Death and suicidal thoughts
We all consider death. Some of us might consider suicide at particularly difficult times. We might think we can’t go on.
These thoughts are often connected to something we find intolerable. We want the situation, emotion or thoughts we struggle with to end. When this happens, we may confuse ending ourselves with ending the difficulty.
Some situations may be hopeless and intolerable. for example, a painful, degenerative illness for which there is no cure. For most of us the situation, emotion or thoughts will pass, although this may require professional support.
The barrier to coping with these thoughts may be the stigma attached to them. If you have thoughts about killing yourself, there is a lot of shame attached. Family and friends may find it difficult to deal with and that can add to the shame. You fear society may decide to "lock you up" if they think you are a danger to yourself.
Death is a natural part of the life cycle around us. Without death, there is no space for birth and renewal. It is natural and healthy to want toxic situations, emotions and thoughts to end, to die. A problem arises when we take these thoughts literally and believe we have to act on them.
Look at what you want to end. It may feel like death is a solution to what you find intolerable. Spend time reflecting on what they really mean for you. What are they telling you? Rather than trying to manage the thoughts through pushing them away or distracting yourself, examine them. What is it about your life that is so intolerable? What are the rules and beliefs that hold you in that situation?
If you feel trapped and that you cannot move on, it is likely that some of your beliefs about how life should be lived are holding you in place. After a time thoughts and emotions become habitual. They can be very deep seated and unconscious, which is why professional support may be required.
Rather than harming yourself, I would urge you to find that support. Counselling can help you explore what is happening and help you learn how to cope with the difficulties. It may feel shameful, but there is hope.
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About Chris Paul
Chris Paul works as a Counsellor and Life Coach in the Marlborough, Swindon and Hungerford area. He also works on line using Skype or FaceTime. Chris is a registered member of BACP. His core training is in Psychosynthesis, a transpersonal form of counselling.