Suicide is a difficult and uncomfortable topic, both to contemplate and to discuss. People often avoid it due to fear and difficulty understanding the reasons behind such a decision. Most of the time, motivations for suicide are not always clear, especially when the person seems okay. 

Survivors of suicide attempts have expressed a desire to escape suffering rather than necessarily wanting to die. A common reaction when someone hears about a suicide attempt or death is to ask, “Why did they do it? They appeared to be doing fine.” The fact is, the reasons behind suicide are not always clear.

People with depression or other mental health issues may appear to be improving just before attempting suicide. This may seem paradoxical, but for those struggling with mental illness, it is a reality. During the time leading up to a suicide, a person may appear to be in a better state, despite feeling the urge to end their life. 

In general, suicide is often not a spontaneous decision. For those who think about it, it may appear to be the only logical option. Here are the most common reasons people commit suicide, even if they seem okay. 

They may not actually feel fine. 

External appearances can be deceiving, as someone who appears to be doing well may not actually be feeling better on the inside. Those who are considering suicide may put on a facade to conceal their true emotions from others. Despite appearing to be in control, they may still experience intense emotional pain.

They think that their problems are hopeless. 

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that in 2020, 4.9% of individuals 18 and older had suicidal thoughts. This percentage increases among individuals who identify as more than one race. People who have suicidal ideation often feel hopeless and helpless due to their belief that their situation will never improve.

They find no reason to live. 

Even after the pain subsides, they may still lack a sense of purpose or direction. A national survey conducted in the US in 2021 and published in JAMA Psychiatry revealed that lower educational attainment and recent financial difficulties were risk factors for suicide attempts. For some people, suicide may appear as the only means of escape from their challenging circumstances.

They are crying out for help. 

These individuals typically do not have a desire to die but instead aim to alert those in their surroundings that something is seriously wrong. They often do not believe that death will occur, often choosing methods they believe will not result in death as a way to communicate their hurt to someone who has caused them pain.

They are depressed. 

Undoubtedly, severe depression is the most common reason for suicide. It is accompanied by a constant feeling of distress and the belief that relief from it is unattainable. The pain of life becomes unbearable for those with severe depression. This mental state can distort their thinking and make ideas such as “everyone would be better off without me” seem rational. 

They are alone during difficult times. 

People experiencing suicidal thoughts may feel isolated and as though no one cares for them. This can be particularly true for those who have made previous suicide attempts. It is crucial to reach out to a suicide hotline or other supportive resources if they do not have someone to confide in during difficult times.

They tend to be impulsive in their vulnerable state. 

Substance abuse, often associated with drugs and alcohol, can lead some individuals to impulsively attempt suicide in a state of despondency. However, when they are sober and calm, they often feel intense shame. Their remorse is usually genuine, and it is uncertain whether they will attempt suicide again. They may make another attempt when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or never again. 

They have the desire to end their lives.

Some people make the decision to end their lives due to a terminal illness with constant pain and no hope of improvement. In these cases, they are not suffering from depression, mental illness, or seeking attention. Instead, they see suicide as a way to take control of their fate and relieve their own suffering. It is viewed as a way to expedite an inevitable death.

They are suffering from psychosis. 

Psychosis is a more challenging mental health issue to conceal compared to depression and is often considered more tragic. Effective treatment of psychosis is essential for those with schizophrenia to function properly, and, in some cases, hospitalization may be necessary until the voices lose their control. The occurrence of schizophrenia, which affects 1% of the world’s population, can also impact otherwise healthy and successful individuals, although it can be managed with medication. Those with schizophrenia may openly talk about the voices urging them to harm themselves and be truthful about their thoughts of suicide if asked directly. 

The aftermath of suicide can have a profound and lasting impact on those who are left behind. The seemingly inexplicable nature of suicide can exacerbate the pain and suffering that survivors experience. If you or someone you know is struggling with coping with life, visit Mindshift Psychological Services. Check out our website to learn more about us. You may also contact (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment. 

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