel very guilty and small about all the weird things you did when you were crazy.
For probably a good year after my break with reality I was going to do it. I was going to leave this planet and hope that there would be something better on the other side. Something kinder, more human. People close to me were telling me how scary I was and how I had to give up my dreams of this, that, and the other thing. And I didn’t want to live a life like that. But since they were the ‘sane’ people and I was the crazy person, they had more power, and maybe more insight. So I believed them, and I didn’t want to trouble people anymore. I wanted to go away.
Suicide can be prevented by three simple things. Respect. Dignity. Love. There are a lot of hurdles that crazy people jump to survive in life, more than the average person. But if our allies would remember to respect us, treat us with dignity, and love us, so much would be different. How terrible a society we live in, how inhumane, when a person thinks that they are too much trouble to stay alive anymore!