What I have found interesting is that my mind often wanders to thoughts of suicide and death although I do not plan to kill/harm myself. I know that I am not the only one who is struggling with mental illness who feels the same way. A friend of mine and I say that "even though I think of harming/killing myself I do not think of acting on those thoughts". Two very different things.
The thoughts pop up at the oddest of times. Yesterday I was getting ready to have a bath and I thought "could take my laptop into the tub?" Next thing you know I was thinking about being electrocuted in the tub and who would find me and clean me up. Would it leave a big mess? Would this be an easy way to die? Would a hair dryer be more effective than my laptop? Probably, but way more predictable in a tragic movie star kind of way. I also know that just taking a handful of the mood stabilizers that I have, would do me in much more effectively and easily. Just crawl into bed and be done with it after falling asleep.
Now don't worry, none of these thoughts meant that I was going to kill myself, or even take my laptop into the tub with me, but they did mean that I thought about death and the end of dealing with all this shit. It also means that on some level I always have an escape plan if it just becomes too much. It also means that I am very aware of how dumb and ridiculous those ideas are. Even recognizing the fact that these thoughts are dangerous and needing to deal with them is important.
I wonder if people who do not deal with depression, bipolar disorder, mental illness etc. think about suicide and self-harm the way that I do? Do they know that most suicides by men and women are performed by firearms and the second most popular way is hanging for men and poisoning for women (including over dose)? Do they wonder who would clean their apartments if they killed themselves? Do they have the thoughts always lingering in the background? Not to act out on, but to remind me that I am vulnerable to these thoughts and I need to listen to them and control them.
For now I am going to keep fighting the good fight, monitoring my thoughts and trying not to throw my Psych Doctor off the ledge by bringing this up at our next session. She might just commit me to the local psych ward.....
If you are having thoughts of suicide, are feeling vulnerable and/or in crisis please seek help either through a medical professional, your local emergency room, mental health facility or Suicide Crisis Hotline. Some Suicide Crisis Hotline resources are:
- A list of Canada Suicide and Crisis Hotlines can be found here
- The Support Network (Canadian)
- Toll Free Suicide Hotlines in the USA
- Find an International Suicide HelpLine