On account of the World Suicide Awareness week, I have been coming across a particular written piece, shared by a lot of people. It speaks about the likely scenario that follows after one ends their life. The piece very vividly describes how a boy’s family, friends, lover, acquaintances and the like are affected after he decides to take his own life. Reading it, one can feel the pain and the frustration each person is going through as their lives become meaningless or painful or guilt-ridden. They keep blaming themselves for what happened, or for simply not being able to sense it from beforehand and stop it from happening. It is too real, and as far as my knowledge goes, this is exactly how everything pans out after a terrible incident like this. A part of me feels content with the fact that nowadays these issues are being addressed openly and by so many people on social platforms. It is necessary to recognize this universal problem faced by people irrespective of age, sex, or social standing. Considering how it was in the past, this is a really encouraging progress in talking about or dealing with issues which were previously considered taboo. However, I strongly disagree with the central theme of the piece.
What becomes evident once I am done reading it, is how this action by the boy made everyone around him suffer, clearly indicating that this is why we should never think of attempting suicide. It totally focuses on the people around us who would be affected badly if we take a step like this. Surely, this is an effective way of discouraging one from attempting to kill oneself. But unfortunately, this approach is more negative than positive.
There are numerous things which might make a person want to end his life. It might be trauma, shock, depression, anxiety, paranoia or any other psychological disorder. It might be something purely social, like ostracization, bullying, bankruptcy and the like. Whatever be the reason, the main emotion the person feels is a lack of self-worth. His self-worth gets lowered to such a point that he actually thinks of taking his own life, no matter how much physical pain that might cause. He is left hopeless and unable to function normally. Even simple everyday tasks like brushing, bathing or eating become difficult to carry on. Inside his head, there is nothing left for him to look forward to or anticipate. During this period, is it really wise to burden him further with guilt? Is it really kind to throw others’ emotions and opinions at him, making him feel like he is being cruel to them? Of course, these things might help in stopping him from taking his own life. But, will they make him start living again? I don’t think so.
When a person feels suicidal, what should always be focused on, is the ‘self’. Constant endeavours should be made to make him learn to love himself again. He should be reminded of his worth again and again, instead of being made to feel guilty. He should be reminded of all the possibilities that lie before of him – all the events to look forward to, the exotic places to visit, the clothes to try, the dishes to taste, the people to meet, the books to read, the movies to watch, the milestones to achieve. Positive reinforcement has always worked better than its negative counterpart. Rediscovering oneself is a wonderful feeling. Being there for a suicidal person and encouraging him to live his life, is a million times better than discouraging him by giving him grisly descriptions of how his actions are going to affect others. Help him rediscover himself, instead of further lowering his self-worth.
And you, reader, if you are going through something like this, if you are having a hard time holding on and you just need a reason, remember that the reason lies within you. The reason IS you. It is your dreams and your goals and the various plans you made for yourself. It is how proud you will be after overcoming this nasty phase. I believe this is reason enough to give it just another try. This is reason enough to keep fighting.