Why Suicide?

I'm trying to work it out, but I can't. It's a common job of ours but I can't see why people do it – I doubt that I ever will.

I'm talking about suicide attempts.

Specifically I'm talking about people who hurt themselves, either cutting at their wrists or taking a handful of pills then pretty much immediately either call an ambulance or call a friend who then calls us.

Take a recent example – a young woman had cut at her wrists, nothing too serious, but it was only a minute after doing it that she called for an ambulance. She then did nothing but cry throughout our assessment, treatment and transport to hospital. If she was still upset, why call an ambulance?

Another example, a young man who took a handful of pills, they'd barely had time to hit his stomach before he picked up the phone to us.

Is suicide a nanosecond of madness that corrects itself as soon as it occurs?

We have our repeat customers in this as well, the young woman who takes what she considers a 'safe' overdose of paracetamol, calls her friends around and then argues with us that she just wants to die and not go to hospital.

I don't often go to people who succeed at suicide, barring the occasional hanging, most people who seriously chose to kill themselves go somewhere where they won't be discovered and then take a huge amount of pills. These tend to be found days later where it is more a job for the police than it is for us.

So I don't understand – is it all just a 'cry for help'? Is parasuicide just a coping method, a way to be the centre of attention or a way to regain the sympathy of friends and family?

When it becomes incredibly sad is when a parasuicide steps over the line from a 'failed' to a successful attempt – I'm mindful of more than a few jobs where people have overdosed on what they thought were 'safe' levels of Paracetamol only to later develop liver failure and die, or the one person that fatally drank Paraquat in a moments anger during a stupid argument.

I'm curious, after the psychiatric services have seen the patient in A&E once the medical treatment is done, are they referred to a long term care team – or is it a case that they are sent back to their GP in order to arrange a referral?

So no, I don't understand it – all I can do is support and transport; perhaps I don't need to understand.

A question – is there anyone out there who works in infection control willing to contact me? I have a question to ask regarding gaffa tape.

Pondering – In the TV adverts for recruiting into the army, why do none of them involve shooting at bad guys? It's all humanitarian work, dancing at nightclubs or playing football.

45 thoughts on “Why Suicide?”

  1. Its a hard one to answer, even for me. I've done it twice, years ago and have had a few go's at self harm (have a scar to go with it).I think it all depends on the person, the harming for me was more punishing myself but I think I saw the suicide as the easy way out.I've since found some sort of purpose and It doesn't even cross my mind these days.So I'm pretty much fine now and ,in some ways surprisingly, no one even knows about it.

  2. “Is suicide a nanosecond of madness that corrects itself as soon as it occurs?”Frequently, yes. For example, a study of people who jumped from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and survived found that most felt regret as soon as their feet left the bridge, and if memory serves 90% or more never made another suicide attempt. There have been other studies with similar results.

  3. All of the above, really.Sometimes, a nanosecond of madness. Sometimes, a cry for help — and the “cry for help” shouldn't get the negative connotation that it usually does. If someone is going THAT FAR to make it clear that they're in trouble, they obviously need help & sympathy, not derision or condescension that they just “want attention”. And sometimes it's just a matter of nerve — killing oneself isn't easy. We've got a billion years of evolution telling us we're supposed to survive at any cost, but a fucked up brain asking us why bother? Still, it's easier to start small, and work your way up… but even then you'll have moments of regret along the way.

    Translation: It's complicated. 🙂

    Self harm is generally something different. Most self harmers aren't suicidal, they're … well, trying to regain some control over something, anything — even if it's only their own pain. Then again, most self-harmers wouldn't call an ambulance either. Or anyone else.

  4. Tom, I'd be interested to know what your thoughts would be on my previous presentations (many many years ago).a) 40 paracetamol, 70 aspirin, after 5 hours I got scared and walked to the A&E. No follow-up from mental health professionals. Tinitus for several days.

    b) About a year later – 116 aspirin. After (I think) 7 hours I got scared again and called an ambulance. Psych outpatient for a few months. The interesting thing here which I've always wondered about : they injected something into the (arteries/veins?) in my groin using a 50cc syringe which seemed to have a long thin rubber tube involved somehow. I think my blood pressure was low at the time (i.e., press on fingers / nail bed, and they'd stay white).

    c) A few years later. Large o/d of illegal stimulant I'm not going to identify. Woke up the next day extremely weak (unable to stand), mild hallucinations for a few days, much physical damage to furniture etc, blood everywhere, extreme heart rate. Ambulance driver said 'it couldn't be —-, you'd be dead if it was'. Psych inpatient for a period, outpatient for a few months.

    This was all a long time ago. But for a couple of decades I've been wondering what it was which they injected, and why they groin rather than somewhere more normal!…

  5. While at university, a friend of mine attempted suicide for real – planned it, hid the necessary paraphenalia around their room, locked the door, wrote the note, did the deed, and didn't let anyone know. Fortunately, they hadn't factored in the chance of me rocking up drunk to invite them out, and banging the door down (halls of residence, what can you say) once I realised what had happened. Off they went to hospital, where the on-call pysch was “too busy” and friend was sent home with a letter to the GP being sent “at some point” and no referral to a CMHT.Same friend had an acute episode recently, and self referred to A&E. This time seen by the psych (having had the F1 make her recount the traumatic history that lead to the condition, then stating that she “probably didn't need the medication anyway”) after lots of fighting, who did actually refer on to the CMHT this time. The CMHT promptly refused to accept her. Apparently, being sane enough to know you need help means that you don't need help. Haven't I read this concept before?

    From the other side, working in acute medicince I see an awful lot of “pretend” ODs and other parasuicides. In almost all of the cases, when the pt is lucid enough to talk to them, they describe it as a cry for help. One or two have the “moment of madness” described above, but for the majority it is a way of getting attention.

    I'm not saying than in the negative way that “cry for help” is normally interpreted. It's a very sad thing, that someone has to deliberately damage their body (often without realising what the long term damage they're doing is) so that they can get seen by psych services and get the help they need. Often, the pts are discharged once the bag of Parvolex has finished with a letter to their GP, only to be back weeks, or even days, later as they're still not getting the help they need. But then, what's the other option? Refer yourself before things get that back? I've just told you how well that works out…

    The worst is when the parasuicide goes wrong. The pt doesn't realise just how little paracetamol or antifreeze is required to permenantly screw over their kidneys. Ok, so they're not going to die tomorrow, and they might even get the help they need in relation to their mental health. But what will they think a few years down the line when they're on dialysis…

  6. It was a struggle, but I also had a lot of friends around looking out for me. I think the fact that I'd been at such a low ebb for so long actually worked in my favour. I knew that generally I wasn't suicidal and I just developed some coping strategies that worked for me.I think that there is a major problem with the support that the CMHT teams have. The time before last that I went to a doctor after I moved down here (I now live in the South West) I was told that without a documented recent suicide attempt I wouldn't even make it on to the waiting list. Luckily my new company has an Employee Assistance Programme, so finally I'm getting some professional help, rather than having to make it up myself.

  7. Re-reading that, the 'just' makes it sound easy. It wasn't, and it took a long time before I was stable again. I had to start taking life one day at a time, and convincing myself that the world wasn't going to end because of me.

  8. After spending weeks of overdosing excessive drink 2 litres of vodka nearly every day, 34-40 beta blockers daily, personally thought would never wake up again. One day did not work, did it again, non stop, did it through a life of abuse then severe depression which takes you to depths that you just do not know about unless you have been there.Pain hurt, severe depression was nothing in this world wished to live for, unfortunately the Police found me a few times i refused treatment, but unfortunately they can act against your will (section 136) and so to A & E, not in an ambulance but police van….once there at any opportunity spaced out of my head, drunk, find the first opportunity to leave. They stay with you in A & E so you do not leave. They were very good and very caring, amazing how they care for you and about you.

    They actually offered myself all the help i wanted, one knelt in A & E telling me to do it, to get the help, the nurse remarked how much he cared.

    Never did i know the Police were like that, they explained it was also part of their work to care for people…..a side which needs to be made more aware off to the public. Despite not liking their finding me and searching everywhere, was also amazed at their understanding, knowledge and care they showed.

    Had a life of violence, abuse, facts prove that most women who suffer violence, rape, assault, abuse, are more likely to self harm, commit suicide, turn to alcohol and drugs.

    There is one reason why people do commit suicide, you can only do so much to a human being before they are driven right over the edge and unable to cope. Plus the aftermath, depression hurt/pain comes more intensely after leaving.

    If you do leave they search (the Police) take you back. This happened a few times, did not want treatment, was not bothered that my heart may have stopped or whatever they said, advised me, actually left with the things in my arm and so on.

    Left to carry on, once found out that the drugs/medication failed and drink, was going to add a third, unfortunately the Police started popping round and in my drunk spaced out state organization was not my strong point by now. Most of those months is a complete blur, did not even know who had talked too what had done and so on, until told, was on one self destruct course.

    Your post is somewhat like people do it as a cry for help or attention which have read on a few blogs, it is a mis-understanding, mental health is a real serious illness. This causes those with real problems to be classed in a minority they do not wish. Did not want attention at all, did not want anything, wanted them all to go away and leave me alone, did not even think about my family who are abusive totally and the cause of my being in this place. Felt embarrassed sat in A & E apologized profusely even though out of my head for wasting their time, was put on acute ward, left at first opportunity, within an hour, everywhere they put me i left…..such was my did not want to be there and also did not believe they could help me either, no one could.

    However, those in such a position/place do not care and cannot be bothered to explain, it only re-enforces the fact that people see the symptoms and do not see the whole person.

    The CMHT will not see you if you are drinking in excess, catch 22, neither will the therapy departments, to be on the list to receive treatment take weeks, up to 3 months, the mental health system is under resourced in many areas.

    For people who do wish to receive help it is often a long drawn out affair to get this into place.

    To even call out the people on weekend to section someone takes hours, a day long, i know as i was sectioned against my will in the end, the Police sat with me in A & E for 12 hours whilst they tried to move it into place, even the Police had no idea what was happening. Was in hospital 2 – 3 days made informal and left straight away….terrible experience and for someone abused only reinforces that abuse, treatment that is coerced has been proved to fail on many points.

    Especially when it serves to remind of why some people are there (life of abuse). It is difficult for some people abused to trust and to be able to talk to anyone, having had it drilled in them never to trust anyone and never to talk especially for childhood.

    Whatever brings a person to actually want not to live is serious, to go against the natural instinct in all human beings to survive is very unnatural…within us all is the instinct to survive, to then go against it and see death as the most inviting thing, is not a light matter.

    IF people do it for a cry for help then they have problems….no one who is serious is bothered or cares about what anyone thinks, seriously can tell you in my mind did not even think about my own children, in those moments, blackness, severe, all that was in my mind was leaving this world, all else went totally from my mind…..that is an incredible place to be, when you survived just for your children, for your mind to completely forget them not even think about them…..

    Suicidal thoughts are very real in severe depression, it is an experience that you hope others do not have to go through.

    8 weeks ago stopped drinking everything went cold turkey, all by myself, was told was high risk of fitting, had to be detoxed in hospital, but that did not bother me, today weeks later still awaiting to see the Doctor who can start my treatment, will not be until middle of December…….it is holding on hours, day by day, through mental anguish, the suicidal thoughts still there very much so, but this time would just do something else rather than the above, however, if someone can help me to live the life dreamed about, just to be able to live with out the immense hurt and pain inside every day……then we will see….it is immobilizing at its worst, at its best it is doing daily functions others take for granted….maybe that is why people want to commit suicide, they have seen life, they only know abuse, then when they leave and may get the chance to actually live they get a life of being immobilized by a stupid illness caused through the abuse purely….mental health illness is hard to understand for people outside who do not experience it.

    It is also a warning for all those women still in domestic abuse/violence, to get out, whilst they still have their health and life somewhat intact, they never change.

    Plus will say out of all the people who saw, they are an exceptional few who are stars within the system and work all they can to help.

    Perhaps when people see someone within the profession just personally hope that they do not miss someone like myself and class them as whatever……that is my hope,(no one treated myself like that, they all cared and did their best knowing presume what had lead to all this) they are vulnerable people hurting and in lots of pain at how they have been treated all their life's. They have already been made weak made to feel so low, to emerge out of it, takes a great deal of courage and strength, they do not have the coping skills that others have, they tend to run into more self harm, having suffered harm to themselves all their life's. That is a fact.

    If you look up the facts it will show the high percentage of abused people more likely to do these things.

    Words on a page seem light to experience violence, day in and day out for years, takes everything away for you, they stay trapped in immense fear, isolated, controlled, to actually live that life is another world far removed from someone who goes home and relaxes.

  9. Think of self harm as a symptom of a psychological injury. It IS a coping method, albeit an unhealthy one. Example: Imagine, and i choose this randomly, imagine you were abused as a child and later on in your adult life you remember this. And some nights especially the lonely ones, the memories of this continue to play in your head, till you cannot think or do anything else. Eventually you feel pretty suicidal – if only you could get the thoughts to stop. Nothing on tv can distract you, nothing you read or explore in the internet will distract you. Still those memories bouncing around in your head till you feel worthless. So you do something that forces your body to think about something else – you inflict pain on yourself – and suddenly what you are thinking about isnt the abuse memories, but is the pain you now have or the fact that it should hurt but doesn't, or that you need to clean a wound and put on a dressing ect – and this is what brings relief – you have escaped the torment, you have won over the thoughts of suicide, and now your body starts to feel a tiny bit of relief. Im sorry that this doesnt cover every self harmers behaviour, and i dont doubt that there are attention seekers who do that for their own reasons, but most self harmers arent suicidal, they are coping with painful thoughts and memories, even though its coping in an unhealthy way. Statistics will never be able to tell us how many people self harm, because the amount that end up in hospital is nothing compared to the amount of people who keep it hidden. Hope this is helpful in some way xx

  10. Both of the times i tried to kill myself, it was full intention of never waking up again. I had many a time been to my doctors with serious concerns about my mental health and had been turned away, told that it would soon pass. I was a regular self harmer who was shoved from one person to the next when it came to seeking help. I had the full support of my family and friends, all of whom where equally concerned about my mental state. Neither of those times did i plan on being found and was possibly more depressed upon waking up than before i popped the cab of the bottle of tablets! Both times i was refered back to the same GP who was utterly convinced this depression would pass (which it did after four years…) On one occasion, after seven stitches from self harming he signed me off work for a week and told me to book a cheap holiday to take my mind off things. Unfortunatly, i didn't take his advice.I found being taken to the hospital after failing to kill yourself utterly gutting. The nurses i have acounted have been less than friendly and there has always been the attitude of “another one?” Both of the times i failed to end my life, i left the hopsital feeling guilty about being able to walk out. Many a time, when requiring stitches, i have been treated so coldly that i would rather take the stiches out myself at home than have to face another frown.

    I never did get to meet or thank the guys in the ambulance who picked me up and probably had to find me in less than flattering positions. Then again, i never thanked the hard faced nurses who smirked when i asked for pain relief either.

  11. In my case, when I've done dangerous, yes very much a nanosecond of madness. I suffer from intrusive thoughts, they go round and round in my head “swallow razor blades” or “take the pills” and it get's very draining. Before I started receiving psychiatric help my only respite from those thoughts was to give in. Immediately after I'd given in I knew I was in trouble and had to seek medical treatment and the thoughts had stop.In regards to what psychiatric help you receive after A+E in my area you'll have a follow up appointment with a psych nurse and that's it. Unfortunately I'd tortured mself in quite a few cruel and unusual ways before I got passed on to the CMHT. That said now I'm under them the help and support I've received has been fantastic and I've learnt to deal with my feelings without recoursing to such self-destructive acts. It's just a shame that services are so stretched that many who need the help don't access it.

  12. oh yes, and the army advert….joining would be great if you could just shoot people from the comfort of your living room sofa – like some kind of live link up to 'roadwars' where everyone watching could take pot shots at criminals by shooting at the screen. Now THAT would be therapy!… i know, i know- thats very very wrong : )

  13. I am an RN working in a hospital in the USA and do a lot with infection control but don't know what gaffa tape is. Is it silver duct tape or is it that stretchy coban stuff that sticks to itself so it doesn't rip the skin off little old ladies? What would you like to know?

  14. There is a woman I know whose marriage broke up because every time she had a disagreement with her husband she took an overdose – always a 'safe' one.Since they separated she still does it. In her own words: I've taken 10 overdoses to get him back, there's not much more I can do.

  15. As someone else who has done this I can only explain my own reasons; I carefully planned it out waited until my flatmate had left me alone went to the shop bought as many pills as I could then took them all. I then ended up phoning a friend soon after, what made me do this?Well, it was like there were two people in my head, one wanted to die and nothing was going to stop her, she'd had enough of the pain of this world and was a sink of despair, self-loathing and hatred. Then there was another person in there a frightened little girl who didn't understand why her world had been turned upside down and didn't understand why she was hurting and what she'd done. It was the frightened little girl who phoned my friend, who then phoned an ambulance.

    Unfortunately there are still these two sides to me and sometimes it looks like the dark side of me is going to win.

  16. Well done, keep with it! You can do it. I know it sounds cheesy but I truly mean it, my thoughts are with you, I'll send positive vibes your way 🙂 thank you for sharing this very personal experience.

  17. “Is suicide a nanosecond of madness that corrects itself as soon as it occurs?”I think so, yes. My old doctor many a time referred to it as an impulse, that will subside if you let it.However, I think if it's on your mind for huge periods of time, then yes, of course, it becomes something more serious and people are more likely to go off somewhere quiet. I, however, do not think that it is purely done for attention; I'd hate for anyone to know about mine.

  18. Sometimes threatening our own lives or wellbeing is the only power we have left to exercise.As a psychiatric nurse, in medium-secure services, A&E Liason, a Crisis Team, and, more recently, a Single Point of Entry service, I've assessed hundreds of people who harm themselves or attempt suicide when it all gets too much. How do I avoid cynicism? It's dead easy (only cynicism is the coward's way out): I imagine a conversation between the adult I'm assessing and my idealised view of the kind of child he or she might have been, during which they “catch up” and gossip.

    Then I ask myself: what kind of life so damages a person to the extent that serial presentations to A&E, psychiatric services, and, indeed, the ambulance service, with self-inflicted injury, appears to be a way to achieve a better life?

    And could this be a way of life that anybody would wish for themselves?

  19. Exactly the reason I used to self harm. I don't do it anymore, but I now have a growing collection of tattoos, and I'd be interested to know if others with collections of tattoos consider it a decorative form of the same.The pain wipes out the nihilism, like a strong light through a murky room. It pierces that endless bleak grey desert where I know for sure I am worth nothing to nodoby and nobody will ever want me or be there. In the really black moments I hear shouting voices saying that over and over just out of the range of hearing – I can just hear a tone of voice but I know what it's saying. Although you can logically argue them down, when they are there 24-7, it becomes impossible to deal with, and things get very lonely. Enough tennents super makes me unconscious so I get away from it for a while. Although Tom, I do that at home, not in the street.

    A kitchen knife dragged down the back of my arm from elbow to wrist is quite amazing. As the blood buds like a flower, so does the pain, and the voices and the desert can't be heard over it, they start to disappear. My body's imperative then becomes self-protection and somehow shuts out the mind's wanderings. Then I get dressings, bandage myself up, make sure it's clean, and I can even snap into cheerful mode remarkably quickly. I haven't done this in about 8 years, since I had a full time job actually, although I do drink too much and as said, I tattoo these days. I have no intention of committing suicide, but need 'out' sometimes, for it all to go away. Physical pain can be cathartic as a means of getting your head back into real life again, not having the abyss stare back at you in your head. Cutting worked for me, I'm sure other people have other methods. I don't regret the scars, because they helped in a strange way, although when I roll my sleeves up to have blood taken or something, I'm always looked at in that *special* way which makes me want to make light of them so I just say I was a goth kid or a parasuicidal teenager. I did it to the age of 30 though, and I've never been stylish enough to be a goth!

  20. I've talked to a fair number of failed suicides in ITU and A&E over the years.The reasons for self-harm are as multifarious as the human beings themselves as far as I can see. It's not possible to generalise.

    I've been wretched enough myself to contemplate the act, and to plan it out in great detail, but have never proceeded beyond planning, again for all sorts of reasons.

    To those who see the unsympathetic side of nurses, it's unfair (and unprofessional) to be judgemental about patients. The trouble is that nurses see the manipulative side of self-harm, and those are the ones that stick in the mind. The thirteen-year-old girl who OD'd on aspirin only because her friend did so, and got lots of drama and attention, and she didn't want to be left out. The tetraplegic who got that way because she thought it was safe to win an argument with a partner by throwing herself out of a ground-floor window and landed awkwardly. The woman who hung about outside the psych unit at shift-change times threatening to throw herself in front of parked cars; she was desperate for readmission and the unit was the only home she knew. The woman who OD'd on Senokot because she wanted to go live with her daughter, who didn't want her, and had nothing else to OD on.

    These people are just as much in need of help and support as any other self-harmer, I know that. But boy, do you sometimes want to bang their heads together.

  21. I used to work in a gynecologists' office, and we had a patient who was a follow-up Emergency Room visit for attempted suicide – by stabbing herself in the vagina! She survived, but ugh! How could someone do that? She said she heard it was a sure way to lose a lot of blood very quickly. Her children found her.

  22. Strong people are not those who never succumb, but rather those who fall and rise again. You are one of the latter.Thankyou for your words, and congratulations. Stay strong

  23. Hello, I've sent you a flickr mail about infection control.Sorry for this inappropriate post but I cannot find your email address.There must been something in my clumsiness…So delete after reading 8-)Andrea

  24. Personally I wouldn't be able to deal with the embarrassment following a failed attempt. All of a sudden everybody would be there for me, sympathize, and wonder why I would consider such a selfish act. Don't foresee any future attempts, but less likely a failed one.

  25. I had a suicidal urge once that started turning into action. Luckily, I snapped out of it as I was opening the drawer to get the knife. But, had I snapped out of it thirty seconds later… So I think that's why, for the genuine attempts that suddenly change their minds. The urge can wax and wane, even over a matter of minutes. Honestly, when the pain was really bad, I use to crave death the way some people on diets crave chocolate cake.

  26. Hi Tom situation l wrote to you some time ago is ongoing will see how it goes, it may be bad as it is no better but good it is no worse. I will just carry on holding out a hand and my bad jokes and see where we get to.

  27. I wish suicide was a nanosecond of madness.My stepson, 23 years old, who appeared to have everything going for him – good job, lovely girlfriend, prospects on the horizon, committed suicide in April of this year.

    He went to an open space with people around and hung himself.

    My partner and the rest of his family will never understand why he did this – only 12 hours earlier they were at work together having a laugh and joke about how well his life was panning out.

    It's the not knowing why that is the hardest. We genuinely believe he did not actually want to end his life, but used it as more of a cry for help, but we will never truly know.

    The one positive thing that has come out of this is that my partner is now extremely close to his eldest son – they had a few rocky years, but this has, in a strange way, helped them to cement their relationship.

    All I can say is, nothing should ever be that bad that you want to end it all, and talking can help if it's to the right people.

    My partner wishes he got that one last chance to talk to his son and tell him how much he loved him, and to help him through his troubled times.

  28. perhaps they used the vein in the groin because as you say, your blood pressure was low, and this can make your peripheral veins collapse so they tend to use the femoral vein

  29. realising that it hasn't worked is a terrible terrible moment.when i've needed treatment for self harm it's always been unpleasant – i couldn't imaging wanting it as attention.

    being stitched without anasthetic (because “the pain would do me some good” and i “deserved it”) while listening to a lecture about the cost of the equipment was a low point. and like someone else said, i always took my own stitches out.

    follow up's a bit hit and miss. it seems it depended on the attitude of the doctor. the worst – walking 8km home in bare feet at 4 in the morning. the best – after the failed attempt, and a few of the more serious self harm incidents, i was transfered to the phyc unit. there i would be stabalised and arranged good outpatient care. i'm well now and 1 year self harm free.

  30. My story was very similar to Random Pinkness above. I'd been living with the two voices in my head for about three years, one, the rational everyday me, the other the bitch who told me how evil and worthless I was. I seem to be a little odd in that I'd been self harming for those three years as a way of making the voice go away. She was always happier after I punished myself.This time I had another argument with my partner. When I couldn't respond because everything in my head was in knots, he just walked out. About an hour later I managed to get my legs to move, and went downstairs to look for him. I found a letter from him telling me that he had been seeing someone else, and he wasn't coming back. The voice just crowed at this, and told me everyone would be better off with me gone. I wandered round the house in tears and gathered together all of the paracetmol I could find.

    It turned out to be only 30 tablets, but I knew that you could die from 16, and that alcohol would make it worse. I wrote a letter to my family to apologise to them for wasting their money sendiong me to university, and starting taking the pills, washing them down with vodka.

    I hate taking tablets, so this was a slow process, and about half an hour later my partner came back to collect his wallet. I started crying at the sight of him, so he went back over the road to the friends house he'd been at, and got one of them to come over. I remember the ambulance and the staff only vaguely, but they were being nice and asking me why I'd done it, but I was incoherant. When we got to A&E I was put in a chair off to one side while the paperwork was done. About 10 minutes later I realised I was about to throw up and someone got me a bowl. This was at about 11.30pm, and I threw up from then until 7 am when I was seen by a doctor. My partner had travelled in the front of the ambulance, and when I calmed down a bit he came and sat with me and we talked things over. None of the nurses ever came over to check how I was , and when I did see the doctor, she just told me how stupid I'd been, and gave me an injection what was supposed to stop me being sick, even though it was just bile by this point. She said someone would be in touch that week to discuss it with me.

    I'm still waiting for that call 7 years later. My self harming got worse, and I stayed in a borderline-emotionally abusive relationship until 2005, when he left me. If I could go back I wouldn't change anything because I beleive I was lucky enough to come out stronger than I had been, but I just wish someone had talked to me, rather than passing it off as another stupid girl's cry for help.

  31. I was very lucky the paramedics (the same ones who I had seen about a month previously when I fell into the road and buggered up me knee), nurses and Doctors all treated me with kindness, my GP was an absolutely lovely woman as I had just graduated and would be moving home in a few weeks she didn't refer me to the CMHT up there but wrote a letter to my GP at home with a brief medical history and asked that he refereed me to the CMHT, he did so immediately and I was seen in 3 weeks. At first I had appointments weekly now I have about one a month with a counsellor, I have seen a psychiatrist and I am going to see a clinical psychologist next week. They're not quite sure what's wrong with me they don't think it's just clinical depression. I also have friends who were determined to see that I didn't harm myself again and was a happy bunny.Well done for surviving that on your own, I could not have.

  32. Sometimes it's just because you've reached the end of the line because your life around you has collapsed and you have no other way out.In my case it was due to the aftermath of my transition…. I am a male to female transsexual. Within 2 two months of changing genders I'd lost my family, 99% of my “friends”, my family, siblings and essentially everyone I thought cared for me.

    Couple that with two serious assaults by transphobes, a long standing illness with undiagnosed gallstones and the rigors of day to day lifeit was inevitable that I became seriously depressed. I refused to take the anti-depressants because of their side effects and things got to the point where I completely alienated myself from everything around me.

    My suicide attempt was planned and not a spur of the moment thing. I had all manner of benzos and opiods in the house and went hunting around the internet for suitable doses to make the event as “painless” as possible. The night I picked was not full of fury or anger at the world but candlelit with Purcell playing in the background and a sense of calm.

    The only reason it went wrong was because I'd sent an email to someone I thought was travelling at the time – but they'd hadn't left and co-incidentally checked their email as I was “doing the deed”.

    The first thing I knew was when two HUGE policemen appeared at my front door with torches. All I'm saying is that both they and the paramedics that followed treated me with nothing but dignity, care and a genuine kindness that me sobbing all over them. I didn't WANT them to care and was genuinely affronted that they wanted to take away autonomy to take my own life.

    Needless to say I was forcibly carted off to the local A&E, sorted out medically, seen by the psychs and then Sectioned and sent off to the local psychiatric unit who were completely incabable and unprepared for dealing with a transgendered patient. Apart from their pharmacy not stocking my various hormones I need to take, they didn't know which side of the block in which to house me (ie male or female). Instead they ringed off an entire corridor and stuck me there on my own – stuck in some beaureaucratic gender limbo. I won't even GO into the privacy and dignity issues that arose in that place. If I hadn't have been serious about topping myself BEFORE, then I certainly was there.

    I made a conscious decision to lie to everyone around me – as I realised I had to get out of there. I wasn't getting any kind of help as they just weren't equipped to deal with me. To cut a long story short, I was “released” after 2 weeks and had some idiotic CMHT case worker stalking me and just making my life an annoyance without providing any real help.

    That was 2 years ago.

    I now have a wonderful job, a fantastic social circle, a loving partner and am the happiest I've ever been. I had to drag myself up out of the gutter because I wasn't getting any help at the time. Do I regret what I did? No…. because that was the only option I thought I had at the time. I am ashamed? Possibly – but only because I ended up clinging like a limpet onto that particular Paramedic and sobbing all over him after he was consoling me and treating me like a human being.

  33. What is the answer the life, the universe and everything? … Death.Three “attempts” under my belt in the distant past. I won't detail the whys and wherefores that make me ponder a trip to beachy head … they are long, and complex … and there is nothing you can do about them and all it would do is add extra weight to your own shoulders.

    Suicide … the only way to selflessly lift the weight from your shoulders … but once it is gone the sight clears.

    We only ever really know how precious something is, when we don't have it any more.

  34. Sometimes because it feels like the only option left when your life is just so full of pain that ending it seems like the solution. It's dangling right in front of me, but what holds me back is the fear that my family and friends will blame themselves for my shortcomings. I don't want to keep on living in a world that doesn't bring me joy or pleasure and which instead fills me with fear and pain.Publicly, I am a sensible strong person able to deal with life's little or big issues, inwardly I am shaking like a leaf and unable to deal with even the slightest thing going wrong.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

  35. These cases are definitely not crazy to think if the majority are people with enormous economic and emotional problems who are unable to handle and is just as important as the psychological emotional support many of these cases generally have not happened if there had been a hand in those moments of despair, if each of us to support a single person of all to us about the world facing similar situations would be very different

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