Suicidal Thoughts: Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge
Did you know that the bridge is infamous for about 3,000 completed suicides?
The bridge is one of the larges bridges in the nation which took about 11 construction workers (some who died) to build it. For me, the bridge is one of the most frightening looking bridges in the country. A fall from the 4, 200 foot structure can knock the wind out of a human being. Sadly, some jumpers survived the great fall and lived to tell about it.
This article will explore the topic of suicide.
This week I am broaching the topic of suicide. After centuries of advocacy, suicide is still considered a taboo topic. After professional and personal experiences highlighting the problem of lack of discussion, I realized that suicide was not specific to one group of people or even…abnormal.
ALL humans, at some point in their lives, may end up thinking about suicide as a remedy to challenges of life. In order for us to understand what our fellow man is in need of, we need to be brave enough to explore the topics he struggles with.
Suicide is an intimidating and scary topic
It wasn’t until I started graduate school that I learned just how frightening the topic of suicide is. After a year of training in a reputable teaching hospital treating suicidal and self-injurious teens, I realized that suicide was a topic I hadn’t learned much about.
Everyday I would assess a suicidal teen. Many of the teens I assessed came from well-balanced and supportive families and very poor and chaotic homes. They were struggling with a natural desire to understand why they had to live, especially the teens adjudicated delinquent.
One client asked me why she was being stopped from completing suicide. My clients and I had multiple discussions, over many sessions, about this philosophical dilemma. These kids struggled with living the hard lives they had to live and wanted a way out.
Call to action
I encourage you to make a vow to listen fully to someone sharing suicidal thoughts. We, as a society, need to be willing to discuss this very real existential and spiritual dilemma. There is nothing abnormal about suicide. We all have to die one day. Although death and dying as well as suicide are complicated, depressing, and stressful topics, we’re going to come to a place in this life where we’ll be forced to discuss it.
For more of this discussion, visit my blog post this coming Wednesday on blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers where I discuss 17 truths about suicide that I have learned from experience.