A lot of people like to mention that suicide is irrational, but I disagree.
I should clarify; I am not saying that it is rational (although I’ll get to that in a bit); I’m saying it doesn’t matter either way.
Is smoking rational? What about eating pizza or drinking pop or shooting heroin? What is really all that rational about a lot of things people do every day. And every one of those things can be rationalized, and often is, by the people who do it. Have you ever successfully gotten a smoker to quit by saying “smoking is irrational”? I doubt it.
And here is the part that people that have never dealt with suicidal thoughts don’t seem to understand: it feels completely rational when you are in it. And in many ways, it probably is. When you believe that your life is going nowhere, that no one cares, that you have made a critical error that will forever diminish the path of your life, removing yourself from that pain is an easy conclusion to come to.
The part that is irrational isn’t the conclusion; it is the intake of the information. None of those factors are probably true. But when you believe they are, with certainty, becoming suicidal is perfectly reasonable.
So suicidal ideation is simply the logical conclusion from biased information, not unlike, in that regard, a plethora of things that people do or say or think or believe regularly.
My point is two-fold. First, I want to impress the normalcy of suicidal ideation; that coming to that conclusion isn’t any stranger than deciding to put Vick’s Vaporub on the soles of your feet. It is a conclusion derived at through normal thinking, based on incorrect facts.
Second, I want to point out that the conclusion isn’t the issue, it is the result of other issues. If you want to resolve suicidal thinking, don’t focus on the thinking, that isn’t the problem.
People don’t come to suicide because they enjoy that, and even if you believe that some people push that for attention, then the issue is still the lack of attention, right?
And here is a tidbit of personal experience: issues that result in suicidal thinking are generally pretty on the nose. It doesn’t take a professional therapist decades to uncover the thought patterns that often result in suicidal ideation. What’s more, we tend to know why we are suicidal. Extremely often it is a persistent, unwavering obsessive negative thought about big issues that seem (or even are) insurmountable. In my experience, suicidal people are pretty open about what is eating at them.
To be fair, there are usually deeper issues involved with why their perception is skewed. And dealing with those does take professional help and often decades to uncover. But that is another issue about long term health and recovery vs relapse. Suicide is a short term experience, even if it can be persistent and frequent.
So when people say, “suicide is never the answer”, they are wrong, or at least misguided.
Suicide is never the issue.