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The Persistence of Suicide

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Every 14.2 minutes a successful suicide

Every 34 seconds an attempted suicide.

Why?

Psychologist, sociologist, and theologian generally agree that suicide means giving up on life.  Someone has reached a point where hope has left the horizon and the pain of living is greater than the desire to live.  That is mega pain.  Instinctually, communally, and in faith we are leaned to living.  Everything about us individually and relational wants to live and gave meaning and purpose.  What happens to destroy such a powerful force in a thriving human?

Every situation is a little different.  One is abused or denigrated or stripped of portions of humananity.  Another meets horrendous circumstance from which there seems no retreat or advance.  A sort of limbo leading to destruction looms in heart and mind. I can’t see my way out so I take what I see.

For some attempted suicides are cries for help and compassion.  They are hoping someone leans into their pain with hope and healing.  But any attempt is an acceptance that you might be successful.

St Augustin in the City of God explored the subject. My summary? On their way to dying, they died.  We are all intended for physical death from the moment of conception.  We are all intended for significance during those minutes or hours or weeks or months or years of life. The two are complimentary. Suicide strips the latter destiny short.

Suicide is certainly not the unforgivable sin.  It does leave an indelible mark on the social soul of the remnant that live. Our questions are unanswerable? Could I have done more? Did I contribute to the angst? Is there something I can do to prevent the next?

The last questions has answers. The first two are personal to your situation and should certainly not to be left unanswered in quiet counsel between you and God and mentor. Social conversations are not the place to seek understanding to these. 

What about, ‘What do I do now for other?’

1. Get trained in mental health first aid. Be a first responder to family and friend.  https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

2. Take an inventory of the people in your 36 square feet of change.  3 ft to your right and left and be for and behind could be someone in distress.  After addressing suicide this week in a conversation, one listener cane to me the next day. “That was me you were discussing. I was that person looking to leave.  Now. I have hope.” I had missed clues, hut now am watching closely.

3. Build your faith foundation. Hope is a powerful force.  Faith is more so.  Faith splits resistive pain with healing balm. Build it. Use it.  Hclive.org

The Think Doctor – Phil


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