The People You Would Leave Behind

“I’m a burden. They’ll be better off without me.”

“They’ll get over it.”

“Nobody will care that I’m gone.”

Do you tell yourself any of these things? Many people who think of suicide do. In fact, a leading expert in suicide research, Thomas Joiner Jr., PhD, writes that seeing yourself as a burden to others is a necessary condition for suicide to occur. 

I have to tell you, these sorts of statements are lies. Suicide is tricking you.

Depression falls for such tricks, and so do stress, intense shame, self hatred, and other feelings related to suicide. They cause irrational thoughts. Distorted thoughts. Thoughts that simply are not true – like that suicide is the only way out, or that a loved one will not care if you die or will easily get over it.

Suicide’s Lies

The biggest lie is that there is no way to end the pain except for suicide. Suicidal people get locked into this unlit closet in their head where, alone and suffering, they see only the darkness surrounding them. They forget that the closet is in a house with many more rooms, rooms without instruments of mental torture and isolation, perhaps even some rooms filled with sunshine and hope.

Another big lie is that people will be better off without you, or that they will not care. I recently heard a psychiatrist, Michael Bostwick, M.D., say that, in addition to killing its victim, “Suicide is always something done to other people.” I tell you this not to cause guilt or to convince you that you should stick around purely for the sake of other people. Rather, I say this to point out that what you tell yourself – what suicide tells you when it beckons – may well be false.

Are Other People Enough?

I am not condemning suicide as selfish or scorning people who die by suicide. If you are starving to death, is it selfish to do everything you can to get food? If you are being tortured, is it selfish to do what you can to escape?

When someone is in abject pain, their overriding need is to end the pain. They must think of themselves first, to stop hurting. And in the process, their thoughts deceive them, telling them that the only way to end their pain is death, and that the effects on others will be forgotten or slight.

Challenging the Lies

The question is, do you pay equal attention to the other side of possibility? That is, if you view suicide as neutral or even positive to others, do you also entertain the idea that you might be wrong?  

After realistically taking into account others’ pain, you may still decide that you cannot stay alive for others, that your own pain is too great to bear. If so, I hope you will consider that other ways exist to rediscover relief, hope, meaning, or whatever else will keep you alive.

For Those Who Think, with Guilt, of Those They Would Leave Behind

Unlike people who minimize the effects that their suicide would have on others, you might be all too aware of the devastation your suicide would wreak. And then you may feel all the worse for considering suicide as an option. But still suicide beckons, whether you want it to or not.

This is the nature of suicidal thoughts – the thoughts cannot be turned off through sheer will, just as nobody can will himself or herself to not have a heart attack or cancer. So, please, try not to blame yourself for the suicidal thoughts that come to you. At the same time, please keep in mind that you need not believe everything that suicide promises.

© Copyright 2013 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, All rights Reserved. Written For: Speaking of Suicide

Photos purchased from Fotolia.com

Note: I revised this post on June 10, 2013, after receiving input from Barb Hildebrand, a certified grief recovery specialist who runs the Facebook page Suicide Shatters. She expressed concern that my original post would inflict guilt in suicidal individuals by emphasizing that their suicide would hurt others. Such was never my intent. Instead, my intent was to show that beliefs about others’ reactions might well be wrong – what, in clinical terms, are called cognitive distortions. I hope that this revised post better illustrates my points.

For more information on how distorted thoughts can feed suicidality, see the excellent book by Susan Rose Blauner: How I Stayed Alive While My Brain was Trying to Kill Me.

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  1. Doesitmatter? says:

    Of all the things I’ve done wrong. The one that haunts the most is my own existence.

  2. child says:

    I am depressed. I cry all of the time. I think suicide is the only way out of it. What if I were dead?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think I’ll probably end myself before my 30th. No love from anyone, not even my family, in fact my family hates me. I’m kind of glad because no one will mourn for me, I will feel no guilt whatsoever.

  4. frank says:

    I’m 56.. no family left alive… I have no friends.. no woman wants me.. never had children.. I am completely alone. Nobody likes me.. I’m fat and ugly and a loser.. I barely make a living.. making 10$ an hour makes me just at poverty level. I live in a crappy roach infested apartment.. only thing I own is a 20 yr old car. I’m no good.. I lost everything I ever loved. I have serious health issues… I am losing my hearing with Meneire’s disease… I have Sciatica that causes me pain constantly.. 24 hrs a day I hurt… I have no money to see a specialist or to have test done to even find out what can be done. I’m a mess.. I hate my life.. I’m done.. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this.. I know inside me I will kill myself soon. Nobody will miss me.. nobody will even know I’m dead until the apartment comes looking for the rent.

  5. Matt says:

    I don’t think about the emotions of others when I consider ending my life. It’s my life and it’s my decision. There are a few people who think of themselves as friends and they would feel sad about it, I’m sure. But, they’d understand that ending my life is my choice. I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be alive but ending my life is me deciding that I don’t want to be anymore. I’m not ‘leaving anyone behind” and I’m not affecting the lives of others by killing myself. I don’t owe anyone anything. Having the respect and caring of others is no reason to live or to die. You have to have self respect and base your decisions on what you think is right.

  6. J says:

    I have the most beautiful baby girl. She’s my soul. Her father is terrible to me. It’s never going to end. She’s only 7mo old! He won’t speak to me-he plays games of being nice then mean. I don’t feel like things are ever going to change. I can’t coparent with this man. I am in a bad place of not seeing an end in sight and my life is going to suck as long as I have to share my life with this man. I love my daughter more than anything. I love her more than my own life. She deserves better than me and this. I want to give up. I hate myself for loving this man ever, I hate myself for giving life to this beautiful little girl and wanting to leave her. I just see no way out or end. I can’t see any light.

  7. J says:

    I’m 45 my life ended when I was 12 that’s when all the abused started. Then came all the medications to fix problems I never asked for. Then broken marriages to more abusers. Now on top of it all I’m disabled I live with my mother that works to care for me. She will never retire because of me. I do nothing but cry I want all the physical and mental pain to end. My disability is life Long just not terminal. I’m almost too exhausted to breath anymore.

  8. rebecca says:

    i feel stuck, alone in my life. i don’t go to college, i have a dead end job at only 17. my parents are divorced and i don’t get on with the step parents so i stay in my room. my parents aren’t proud of me and they pretty much tell me when they see me, “lazy” they say ” get yourself together” they say. i don’t have any friends and i don’t leave the house. i dont really eat and i’ve been getting thoughts that maybe i’m not supposed to be for this world. i feel like a burden and i can’t tell anyone because of my anxiety.

  9. Gina says:

    Im just so alone. I can’t do anything right, I’m just a nobody with a crapy life. If I left I know it would hurt my family but I still think I should do it. I’m lost and I don’t know what to do. I’m ready to give up, walk away and hope that they will forget me.

  10. Matt says:

    This argument doesn’t apply to some. I, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, have no meaningful relationships. No one would miss me if I disappeared or killed myself. My boss, neighbors, and sister would notice my death, but no one would care. My existence matters to no one but me. I have to decide that my life matters TO ME, not to anyone else. It would be nice if others cared for me, but they don’t. That doesn’t affect the value I place on my life. That is entirely up to me.

  11. I wish i was gone says:

    I don’t know what to do anymore the last time I remember being truly happy is 6th grade it seems like every step I take is in the wrong direction but I recently got a super good paying job I am bi polar and I thought the job would help because I hate my grandma having to pay my bills but every day I work is slowly killing me I try to tell my grandma how depressed and stressed I am but she starts stressing out I can’t do this anymore everything I do disappoints my family and even worse me I know I would hurt a lot of people if I did commit suicide because they think I’m funny and very nice my family loves me but I don’t live myself I hurt so much that I have to find a way I’ve been on anti depressants before but they can get expensive not only that I have a bad time remembering to take them I would hate to hurt my loved ones but I just feel like they don’t realize how much I hurt I don’t want them to think it’s their fault I just wish I knew how to go about this better I know I need help sometimes when driving on the highway I see a semi truck and want to swerve into it I tell my family but when I try to get them to help me they don’t think I’m serious I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve been happy I just wish this never ending nightmare was over

    • Just A Guy says:

      You say you got a good paying job maybe think about traveling abroad or taking a vacation? Maybe spend some time volunteering? I dont know the right advice but if there is anything you want to do try it. Death is always waiting you can get back to it later. Is there anything that makes you smile or happy or feel some sort of peace? Search out those things. Sometimes we feel like we have to have it all figured out but we dont . its okay to be a work in progress. The key is that we continue to try and progress is made. I sincerely wish you some sort of peace and happiness in the future.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The main reason I don’t is because I don’t want to leave a mess. Otherwise, I just want to go.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I feel in a way, while i would kill my loved ones by ending it, I’m slowly killing myself to stay alive with the love i have for them. There’s only so much of me left. I want to run, scream, make it all go away. Piece by piece life is shredding every ounce of will left no matter how small.

    • Ryan says:

      Anonymous Ok I’m with you with this one. Eventually your love and help for them is slowly killing you, it’s the same boat I’m in. So what I suggest is you do what you can in the time you have left for them, then you once there is not much of you left you start loving yourself and setup your loved ones with as much help you can give them then you leave like as in you said “run” you are in no obligation or debt to anyone and don’t have to prove or make proud your loved ones of yourself.

      You have to think about your own self if your losing your will then you have to change things. If you don’t take care of yourself you will be living for other people and their suffering, or you can take care of yourself and don’t let guilt stop you from taking care of you. I spent my whole life (39 years) taking care of others and now I have no life so now I have made the decision that it’s time for me and me only. Call it selfish call it whatever you want but it is better than suicide or a lifetime of others misery.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m in 10th grade currently, and about to enter junior year. Honestly, the only things preventing me from ending everything is that it would have been a financial waste on my life,+ pain it would cause and that my mom has casually commented about ending it upon the event that my death arrives before hers. I suffer from anxiety, add, and i think undiagnosed depression and suicidal thoughts. I’m behind on my work, scared for any future. I used to be a perfect student but my grades are in the toilet due to my mental health disorders. I don’t know where i would go and i await the days when there’s no one left to miss me. I used to have this burning passion for art. I knew it was what i would do and it’s all i cared about. I’m starting to hate it. I don’t understand what happened. For years i would make new, toxic friends and then cut them out when i realized they were toxic. (Between bullying and other examples). I finally made one or two close ones, but one has tried to commit suicide before, and the other lives in another country. Every day is pushing off, saying “it will get better tommorow” or “it will be over soon”. I truly understand that i have been blessed with a loving family. I wish i could give it all to someone who has the will to live. I have nothing to look forward to, probably won’t even get into the worst schools at this point with my grades, and especially not the school my parents want, penn university. (I’m a double legacy). Nothing makes me happy anymore except those few happy moments in life. (Ya know, the really special ones). For those short and precious moments, i can be normal, happy, free. I can enjoy the people and activities I’m doing and i understand how precious life is. But those moments are far in between and so rare i have a better chance of winning the lottery. It’s all so hopeless. If i do art, which I’m not even sure i love anymore, in the job i would want i would be broke, and student loans would probably never get paid. I choose a job that’s well paying and secure, and I’ll be miserable but able to afford the things i love. I have no goals in life exept awaiting the day I’m not going to hurt anymore. I’ve already had loss, pain and have few people left who mean the world, with those being my mom and dad. I don’t know how i hold on. There’s so much fear within me. I don’t know where to turn, as i don’t feel comfortable opening up exept to everyone here, and my suicidal friend who knows exactly how i feel. The only escape from the pain is sleep, as i can’t feel anything, and i don’t need to think. The desire to sleep led to missed school and dropped grades, so here i am. I’m me, i want to be me, but it’s so hard to do such simple things, like get out of bed. I know it’s hard to imagine such a simple task as difficult, but for me it’s the hardest thing i do every day. I want to fight but I’m getting so tired.

    • Ryan says:

      Anonymous, “burning passion for art” go study graphic art if that is your passion you will learn to how to gets jobs in the entertainment or gaming field. Or go to a school to study sociology to become a therapist or psychologist, I spent 2 years helping someone else study for it and it was not very hard. Don’t worry about the student debt and let that stop you. You can can get a student grant and also have a side job to pay your way.
      If you decide to skip all those things and work in the service industry as a permanent job thats ok too. Your suicidal thoughts are a lie your only 16 and need to make a choice in the next 2 years what you want to do. The anxiety can be overcome easily by Xanax. Take care

  15. Anonymous says:

    Where do I begin. I’m in the 6th grade and I have 100+ overdue assignments and my mom is always yelling at me. I just feel like a piece of garbage and I feel likes its time. But, I’m only hanging on because I don’t want to go to Hell. I’m a Christian and I’ve been praying but nothing works I want to go to heaven but schoolwork, family issues and everything else is just to overwhelming. I confused between Heaven and Hell because if I go to Hell I’m (Supposedly) going to burn for all of eternity. But, If I want to go to Heaven i’ll (Probably) have to wait until I die.

    • carol says:

      This hits me hard. As a mom of a 6th grader who I yell at because she has missed so much school work that I don’t know if she will ever get caught up enough to move on to the next grade without being behind, I can honestly say that I am at a loss of how to help her anymore and it has me feeling like I am the failure as a parent. I get frustrated and upset with her but it is only because I don’t know how to help her. She cries now anytime I try to bring up missing assignments and while I don’t want her to fail, I don’t want her to feel like dying is an option for her either.
      I have been thinking that I am her problem and that her life would be better off without me in it. I had attempted suicide before I got pregnant with her and succeeded only in making myself sick as a dog. I don’t want her to have to navigate life without me but I am certain I am causing her to feel like this on a regular basis.
      Her 12th birthday is in a month and I have decided that if I can’t figure out how to help her get caught up by then and help her feel better about herself that I am at least going to give her the best birthday I financially can and then kill myself a few weeks after that so her birthday isn’t always going to be thought of as around the time her mom died.
      I don’t hope that this is what your parents are dealing with but I can see both sides and all I can do is pray that without me, things eventually turn out for the better for my kids and family. Maybe it will cause someone that can help her without getting frustrated with her to come into her life.

    • Ryan says:

      Anonymous first off your mom yelling at you is not your fault you might have a learning disability or just a lack of motivation. Your so young so I say it’s not time as you said. You sound like a good person you are not going to burn in hell. It’s not about just praying even though that sometimes helps you need to ask for help maybe you can ask for help from a friend from school or another relative to help you with your schoolwork. Work with your teachers if you are having problems after class if you get some good teachers they may even stay after class with you to help you catch up. You can do it . Take care

    • Ryan says:

      carol, you said “I have been thinking that I am her problem and that her life would be better off without me in it” That is not true you or someone else can help her with her assignments ask around to family, friends or neighbors who are good at school if they can help her. Please don’t give up on something as simple as this. You said “I am at least going to give her the best birthday I financially can and then kill myself a few weeks after that so her birthday isn’t always going to be thought of as around the time her mom died”. Please don’t do this to her and yourself whatever problem your having it can be fixed trust me you sound like a caring mom that just needs help. Whatever problem your facing it can’t be as bad as leaving your beautiful daughter without a mom. I’m 40 I wish I did have kids thats my curse don’t think that whatever problems you are having are worth not being here in life. You just need a little help, Please take care of yourself you are a good mom that just needs a little help. If you or her need anymore help I can help with math or depression or even suicidal thoughts I been down the darkest of roads and have lots of time to work things out with you both if you can buy a scanner you can send me all her assignments or type them through my email at ryan2013c@gmail.com
      Take care =)

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        What a loving message, Ryan. Thank you for reaching out lovingly to someone in need.

        Carol, I agree with what he wrote. I hope you will seek help. Your mind is not being kind to you. It is actually telling you that your death would be better for your daughter than your being alive. Everybody I know who lost their mother as a young person, whether to suicide or another cause of death, longs for her and feels deeply wounded by the loss. Nobody I know feels they are better off as a result.

        Please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help at 800.273.8255, or texting the crisis text line at 741-741. Please also consider reaching out to others, such as friends, family, your primary care physician, a therapist, or another mental health professional. You can find other resources at http://www.SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

    • Just A Guy says:

      Its just schoolwork. You will figure it out. Just take your time and ask for extra tutoring. You have your whole life ahead of you. Please dont give up now. As for heaven and hell, well if god is as understanding as christians claim he knows your pain. The bible also says that it is not gods wish that even one of us fall away. Just do your best and forget the rest. I wish you all the best.

  16. TM says:

    I have 2 kids. I’ve done the math. When they are out of college (plus a few years), I may very well consider ending my life at that point. Gives me about 15 years of living in this disaster area of a life. Failure after failure. And then some. I hate myself and while I haven’t made any “major” screwups, it’s the death from a thousand cuts that has done me in. In many ways, I’m already dead. I’m numb. I’m not excited about anything and can’t make any plans for the future. I’m 47 and just want it over. Trust me, my loss will only be felt by 25 people – tops.

    • Ryan says:

      You have 2 kids you are very blessed to have that plus you sound like an excellant parent in that you were supportive of your kids going to college. You said you had failure and are not excited about plans for the future thats ok just find simple small things to keep you going, be content on what you do have not what you don’t. You need to look at the positives you have your freedom and I’m sure your kids love you no matter what you think. You sound like you need some more love in your life go out and date and eat drink and be merry. If your single trust me there is someone for everyone. Don’t limit yourself you need somebody and if you don’t believe you need or deserve that then stay busy trying to do what we all call life.

  17. Mar says:

    Whenever I think about what it would do to my kids, which is my biggest reason for staying here, it just feels like a burden. Like as in I have to stay for them. Not because my life’s going to get better, but because as their parent I must endure and stick around.
    I go to therapy, psychiatry, and have contacted an IOP and I have to admit I feel like I’m just destined to keep feeling this way forever. Contrary to perception, no one seems alarmed that I think about wanting to die. A lot.

  18. Jer says:

    Ultra-religious nutjob parents sheltered me so much I was a social outcast pretty much from first grade. Constantly told any career I expressed interest in was me living in a “fantasy world”. I was emotionally, socially and intellectually stunted until adulthood, and to this day I STILL can’t even hold small talk with anyone. I have no job, no friends, and I literally spend most of my day on the couch playing video games in a desperate attempt to escape my useless reality and pretend, for a while, that my existence actually means something. So yeah, if I was someone else, talking to me, I’d tell me to pull the trigger.

    • Steven says:

      You sound exactly like me. Having no friends and escaping the world through video games has become my life story. What makes it worse is I’m socially awkward. I’ve tried to make friends but the people I talk to seem to get turned off by something in me. It’s almost like they can smell my depression from a mile away. I have a lack of motivation to do anything and the things that I once enjoyed as a kid seem boring and repetitive. My gf has noticed my lack of motivation as of late and she’s beginning to pull back from me. Life just keeps getting worse

  19. Neha says:

    Feel ashamed even to write. I suffer from ocd and insomnia and depression and they have all got jumbled up. Life feels hopeless now.company I was working for decided to stop that work so have no work. Left with no friends now. Have nothing to do . No interest & strength left either. Lack of sleep leaves me lost. Took allopathy then stopped for fear of addiction & rise in eye pressure. Took homeopathy but doesn’t work. Feel hopeless a burden on my parents & brother. Keep thinking of ending my life. Afraid of pain & putting my parents through torture. Then think of leaving & going away somewhere & roughing it out but where I don’t know. Feel stuck

  20. Chris says:

    I am struggling with everyday of suicide thoughts but never would do it!!? I have had pretty tough life but never used it as excuse. My childhood was bad with abuse and i was sexually abused by my aunt. Watch my mom hold shotgun to my dads head, knife to his throat and endless night of a destroyed house followed by days, weeks and months of fighting. Told myself i wouldn’t be victim anymore and moved out at age of 15. Nowhere to go but found a happy path in life. I live with 4 AMAZING ROOMMATES of buddies that help me enjoy life and helped me be the man i am today. Aaron, Eric, shawn, Paco and james. I was 15 living with another 15 year old paco my first roommate, 16 year old eric wouldn’t allow anything in life to hurt me or mess with me, shawn 21 james 23 and aaron 22. We were like a family of friends. They actually were big part of my life at one time and i think they know it. They just took good care of me and thing is i never once even had to ask. Its like they knew they should and im always be thankful for it. I never used my bad hand to be excuse EVER instead i made a good life for myself!! It has done damage to me and im trying to change the path of my last name. I might be messed up but my kids lives will be the new path i set them on. Just sometimes feel like im a burden to them. I dont abuse them or anything like that. Im moody and mentally in the messed up sometimes but i know they know i dont mean to be. Im trying to be better than sexual and physical abuse like i was custom to. I messed up and with my wife tho and i hurt hurt one day. I now have failed myself and my goals to change. I know my kids will be better than me but i let them know that their dad did something horrible to his wife. She has forgiven me and i will NEVER in my life be that person or man again. I have to live with this and when i see my BEST FRIEND, BUDDY, SOULMATE and MY EVERYTHING i know i will give her rest of my life of earning her respect, trust and love for rest of my life. Im lucky she had given me another chance and love me! I have great heart and very good guy. Just feel like im messed up due to other people being messed up and feel like i never got a chance to be the full man i should be. Its been messing with me a lot lately and im not sure why. I have suicide thought all the time but have no desire to do it. Just not sure why but i do.

  21. Unhappy says:

    I wouldn’t leave anyone behind. Mom died, only child and haven’t seen or heard from my dad in 13 years. I have no friends and I am single.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Unhappy,

      I regret titling this post this way, because I don’t think we should try to guilt people into staying alive on the basis of the people they would leave behind. Likewise, I don’t think people who wouldn’t leave anyone behind have no reason to live, or to hope.

      I hope you will look inside yourself and your life for reasons to live. This post gives you some ideas to consider.

  22. Decisions says:

    I hate many decision I make an I feel hopeless when making those decisions sometimes I feel like disappearing but I have children that are not grown an doing well I don’t want to destroy their life because I want to take my own

  23. Matt says:

    I wouldn’t leave anyone behind. I have no responsibilities to anyone and I have no meaningful relationships with anyone. That’s not an issue for me. I don’t see how killing myself hurts anyone else. My life is only worth living if I want to live it. I’m not capable of meaningful relationships. My decision to kill myself is mine alone and only affects me.

  24. Misery says:

    I feel stuck.
    I followed the words of maya Angelou I didn’t like something so I tried changing it, if you can’t change it change your attitude -or something like that. I have tried again and again , to fake a positive attitude, try to be “happy”.. usually in return greeted by disinterest, or by people who wanted to play genuine til whatever off their addenda is done .
    I attempted to stop drinking-roughest 2 weeks of my life but I had been doing it! today as I was feeling my impending relapse I noted that I missed the warm burn of alcohol in my stomach that somehow numbed the dull ache of dissapointment that normally is there instead

    [This comment was edited to abide by the Comments Policy.]

  25. Joyce says:

    I have been thinking about suicide for a couple days now. I feel like my family is falling apart and that they don’t need me anymore or if they even care about me. This feeling had just recently snuck up on me because I feel like I’m the reason everything that goes wrong is my fault. I feel as if I’m the burden on the family and my friends, and even including other people. I have not felt like this for long though but I feel like it could relieve my family of more problems. Meaning they would not have to deal with my “drama” anymore because I feel as if I’m the reason they are always mad or stressed out.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I feel like the reason everything goes wrong in my house and that I’m the reason everyone hates each other. I have had something that I want to get off my chest and it is that I want to just leave this world and so I could be in a better place. My family has been fighting a lot with each other lately and I don’t know what to do so I feel like we are falling apart slowly because of someone and I feel like no body needs me anymore.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Great Article. Helpful for people to not condemn themselves for thoughts…they get stuck in a negative feedback loop. Glad this is available to people and I hope that more people read it. I have shared it on FB.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. My father is destroying the family financially and emotionally because of his pill drug addiction, and my step mom is injured and can’t really walk, and doesn’t care about me. My older brother is in college and is going to drop out and maybe move to Colorado, where I won’t see him much or at all. No one cares about me anyway. It is only just going to get worse, and I am depressed most of the time. It would be so easy just to ahead with it, and I have been trying to get my hands on something that can kill me. I won’t be missed when I’m gone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever since the age 13 when raped by older sisters boyfriend he played a song on repeat then after he said don’t you say anything to anyone I was scared not just the outside but inside I have trouble trusting anyone not one person not even myself I tempted many times in my life and the things that held be back was myself the fact is I want heaven meet up with all your loved ones no pain pure joy paradise a place with out any judgement guilt suffering well I am 25 years old I do not have kids no job I do not have a license nor am I any good at driving but continue on about what I don’t have and how I feel from all the bull that people give me lies and pain I have been through so much and thoughts feelings pain is not and easy to have on your mind and heart your life I dropped out of school 2009 going back now 2017 and with everything I struggle with I have so much energy due to Adhd a mind with thoughts of not important worthless never amount to anything is even worse on a mind that never stops adhd if you dont know what goes up must come down I love people all everyone I try so hard to fit in with the crowd but always seem to lack one quality I am the kid that never shuts up hyper silly at times kind love nature and helping others but beneath my long hair which falls in my face is a face with a smile and warm heart I tend to carry a burden the smile only gave everyday is not for me but you everyone I carry lies that only must to protect you pain in my heart fills as I hold it all in everyday my yes everyone would be happier no one would even notice at school unless mentioned on news or something but they would move on eventually as we all do sometimes the worst is for the best I wont bother write complain to you anymore I will be better off gone most ones I love other don’t love me living there lives and most important of all god and my family hold me back I know my family would hurt as they will grow to heal over time and be happy again they will see that I was right some people’s purpose is not be. But heaven sounds great and tears of my family is not what I want. So I suffer day by day screaming to just let it all out finally take charge of something that has a purpose to make you all finally happy once the pain of my death sets in and slowly heals you will all be better without me in fact as many whom I loved already have erased me out of their lives or no words which hurts even more when all the pain sets in what has come of this world or was it as always when time for change when do things really gets easier you don’t get your prince and if you do you better appreciate it my carriage rolled over a cliff I quickly rolled out and left my slipper and heart but you know he knew I meant it but life is what it is .

  29. Tracey G says:

    Interesting, but not enough.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I was looking for ways to tell my family I am leaving. Sometimes it is the truth that loved ones are better without you. If you are an addict and have no money for treatment…

  31. Dom says:

    When loneliness has been your best bud for far too long, or always one paycheque away from being homeless, or no one calls to say Hello or ask how you are doing, severe bankruptcy, I mean the list can be endless.

    I believe that most people know nothing about the tipping point that sets someone to give up on life to just end it. To give the guilt trip about the people left behind is being ignorant on all levels.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I have no family who cares the only family I have remaining that has not cast me out is my father and aunt. Maybe one of my brothers. None of which would help me if they could. Quite frankly I’ve burned all the bridges I had to return. I was on a downward spiral with drugs. Completely reckless after my mother died. I was completely content on wasting myself away with drugs until I was gone myself. I met someone who made me no longer want to just keep destroying my life like this. I’ve gotten off all the hard drugs to keep her from going down this fuct up road. Truly I love her and I really wanted to help her be with her daughter again… But even after getting off the drugs I find myself relapsing with alcohol (which I might add is the worst drug of all). When I was on heroin and meth (and any other toxin I could put in my body) I never once put my hands on a female (or anyone for that matter). Now that I’m off all the other b.s. and find myself struggling with alcohol ( in a dry county) I beat her. For these reasons I believe it would be in the world’s best interest that I was dead. She says she needs me and want’s me to stay. But I think it would be better if I just left and continued my path of self-destruction without her or just off myself ASAP

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Anonymous,

      Why must the only two options be to die or to remain self-destructive, addicted, and abusive? It seems to me that there is a third option: to work on change and recovery – that is, to work on getting off the booze, treating your partner the way you want to, and healing your grief about your mother’s death and your fractured relationships.

      I hope you will seriously consider that third option.

      In the meantime, please check out the Resources page for places where you can get help by phone, text, email, or online chat.

  33. koohai says:

    The same old prating nonsense. People who kill themselves ordinarily (not always) have DECADES of being uncared for by anyone, so the silly idea that someone, after decades, will give a care about you is baloney. If you are 56 years old, as I am, and NO ONE steps up to even reply to a letter or text from you, you can safely say no one would care if you died. Good grief, one of the foundations of counseling is not to bullshit people!

  34. Noname82 says:

    I’m thinking about doing it this weekend. I just can’t see a way out. I feel like a huge burden on everyone and everything. It would be better for everyone in the long run if I called it a day

    • Spongebob says:

      Hi Noname,

      Please, do not do this. I am here to tell you that it does get better. If you need someone, I will always be praying for you. Please, get help. Everyone on this planet is grateful for you.

    • Paul says:

      I hope that you’re still here with us, friend.

  35. uknzoz says:

    To say people would care is often a lie.

    Many people die and rot, their body is only found months, or even years, later.

    Ask any undertaker they will tell you there are many funerals where no one even knows the identity of the corpse.

    Many… many people go missing each year, some have just moved others have been murdered … they are never reported as missing because they have no one to notice.

    Sure some people do have people around who would care if they died, but many people would simply slip into dust unnoticed. There are others where people would be pleased if they were dead, they treated them with contempt and indifference while they were alive so would sneer at their death.

    This type of article is offensive and dishonest.

  36. Colin says:

    I’m happy to leave this life, not saddened, but the thought a blissful one! Peace/nothing to think or do, no longer exist!
    I worked hard all my life and tired of the day to day struggle, yes planned things and getting my house in order, to the point of all my rubbish cleared from the garage, paperwork up to date, will or that sort of thing.

  37. Anonymous says:

    The world is better without me I wish I were dead, no one will care they will live their lives better

  38. Doug says:

    Am 54 years old and was laid off from a job in July I thought was secure. Just had 11 more years to retirement but now I fear due to age bias I will never work again.Have become hopeless and depressed and think about suicide everyday. My Dr treats me with anti-depressants and my family and friends want me to live but am in so much pain and hurt over my job loss and at times death seems a better option that to live in constant sadness
    and fear about my financial future Stacey I don’t know what to do. You say life is worth living but I feel so lost and just want to my hurt and pain go away.

  39. eyaru2 says:

    I have no escape. Because I have to push myself into mentally and physically tiring situations to earn the money I need for counseling. So basically I have to work a job, get triggered and beaten down by my thoughts, to earn money to see a doctor. Basically in order to get help I have to willfully torture myself. I want to write so much more. Tell whoever might stroll by my life story. Pour my heart out but I just can’t. I am not well in this world. I am behind the social curve, weak in body… I just want it all to stop.

  40. Anonymous says:

    So I debated on commenting, but here it goes. My life has been very uneventful. The only thing that is wonderful is my 8 year old son. I love him dearly. Recently I have been having major anxiety and depression. My son is my whole world and my existence. My sons father has taken my son away from me and so I feel worthless. I have suicidal thoughts. I have no where to live and when I have spoken to my mother about these issues, she has pretty much told me that she can’t do anything about it. She tells me that I have always had problems, and that she and my dad are old and not in good health. My oldest brother passed away going on 3 years ago, and I think about him everyday. I miss him so much. It has made me start thinking why should i be alive.

  41. Danielle says:

    I’m seriously thinking about suicide. I’m all alone. If I died today nobody would know me or claim me. I have no family or friends. I lived in and out of shelters for 8 years since I aged out of foster care. I rent a room and have been kicked out houses more than 30 times. I can’t keep a place to live for more than 2 months. I can’t get, keep a job. I live on disability. I’m 27 years old. I have severe mental health problems. My life is in constant turmoil and I’m not a productive member of society. This is living hell for me. Walking outside in nyc is a depressing. I truly understand why people commit suicide. I really do. I also believe it’s unfair for me to live life like this. I’ll end up in potter’s field in hart island. For anyone reading this just know that some people really are living in hell. A hell you have no idea. Some people reading this have things that I’ll never have. Everyone has more than me. I have nothing. My life is a waste. It’s selfish to be alive keeping myself in this much pain.

  42. John Morrell says:

    Suicide is not an entity. “It” has no thoughts or ambitions; no desire to “trick” anyone. Your childish attempt to anthropomorphize suicide into a sinister villain (no doubt with horns, cloven hooves and a pitchfork) exposes the shallow bankruptcy of your thinking.

    Abandon the idea that every person who contemplates suicide is defective. While it may be true in the vast majority of cases, it is plainly not true in every case. Your efforts should be directed at distinguishing those who are in possession of their faculties from those who are not, and helping the latter.

    Leave the rest of us alone, if you don’t mind.

  43. Anonymous says:

    The suicide hotline is worthless

    • Wyatt says:

      My realization: Society has defined purposes that are completely illusionary to what life should be about. I’m about to be a fourth year mechanical engineering student. I have been philosophical in nature. Throughout my life, I have come to realization about the lies that are fed to us by every single person in life. Our world is only an illusion, created by our own brains. I was raised as a Catholic. I have come to realization that religion is just another way for our brains to lie to themselves to keep them sane from the lie we’re already living. We go to school just to become professionals in jobs that were created from these illusions. An illusionary media that feeds the fire of lies; an illusionary goal that we follow creates an illusionary path that we must follow. To say that we do not need this illusionary path is ignorant, as you as just following a path that I’ve created. You see? We live in a world where we lie to ourselves to keep us from reaching negativity, especially truth. Even it I keep trying to live this lie, I will only suffer. There will never be a point in time, when I’ll look at this lie, and I see something positive. It is not God who saved this passengers on that plane. It was the pilot who saved those passengers. Illusion of the obvious

    • Anonymous says:

      I also agree with this

  44. ANSWERS says:

    I just need to know the financial responsibilities and burdens that are required by federal, state, city, etc that the family must take care of once the suicide action has already taken place???

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Answers,” I don’t understand your question, because suicide is no different than any other death in terms of the affairs that must be put in order afterward. But the important thing I see in your words is that you are thinking through all the details for suicide. Assuming your question is reference to your own planning, I urge you to talk with someone. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time, at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). I also list places to call, text, or chat online for help, on the Resources section of this website: https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

    • K says:

      I wonder this also. Do my debts become someone else’s responsibility? Do credit cards/mortgages write off the debt?

  45. Anonymous says:

    I’m looking for help please. I used to love my life.

    Money problems are my issue.

    I have a disabled wife that can never work.

    Her adult son that is living with us is retarded and can’t get a job and will be here for life.

    I now have “brain fog” and can’t do my job properly

    Medical bills just keep adding up at about $100,000 right now and add up to about $1,000 per month.

    Money has been is draining quickly over the pas 10 years ( about $600,000 )

    I feel that I want to end it all soon just to get out of this nightmare

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,”

      Your situation sounds incredibly difficult, both financially and emotionally. And there are other ways to “get out of this nightmare” besides death. Please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and discussing your feelings with one of the trained counselors there. They are available 24/7 at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). You can also get help by email, phone, text, or chat from many other places, which I list in the Resources section .

  46. Mooneyn says:

    I have had suicidal thoughts lately…but I can’t tell my parents because they are already struggling as my father put it “This is your fault.” which I’m not saying it isn’t but those words hit me hard and I thought about throwing myself out of a moving vehicle I felt so bad. But he doesn’t know how I’m feeling so I can’t blame him. And I can’t talk to a psychiatrist because it’s too expensive. I also don’t want to tell my mom or my brother because it would make them worry because they love me so much. My dad too but I feel so conflicted right now it’s hard to find the words to say that’s why this is a massive run-on sentence. I just can’t help the way. I feel I just…I don’t know anymore. It’s not like I’ll actually do it. I’m too much of a worthless brat to do it and I just like to whine instead of fixing my mentality.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the reality of what suicide does: those you want to hurt least will be traumatized for the rest of their lives; those you want to hurt most will feel vindicated by your decision; the burdens you felt you couldn’t cope with become the burdens of those who loved you most; and your memory will be desecrated to everyone.

    It’s been more than 10 years since my dad’s suicide. I will have to suffer with the consequences of his suicide for the rest of my life. His suicide shredded the family. It is the sucker punch that continues to leave me periodically trying to catch my breath.

    • the dog says:

      And perhaps this is the problem. You’re thinking of yourself, and not of his plight. Nobody thought of him.

    • matt says:

      I don’t love anyone. Nor does anyone love or care about me. That’s not why I would end my life. This isn’t a reason to not kill yourself. No one depends on me and my death would affect no one in anyway. It’s my life and it’s my choice.

  48. Hopeless and invisible says:

    “Many people who think of suicide hate themselves, or think they are a bad person, or think they deserve to die. So “guilting them” about how they would hurt others could cause shame or guilt that is not constructive.” EXACTLY. So many people have hung on and endured their hell far longer than most “healthy” people could ever imagine only because they didn’t want to cause that pain and guilt in their loved ones that you describe. Recognize it for the desperate act that it is. It may seem selfish to you but unless you’ve been there, you can’t pass judgement.

  49. Randall P. Robinson says:

    We are worried that your post might “inflict guilt in suicidal individuals by emphasizing that their suicide would hurt others.” Really?! Perhaps, suicidal individuals might just need a good healthy dose of reality to deter them from their act. If saddling my late son with a moment of hesitancy in considering the effect that his suicide would have on the entire family, then I’m all for it. Instead, I am the one left with the never-ending guilt over, perhaps, not having done enough to have prevented the death of my 15 year-old son. I’m quite convinced that he never gave any serious thought to the devastating consequences that his death would have on his family and friends. I have forgiven him for not giving adequate thought or consideration to the hurt he would cause others by indulging him the benefit of the doubt in assuming that he was too locked in his own inner pain to be able to see beyond it; but, in my judgment, we should do everything in our power to convince suicidal people that their voluntary departure will be welcomed by no one and will, instead, inevitably burden them with the same kind of suffering that their loved one seeks to escape.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Randall, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry to hear about your 15 year old son. The consequences are indeed devastating, both for the youth who die by suicide and the families and friends who must now deal with their feelings of intense pain, guilt, anger, and more.

      You bring up very good, very painful points. If a person’s love for others serves as a deterrent to their suicide, if they do worry about the legacy of grief, guilt, and suffering they would leave their loved ones, then by all means, that deterrent should be emphasized. Whatever works!

      The problem comes when somebody is, as you put it so well, “too locked in his own inner pain to be able to see beyond it” and reminders of how they would hurt others make them feel even worse, not deterred but even more resolved to die. Many people who think of suicide hate themselves, or think they are a bad person, or think they deserve to die. So “guilting them” about how they would hurt others could cause shame or guilt that is not constructive (e.g., “How could I even think of doing that? I’m a bad person.”) On the other hand, for many people that guilt or concern is constructive – it keeps them alive. So it is a delicate balance.

      My goal in this article was to balance reality (people care about you more than you can realize right now, don’t believe otherwise, they will be hurt) with empathy (you are hurting desperately, and your pain is so great that you are thinking only of ending your pain). Again, it is a delicate balance!

    • Moe says:

      I agree we need to hear that we are really loved and needed and will be missed. I know for my 3 times, I just thought (honestly felt) that I was more trouble to anyone than I was worth. Why stick around and keep making those I love miserable?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Moe, you put into words very well the things that suicide wants people to believe – that family and friends will be better off without you. Were you able to check out your convictions with those you felt you were making miserable?

      It is in fact very hard for loved ones to watch as someone endures suicidal thoughts, perhaps even attempts suicide, perhaps even makes multiple suicide attempts. But it is the *illness* or *situation* that trigger suicidal thoughts – not the person who is their victim – that are causing misery.

      Thank you for sharing. Your words speak well to the ideas that suicidal people can have that, sadly, they are nothing but a burden to others. It is certainly important to convey to individuals who consider suicide that they are loved and valued, without implying (or directly stating) that they should feel guilty and are selfish for wanting to die.

  50. Laura says:

    I have been struggling with this myself for it seems like a long time. I’ve been on meds, through therapy, and some things have helped but I think stress is a major factor for me.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hi Laura, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling for a long time. It’s hard! I hope that meds or therapy (or both) have provided some help. Stress is a big factor. Do you try any meditation or relaxation techniques? Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program could be helpful. He and others have books on MBSR on amazon.com, including the book called (appropriately enough) A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. If you have tips for others about what you’ve found helpful, please feel free to share!

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