‘A fine line between honesty and shock value’

This week’s post is by contributor Jenn Garing, who “came out” on this site earlier this year:

The other day I was thinking about a friend of mine who lost her mother to suicide on the day she returned home from college at the end of her freshman year. And it got me thinking about the way so many of us hide our “worst selves” from those who love and care about us the most. (more…)

‘Specks on the distant horizon’

This week’s post looks briefer than usual as the editor returns from holiday, but this link takes you to one of the most thoughtful and interesting essays by an attempt survivor that we’ve come across.

“Society’s current response to suicide is more dangerous than what I’m proposing, which is really nothing more than some simple respect for the very significant feelings a suicidal person is having,” the author, suicidologist David Webb, writes.

The publication where the essay originally appeared has kindly provided a direct link for readers. Webb also blogs here.

‘We are not prepared to intervene’

This week’s post is by Jim Atkisson, who has told more of his story here. He believes that anyone who attempts suicide in the violent way he did had the same thought in the split second afterward, whether or not they survive: “Oh god, what have I done?”

(Please note that there may be a delay in moderating any comments, as the editor of this site is out of the country through mid-October.)

I grew up in an abusive home and felt invisible to the world. I was 16 years old. Suicide seemed to offer the best solution to my problem, but how? I went to the library and looked at books on death and suicide. I weighed the options and what resources I had to work with. I considered using a gun, but I was afraid of the violence. I contemplated jumping from some rocks on a mountain near my home, but I was afraid I would survive the fall. I considered pills, but I was afraid they wouldn’t work, and I didn’t have access to any. So, in the end I planned on using a gun.

I had access to them, and we lived in a rural community, so I planned on isolating myself in the woods, away from any help just in case I survived.

As soon as the gun went off, I knew I had made a mistake. (more…)

‘Illnesses that no one saw coming’

This week’s post is by Joel Kobren, who is not alone in holding some passionate views on the language around suicide. He has told his personal story here.

(Please note that there may be a delay in moderating any comments, as the editor of this site is out of the country through mid-October.)

Talking about suicide is counterproductive.

At first blush, this statement appears to be completely misguided. Bear with me here.  (more…)