The rising suicide rate has been a huge topic of conversation lately, due, in part, to some high-profile deaths. When someone commits suicide, it can affect us profoundly, even if we didn’t know them personally. It makes us feel so helpless. Why do people kill themselves in the first place? How could we have stopped them? Obviously, the way we’re handling it now isn’t working, so what is the solution?
That’s what I’m going to discuss in today’s video. And be warned, I totally got on my soapbox for this one. And while it’s a dark subject, it’s one that NEEDS to be talked about. Plus, I promise to leave you on a good feeling note by the end of the video. Don’t I always?
I received a question last week about why there’s such a rash of celebrity suicides this year. I hadn’t heard of a “rash”, but then I often live in a different reality, so I quickly did a google search and found that yes, we’ve had a couple of celebrity deaths. And while celebrity deaths, especially suicides, are always well publicized, because they’re, well, celebrities, and while we can certainly see these deaths as tragic, the truth is that a certain percentage of all people commit suicide each year. Celebrities aren’t exempt from this and as far as I could tell, the number of celebrity suicides wasn’t out of whack with non-celebrity suicide statistics.
What was out of whack, though, was what I discovered while doing this bit of research – and that is that over the last 20 years, suicides in the US have gone up over 30%. In some states, like the state of Idaho where I currently live, suicide rates have risen as much as 58% since 1999. And you know what? I’m not entirely ok with that. Because it’s not necessary.
Which is why, in this video, I’d like to explore the energetic or underlying reasons for suicide rates have risen, as well as offer a solution.
And yeah, I know it’s been a while since I’ve gotten up on my soap box. In fact, I think it’s been years. But I’ve been inspired to dust off that soap box, and so I’m not going to pull any punches. Because this is an issue that is solvable, if we have the courage to finally face those underlying issues in a way humanity has never done before.
Why do people commit suicide?
So, the first thing we have to look at is why people kill themselves at all? What drives a person to commit suicide, to end it all? Well, I happen to have a bit of personal experience with this. In my coaching practice, I’ve helped thousands of individuals heal their deep wounds and trauma, and this includes quite a few clients who were contemplating suicide before we began working together. I’ve also worked with the family members of loved ones who’ve killed themselves, and helped them make sense of what happened, as well as heal their own pain. And then, there’s my own story. When I was 15 years old, I tried to commit suicide.
And what I can tell you from all of this experience is this:
Committing suicide is not an easy thing to do. It’s not just a decision someone makes one day because they’ve got a bit of an issue. Suicide tends to be so painful and destructive because we don’t understand it. We don’t understand why someone, who often didn’t even SEEM like they were having that bad of a time, would choose to end their own life. We feel like we need to blame someone or something. We WANT to blame someone. After all, if we can just find the culprit, we can KILL the culprit, and then we won’t have to deal with this anymore.
But suicide doesn’t just happen. People don’t actually kill themselves because their lover broke up with them, or because they lost a job. Those may be the triggers, but those aren’t the underlying causes.
So, why do people kill themselves? Is it because they have a mental disorder? Well, guess what, a mental disorder is defined as a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. So, if you’ve ever had any emotional distress, congratulations, you had a mental disorder. At least in that moment. If you’ve ever grieved the loss of a loved one, a relationship that didn’t last, or even an object you couldn’t find, you were mentally ill – by that definition.
Now, it might sound like I’m being a little bit facetious. And I am. But here’s the thing:
People who kill themselves are in an incredible amount of pain. It’s an all-consuming, totally overwhelming pain that overshadows everything in one’s life. Even the things that should be a source of joy or comfort, like a loving family, children, or clear and present opportunities. This kind of pain is not logical. It can’t be argued with. It can’t be overcome with a bit of willpower.
And it lies to you. It tells you that nothing will ever get better. That no one can help you. That your pain makes you a burden on others. That no one really cares about you. And no one ever will. And even if you know, intellectually, that these are lies, this pain can be very, very persuasive. Like a skilled torturer, it will wear you down, until you doubt your own mind, your own feelings, your very reality. Until the idea of ending it all feels like relief. It begins to feel like the best feeling option.
And what causes this phenomenon – this painful wearing down process, this withdrawal, this all-consuming, overwhelming darkness, is not a mental illness. It’s part of being human, of how human beings work. And our complete lack of understanding about this, is actually part of the problem.
So, let me break it down for you.
Powerlessness, which is what all pain and suffering come from, causes you to be drawn more and more inward, essentially, so you can take a look at it and release it. In depression, people don’t want to get out of bed. They don’t want to face the world. This is by design. Depression is meant to make you focus inward. When we fight against this process, it keeps us stuck in depression and will even make it worse.
How do we fight this process?
Well, there are a myriad of ways. Here are a couple:
For example, the very idea of being depressed is considered unacceptable. We’re not supposed to be depressed, ever. Remember, it’s been classified as a mental illness. So, if you’re depressed, something has gone wrong. You’re broken. And no one wants to be broken, so this perspective just makes it harder to heal.
There’s also a ton of shame associated with being depressed, suicidal and in so much pain that you can’t function anymore. You feel like you’re failing to be a good man, woman, father, mother, husband, wife, or even human being. Oh, and classifying normal human emotions as a mental illness certainly hasn’t helped to mitigate that shame.
Another way in which we fight the natural process that depression is a part of, is that we believe that one can just “snap out of it”, maybe by deciding to just feel better, or by engaging in activities, like going to school or a job that we hate, because if you act like you feel better, you’ll feel better, right? … No. That’s not how it works. But that doesn’t stop countless people from giving this advice to a loved one, or from holding themselves to this impossible standard. And what do you think happens when they fail to achieve this impossible standard? They feel even worse.
And then, we take medication. Now, I’m not down on all medication, and I even know that in SOME instances, anti-depressants have helped people be able to function again. The problem is that anti-depressants are so very often prescribed as a kind of magic pill, a cure all for your, you know, your mental disorder when, at the best of times, all they really do is numb you out. Yes, they help numb out the pain, but that’s not usually a good idea.
Numbing out the pain doesn’t cure the cause of the pain. So, if you cut your leg off, they might give you morphine to help with the pain. But if ALL they did was give you morphine, you’d bleed to death pretty quickly. Because morphine does not cure amputation. And anti-depressants do not cure depression. So, the underlying problem persists, only now, you can’t feel it anymore. Which means it’s free to keep getting worse and worse, while you march through life like a zombie. Oh yeah, because anti-depressants don’t just numb the pain, they numb the pleasure, too. And that’s the best-case scenario.
We get stuck in depression for the same reasons that we get stuck in any negative emotion.
- We focus more on how those around us feel than how WE feel. And since we can’t actually control how anyone else feels, this means we’re always playing a losing game.
- We have no freaking idea how to deal with our emotions. In fact, most of us have been taught to do the exact opposite of what works, and have been greatly discouraged from doing what would actually help.
And THAT is the big, underlying problem. The good news is, it’s totally solvable.
There’s been an increase in awareness around mental illness in the last few years. And while I applaud the efforts made to try and raise awareness, I can’t say that I really agree with how that’s been done.
First of all, classifying normal human emotions as a mental illness, creates a stigma around these feelings that makes it LESS LIKELY for a sufferer to get help. No one wants to be mentally ill. No one wants to be broken. And I’m in no way saying that real mental illness doesn’t exist, and that raising awareness of conditions such as schizophrenia, for example, is a mistake. But what I am saying is that it’s a HUGE mistake to classify any emotional distress as a type of psychiatric disorder.
This is because it creates divisiveness, instead of inclusion. People who are suffering from severe depression, or who are in so much pain that death seems like the only viable option, feel like they’re utterly alone. Remember, this pain lies. People who are mentally ill are often seen as separate. That’s not US. That’s THEM. And THEY are easy to dehumanize and ignore. THEY are certainly not a group that WE would ever belong to. Or we’d certainly never admit to it. By understanding that these reactions are inherently human, we no longer see an US and THEM. We’re all in the same boat. A community who understands that any member of that community could potentially fall into depression, regardless of how kind or smart or rich they are, is much more likely to embrace sufferers with compassion and kindness, as well as search for real solutions that actually freaking work. Because suddenly, it’s personal. And when things get personal, they get fixed.
So, what’s the solution then? How do we keep people from committing suicide? Well, we can certainly keep doing what we’re doing. Raising awareness, so people who have no or little awareness of their own emotions, are now tasked with trying to decipher if the guy at work is just normal sad or suicidal sad. We can keep telling sufferers to reach out for help, while simultaneously shaming them for doing so by slapping them with a dehumanizing label as soon as they come out of the suicide closet. Oh, and we can keep forcing therapists to lock their patients up in psychiatric facilities for 72 hours, against their will, for even mentioning that they may have entertained the idea of suicide, ensuring that depressed people who actually manage to get into therapy, are never truly honest with their therapists, for fear of being locked away. And yes, that happens a lot. And it means that many therapists’ hands are tied when it comes to truly treating the suicidal.
So, we can do all of that. Or, we can make it a priority that every child, every adult, every human being on this earth gets access to an emotional education. This is the education you need in order to understand what is happening to you when you’re feeling emotional distress, why it’s happening, and what to do about it, so you can actually feel better.
It’s the education we all didn’t receive as kids. The education our parents didn’t get, and therefore couldn’t pass down to us. It’s also the education that helps us make sense of our world, ourselves and others in it. It helps us understand how and why things happen, and it helps us to step out of powerlessness and into empowerment.
Understanding our emotions will allow us to no longer suppress them, and to release them constructively instead of destructively (like with violence or self-harm). This means that when we feel negative emotion, we never again have to let it get to the point where it becomes all consuming. We know exactly what to do. We no longer have to just try to “be strong”, or to “walk it off”, or to “snap out of it”, while we secretly and silently suffer.
Of course, if the people around us have the same education, they’ll be much more able to support us in our darker moments. And should we dip into that all-consuming darkness, we can actually move through that depression within days, sometimes hours, instead of weeks, months or years.
And the time for this kind of education has never been better than now. With the global energy rising faster and faster, any pain we have will only be highlighted. This is, again, by design. The rising energy is driving our pain up to the surface so that we can heal it. But it also means that those who have no idea how to heal this pain, will only get worse. Their pressure will only increase. Which means, suicide rates may well continue to climb.
If this is NOT the reality you want to hook up with, then my suggestion is to make Emotional Education a top priority for yourself, your family, your church or community, your business and workplace, and even your local government and schools. In my opinion, Emotional Education should be in every school, in every church, in every household, in every company, in every police precinct, in every prison, in every retirement home… you get the idea.
So, how do you find this emotional education? Well, you can google it. You can search for organizations in your neck of the woods who are already bringing emotional education of some kind to various groups of people, and you can support them. If you want to truly affect change, however, then start with yourself. Research emotions, what they mean, and how to work WITH them. Read personal development books, blogs and watch videos to get clarity. Work with a good therapist or coach, or find a group of like-minded people whom you can talk to. Really talk to. Apply what works for you until you feel better. Remember that an emotionally savvy individual who has learned to recognize and work with their own emotions, will have a much easier time recognizing when someone else needs help.
Of course, you can also ready my blog posts and watch my videos, as well as read my book Deliberate Receiving, Finally the Universe Makes Some Freaking Sense! Because, even though my work seems to center around manifestation and the Law of Attraction, what I really provide is one hell of an emotional education. Because unless you understand and are able to use your emotions, you’re not going to be able to TRULY function as a human being. Not at the level at which you were designed to. Not at the level at which you’re meant to. So, an emotional education is the answer to getting everything you’ve ever wanted. But it’s also the answer to the question: how do we heal all the pain in the world?
How do we keep people from killing themselves? You make it so that suicide is no longer the better feeling option, by truly healing the underlying pain.
I’d like to ask you to share this video with anyone you think might benefit. And since I believe that emotional education of some kind would benefit everyone, I’m going to ask you to share this video with everyone. Please help me to spread this message. I know that I got on my soap box during this video, but some issues deserve the no-BS, soapboxing treatment. In fact, I might do a bit more of this kind of thing. So, if you’d like me to give this kind of treatment to any other real-world issues, let me know in the comments. Or just let me know what you thought of this video.
Until next time, I’m Melody Fletcher, and I want to thank you for bringing your light to the world.