This week’s episode of SelfWork focuses on suicide – but not as a pre-determined sign that someone needs hospitalization. That might be true, of course. But many, many people have suicidal thoughts or ideas, even fantasies of what could happen that would allow them to escape pain that may feel intolerable. And in those cases, talking about suicide or those fantasies can be a positive sign – a sign of trust, of reaching out, of connection. And a sign of not wanting to die.
We’re going to explore these ideas today on SelfWork. Because talking about suicide – recognizing that feeling as if that’s an answer to your pain – is normal to feel. It’s not a sin or a sign you’re weak. I’ve literally talked with hundreds of people in my thirty years as a clinician about those thoughts. Because talking about it can lead to more understanding, greater trust, deeper self-compassion, and recognition of a desire to live.
If you or someone you love has struggled to reveal any kind of emotional pain – if your family or culture created the need for you to remain rigidly stoic, with tight control (or even denial) of hurt or pain – this approach may save your life.
If this triggers you in any way, here are the International Suicide Prevention Hot Lines.
The listener voicemail is from a woman whose addictions seemed to have been a huge part of her not mothering well from the perspective of her oldest child – who now has estranged herself from her mom. We’ll talk about what she can do in this circumstance to help herself cope with her loss, not allowing the estrangement to sabotage the rest of her life.
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Sociologist Jason Manning’s research findings on factors leading to suicidal thinking
Mayo Clinic article about the distinction between suicide as a wish for death and suicide as a source of relief
You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!