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Pinklady's avatar

Have you ever thought about ending your life?

Asked by Pinklady (315 points ) September 17th, 2012

For me, when this one major goal in my life was not going well, I had serious thoughtS about life and death. If I didn’t accomplish that goal, I wouldn’t be as content with life. I knew it.

But, I never gave up, and I finally did it!

Have you ever had these thoughts?

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31 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Never. Not accomplishing a goal seems a very weak reason to contemplate ending your life.

YARNLADY's avatar

Once, a very, very long time ago – when I was a teen.

Pinklady's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks. I am weaker than most. And I’m proud to be weaker than most.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Pinklady…everyone is not made of the same strong stuff…you are very honest to admit that you’ve been there. And what may not be earth shattering for some may be for others. I never thought about actively ending my life, but I did stop caring about whether I lived for a while…

Seek's avatar

Sort of, but with a very important difference – I wished to not exist. As in, that my life would simply not have happened. That I would have been the fourth abortion instead of the first she kept.

I’ve never wanted to die.

lookingglassx3's avatar

Don’t worry, I’m a weak person too and I’ve had thoughts about life and death when a goal hasn’t gone to plan. I found that if a goal doesn’t turn out the way you planned, or something else upsetting happens, it can knock your self-esteem and make you think, “Well, I don’t have anything to offer to this world, I’m a waste of breathing space”, etc, etc. I don’t know if that’s how you felt but it’s how I felt, but only very, very, very briefly and when I was extremely down (just after my grandad died).

My nana is terminally ill and my grandad recently died out of the blue on top of that, and for a while I was extremely devastated. Well, I still am devastated, but at one point it got to the point where I felt like I could not physically or emotionally cope with the grief and devastation. I didn’t actually think that killing myself was the solution, but I did wonder what the purpose of life was, and whether my mortal existence, which would only come to an end one day, was worth all the unbearable pain I was feeling, etc, etc.

But well done on staying strong and accomplishing your goal!

josie's avatar

Never
I served with guys who have had arms and legs, chunks of their brains and dicks blown off, and they hang in. Any of you who are whole, and who are thinking of ending it all because you can’t hack life’s routine disappointments, be aware that any one of these guys would gladly trade places with you.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve asked myself the question, but I’ve got too many people that rely on my. I can’t let them down. Plus twice in the last year I’ve thought I might be done, or knew I was done. That’ll make up your mind pretty quick.

wundayatta's avatar

Sure. I was in a time of great, unrelenting pain. I could not see an end to the pain, and I had never felt anything like this in my life. It turned out that the pain came with a diagnosis: bipolar disorder. THe pain was a result of some differences in my brain chemistry compared to most people.

As it happens, one-fifth of the people with this brain chemistry disorder kill themselves, so I was doing something pretty common for people like me.

I didn’t get as far as some people do. Some people get to the point of actually trying to kill themselves. I only got to the planning stage. For whatever reason, I didn’t think I could do it alone, so I asked for help from a friend who was also depressed. I knew she was thinking about it seriously, and I thought maybe we could do it together.

She didn’t want to because of her kids, which I also didn’t want to do, but I really was at my wits end. But I was having a real hard time imagining how I could stand the pain much longer.

But my friend saved my life that night by agreeing to entertain the idea. We started thinking of how we might do it. At first, it was deadly serious. But as we continued to brainstorm on methods for offing ourselves, we came up with weirder and weirder ideas. It was funny. We started laughing. Which was fun—fun that I hadn’t had since I could remember.

Then we were laughing harder. It got to the point where we couldn’t catch our breaths. Then to the rolling on the floor point.

The irony is that she nearly killed me by saving my life. Our game was so funny that I nearly died of laughter. Perhaps you can imagine what it is like—when you are so desperate for anything to save you, when it comes along, you grab it hard and hold on with a death grip, and then you hold on too long, somehow ending up in danger again. It’s the intensity of it that is hard to believe.

It turned out that this was the turning point in my life. Or at least the most recent turning point. Since then, I have been slowly improving. I realized later that I never wanted to die. I just wanted the pain to stop and I couldn’t imagine that it would stop any other way. In speaking to many others who have tried to kill themselves, I have found they often agree with me. No one wants to die. We just want the pain to stop.

It probably sounds absurd to people that something going on in your head can cause that much pain. It’s not real in the sense that it isn’t pain from out there. It’s not physical pain. But it is very real pain and it is, I swear, beyond anything anyone who has never experienced it can imagine. I know I had no clue. I thought depressed people were weak in the head and maybe they weren’t trying. Maybe they just wanted attention. If they could just decide not to be depressed, they wouldn’t be.

That’s what I thought. Then I had the luck (not) to get sick and I learned, the hard way, what it is like. We once had a question here about the worst pain we ever felt. Many people said it was the pain of depression. Physical pain just isn’t as bad. Even torture seems not to be as bad. Not that we should compare pain, but just to say that when pain gets bad enough, people may be willing to consider ending their lives, rather than going on and on like that. Somehow, people seem to be able to tolerate physical pain for much longer than mental pain.

Suicide doesn’t make me uncomfortable any more. I know what it’s like and I have nothing but sympathy for people in that kind of pain. All I want to do is anything I can to help relieve it. I know that talking about it helps. I know that being with others who share the pain also helps. I know we tend to want to be loved, but it is hard to feel love when you are in the depths of depression like that.

I could go on and on, I’m afraid. I could talk about the perverse behavior of people who are depressed and suicidal. I could talk about the relationship of lack of self esteem to suicide. And more. But I will spare you.

The main thing is yes. There are many of us who have thought of suicide and it isn’t unusual, and I don’t think it makes us somehow psychologically unbalanced. It’s a normal problem and there are many solutions that can help us feel better and overcome the idea that death is the only way out of this pain.

lookingglassx3's avatar

@wundayatta Wow that was a touching account of recovery and redemption. I’m glad you were able to distinguish the difference between wanting to end the pain and wanting to end your life. I hope you continue to remain strong and happy in the future. Thank you so much for sharing, it really made me think.

janbb's avatar

Yes at times.

downtide's avatar

During my teenage years I thought about it almost daily. Later it happened less often but those thougths still reared their ugly head until as recently as about five years ago. The only reason I’m still here is because I was too chicken to actually attempt it. I’m very glad I didn’t, now.

DominicX's avatar

Once. It was one of those “quit while I’m ahead” kind of things. It was before I came to terms with my homosexuality and I thought that my life could only get worse, I was never going to have a “normal” life and I might as well quit while I’m ahead. Thank God I was 14 and my mindsets shifted on the weekly…

Sunny2's avatar

Only in terms of the future. I watched my mother in law, who wished to die because, “My body had broken down long before my mind and I don’t see why I have to go through this!” She died at 94, about 7 years after making this statement. I hope I have the courage to end it before I get to the point of helpless suffering. If I’m lucky, assisted suicide will be legal by then.

AshLeigh's avatar

I struggled for many years with self mutilation, and I always thought about dying, but it was too scary to think about how it would affect the people that loved me. And worse to think about how happy it would make my tormentors.
My life isn’t perfect, even now. It might even be worse. I don’t really know what changed, but one day I just decided that I needed to fix myself.
There were so many people who thought I was some crazy little girl. Even now, they aren’t happy to see me as a different person. They didn’t want me to change, they wanted me to go away, and die.
But I’m still alive. Even after Asher and Grandma died, Nick and Scott left, and after so much time of being abused, and feeling helpless, I’m still holding on.
I bet they never thought I’d be that strong. :)

susanc's avatar

I often think if I died I’d be okay with it, but I don’t seek it.

chyna's avatar

Yes. In the months after my divorce I did. I had a bottle of Ambien, a sleeping pill. There were 58 pills in that bottle. Every single night I would get that bottle out and count each pill, telling myself that yeah, that should be enough to do it. Then I would put them all back in the bottle and do the same thing the next night and the next for months. At some point I stopped counting the pills.

JLeslie's avatar

When I was teen. I was depressed and rather lonely in retrospect. I was apathetic about life and unhappy. I believe not wanting to live is different than wanting to die. When you see the difference, you stop considering suicide as readily when life sucks.

I can’t imagine wanting to kill myself because I did not reach a goal, but that’s me, not a criticism of you.

augustlan's avatar

For a very long time, I thought about it often. Clinical depression is a beast. Thank heavens I’ve come out the other side.

gailcalled's avatar

@Pinklady: I am sorry that you have suffered.

And I am very moved by the stories I have read here.

However, this statement makes no sense to me; And I’m proud to be weaker than most.

I wish that you would explain what that means. Why proud?

My father shot himself when he was 74, in the driveway of the house where I grew up. A neighbor looked out the window and thought it was a dead dog when she called the police.

The ripple effects from his action will continue to affect all of us still living and the youngest generation of five (soon to be six) little guys who would have been his great-grand-children.

fundevogel's avatar

Yes, but in the way that little girls plan their weddings. It’s a long way off, so I’ve got plenty of time to figure out my final exit. Might pull an Ambrose Bierce.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Constantly. If I had the courage I might have gone ahead ages ago. I am not one of those who are thirsty for life and enjoy each moment. I can’t wait for that day and hope it doesn’t come too late in life.

Adagio's avatar

I toyed with the idea a number of years ago, I have a debilitating degenerative disease, it seems only natural to think about ending one’s life under the circumstances , to then make a positive decision to live, or die, as the case may be. In my case I decided to live.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’ve thought about it many times and even considered it a “backup plan” for when life got too tough (a few years ago I was in a bad mental state) but life always had a way of improving just as i was getting to breaking point.

Pinklady's avatar

@gailcalled I’m proud to be weaker. That means I have stuff to live for rather than living blindly and without questioning like some other people. I question death, yes. I also question life. And I think, sometimes, what would happen if I died that moment. I also think I have the power to kill many people. (I just think, again not do lol)

Then again, I know that at the end of all the thinking I do, I love experiencing in general so much that I can’t stop it. I will keep trying for my ideas and goals, too. Ending this amazing journey is NOT an option.

I don’t think you can understand. I think someone who thinks of suicide is beautiful. (Just thinks, not does).

Putting so much of your heart to something you have great passion to and not having the result you’d expect DID make me question life. I wanted to die, but I knew I wouldn’t do so. It just seemed so, “real” at that point. I think that is beautiful.
I’d rather think about ending my life when I am faced with such conflict within myself than ignore it and continue moving on to something else. That’s too simple.
However, I am not. I have passion for my goals SO MUCH that I wouldn’t live without them.

I know it’s complicated, and you don’t have to understand. We are completely different people. I’m a bit too extreme with my thoughts, and I think you are quite the usual lady. Not saying one is better than the other, it’s just different!

Blackberry's avatar

Not seriously, but the idea of it is kind of appealing to entertain. You will miss out on beautiful life, but if you end it it’ll just be like you never existed and you end all future pain and suffering in the process.

But most of us in developed countries won’t have such a horrible life to need to end it that badly, lol.

ucme's avatar

No, absolutely no.

tups's avatar

I have thought about thinking about it, if that makes any sense? I’ve never planned to do it. I have just thought about how I could do it if I ever wanted to do it. But the way I think about is that you can really end your life at any time, so why not just see if tomorrow is better? If tomorrow is worse, you can just kill yourself tomorrow instead of today.

I’ve also had some experiences where I thought I was going to die. It made me realize that I would rather be alive than not. The day after, I loved the taste of food, the blue sky. Not that I don’t do that normally, but sometimes it takes some incidents to really open your eyes.

gailcalled's avatar

@Pinklady; I know very few people who are complacent about their lives, no matter where they fall on the scale of low- to high-functioning.

And I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never “quite the usual lady.” Again, I don’t know what that means.

I find good solutions to my problems, I function well within my world, I have suffered excruciatting tragedies and survived but not without anguish and misery. I don’t think “weak” or ’‘strong” is the correct language. It oversimplifies.

I should add that I was less successful in navigating the shoals of the world and my place in when I was very young.

nonexpert's avatar

I have a severe anxiety disorder and in the times that I suffer panic attacks, I want to die.

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