Survivors

When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away

When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away

The popular image of someone who is in danger of suicide goes like this: A person has suicidal thoughts. It’s a crisis. The person gets help, and the crisis resolves within days or weeks. That’s the popular image, and thankfully it does happen for many people. But for others, suicidal thoughts do not go away. […]

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Why I Came Out of the (Suicide) Closet

Why I Came Out of the (Suicide) Closet

  What will people think of you? What will people say about you? Some people asked me these questions when I told them I was publishing an essay in the New York Times (“A Suicide Therapist’s Secret Past”) about a very dark time in my life when I made a suicide attempt. I can’t really blame […]

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Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

Across the Internet and elsewhere, people apply the term suicide survivor to two different groups of people: 1) people who struggled with suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, and survived, and 2) people who were never suicidal at all, but who lost a loved one to suicide.  In a post last year, I defined a suicide survivor […]

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“Mightier than the Sword”: Healing from a Spiteful Suicide Note

“Mightier than the Sword”: Healing from a Spiteful Suicide Note

“Mum, I could write to you for days, but I know nothing would actually make a difference to you,” the note begins. “You are much too ignorant and self concerned to even attempt to listen or understand, everyone knows that.” More hateful words follow, culminating with, “You are a waste of space, ignorant, and a […]

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“If Only”: Self-Blame After a Loved One’s Suicide

“If Only”: Self-Blame After a Loved One’s Suicide

“I should have _________.” “If only I _____________.” “Why didn’t I ____________?” Different people may fill in the blanks with different words, but the sentiments are the same: I am to blame. I should have been able to stop my loved one from dying. Feelings of self-blame affect many people who have lost a loved […]

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Unwritten Goodbyes: When There is No Suicide Note

Unwritten Goodbyes: When There is No Suicide Note

Suicide causes so much devastation in the living – so many overwhelming feelings, so many should-have-done’s and could-have-been’s, so many questions. Amid such heartbreak, many survivors also agonize about why their loved one did not leave a suicide note. Melinda McDonald, a blogger who lost her husband to suicide, wrote about this agony in a […]

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What is a Suicide Gesture?

What is a Suicide Gesture?

Many clinicians and researchers advocate for abandoning the term “suicide gesture,” but its use still persists. Over the last few years, several definitions have been reported: “…A suicide gesture is like a one person play in which the actor creates a dramatic effect, not by killing or even attempting to kill himself, but by feigning […]

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How to Find a Therapist Who Does Not Panic about Suicide

How to Find a Therapist Who Does Not Panic about Suicide

The wonderful blog attemptsurvivors.com recently published a post, “Wanted, Therapists Who Won’t Panic.” Some therapists do in fact panic when faced with a client who says he or she wants to die by suicide. This can take several forms. A panicky therapist may all too quickly recommend psychiatric hospitalization, even when it is not really […]

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Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?

Do You Blame Yourself for Thinking of Suicide?

“I had no idea what I had done to you, although I should have known it in retrospect. So I guess now is a good time to say I am sorry, although it is about 19 years too late.” Those words came from a dear friend of mine who went through a prolonged suicidal crisis […]

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Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Say someone wants to die by suicide so badly that they go to the Golden Gate Bridge to jump off. But then they are stopped from jumping. What happens to them afterward? You might think that, once freed from the authority figures who prevented their suicide on the bridge,  they still went on to by suicide. […]

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