Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Why feel suicidal?

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Optimistic:
I often wonder why people feel suicidal. I just can't relate.  Depression is one thing, but to kill yourself! Yes, we all wish we don't have this disease, but is HIV horrific enough to end your life?? How do you know you will live a full and happy life without HIV? Some people don't realize that life is fragile until something major happens.  Reality check, we will all die eventually for one reason or another....why end your life now when there is still the possibility of living and being content? I just don't get it.

I see many people without HIV who smokes like there is no tomorrow, severe alcoholics, do drugs, even carelessness on a daily basis...you name it.  People who feel suicidal after they find out they are poz...is it because they think they can't live a full and happy life?  Is it because they think they will die tomorrow? what is it?  What is it about being Poz that it's not worth living? Do those people ever take the time to educate themselves about HIV and make lifestyle changes so that HIV is apart of them but does not define who they are or how long they will live? What makes them think that without HIV they will have a full and happy life?  What makes them think they will live longer without HIV? HIV is not something to be proud of, but it is certainly not the end of the world if you choose to live. 

Life is full of challenges that we face on a daily basis. Whoever said that living and staying alive is easy? People can wake up tomorrow and get hit by a car or a bus for all I know.  What make some or most poz individuals unique is that we find ways to survive and take better care of ourselves, to live life to max until it is our time to go.....the natural way. This may not be the case for everyone, but I know people who are poz and take very good care of themselves. In fact, these people probably have better health than people who are neg. It all depends on how you view the situation.

As long as we have to will to live and make the most out of our time why we still have the chance.....then I, personally, will be content because I know I tried my best and not because I gave up. 

I just hope that people who feel suicidal will sit back and think about the good and not focus on the negatives.

Much love,
Justin

Andy Velez:
Op, a couple of thoughts to respond to your comments.

First of all, having passing thoughts of suicide are not all that uncommon from time to time for many people during very difficult times. For the most part they are just that -- moments that pass before long. And feeling suicidal is like many other feelings -- they can come and go. Sometimes it's just best to just notice them and let them be because like any other feeling they will usually be gone before long.

However, someone who's seriously contemplating suicide over an extended period is in a different domain than the kind of rational thinking you are talking about. For someone who's in that zone, alternatives are fading away or no longer exist. There seems to be no other way. The weight is enormous and very isolating. So urging someone who is in that state of mind to think of all the positive things and look on the bright side is either not going to be heard or may even have an adverse effect.

In my experience it's important for the person to feel they are being listened to. That can open a possibility of a dialogue which interrupt suicidal ideation which thrives on isolation.

Like I said, just some thoughts...

Cheers,

 

DanielMark:
Optimistic,

I think the answer to your question is likely a complex one, involving many factors.

Perhaps for some people, suicide seems the only alternative to living in pain (physical or psycho emotional pain) with no end in sight. A loss of control can also be behind suicidal thoughts. I know they were for me when I had them, tho not for many years now.

I also believe when a person can no longer find a reason to live, itís because their lives have lost some central meaning and purpose.

Then again, several mental illnesses can also cause people to have suicidal thinking.

Daniel

bear60:
Daniel....yea I know, its amazing what a little out of whack brain chemistry can do ....when I started the Wellbutrin for quitting smoking......my dreams all of a sudden became pleasant...as opposed to the scary ones I had been having...all because of a little pill that added some chemical to the mix.

JamieD:
Daniel-

As someone who is actively suicidal and has been even before I found out I was HIV+ I will try my best to put into words why I feel like suicide is the only option. I have made a few, very serious, attempts at suicide that were not in anyway cries for help.

"Yes, we all wish we don't have this disease, but is HIV horrific enough to end your life??"

Yes, it is. HIV is called a "chronic manageable disease" by a lot of people, but this is a load of crap. The treatments extend the lifespan of people with HIV, but they have absolutely terrible side effects. It is very difficult for me to take my medication every day because I am so scared of lipodystrophy. I am quite an attractive person, and I am terrified of losing my looks. I can say that I honestly would rather be dead then live with a buffalo hump or a wasted face or ass. I know that may not be P.C. to say that since so many people here are suffering with lipodystrophy, but it's how I ho"nestly feel.
The stigma, is also very hard to deal with. I don't want to be rejected for being HIV+ when I myself would not reject someone for the same reason. People are afraid of something they know nothing about, and most people don't want to learn. It is already hard enough to find a committed long term relationship at my age, add HIV to the mix and it's much harder.

"How do you know you will live a full and happy life without HIV?"

I don't, but it certainly would be a huge weight off of my shoulders. My status causes me so much stress it's unbelievable. I lie awake for hours a night, just stressing out about it. It is constantly on my mind. I'd take being diabetic anyday over this disease.

"why end your life now when there is still the possibility of living and being content?"

Similar question to what you asked before. How do I know that things are going to get better? I was suicidal before I was HIV+. Isn't becoming HIV+ proof that things don't ever get better?

"is it because they think they can't live a full and happy life?"

Pretty much. This feels like any hope is lost. I was watching some crime television show in passing a few months ago, and one of the detectives thought she might be HIV+. When her lab let her do a PCR test, she found out that she wasn't HIV+, and she said to the person who revealed her results to her "I feel like I can dream again". I no longer feel like I have anything left to hope for.

"Is it because they think they will die tomorrow?"

I am not that lucky. It's because I think tomorrow will be the same as today, and so will the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next one after that.

"Do those people ever take the time to educate themselves about HIV and make lifestyle changes so that HIV is apart of them but does not define who they are or how long they will live?"

I am probably more educated on HIV then the vast majority of other people on this board. I wrote a 60 pages paper, with 15 pages of references, on HIV and AIDS for my biology class about 4 semesters ago. Other people are not interested though in a disease that does not affect them.

Your post was extremely condescending, so please keep your reply in check. Thanks.



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