Suicide. Permanent Contempt

Men, as in most studies, generally have more aggressive impulses, thoughts, and emotions than females. It happens in their dreams and it occurs with their methods of suicide. It is often violent and unbridled. The methods men use when committing suicide are violent a majority of the time; use of firearms, cars driven into walls or off cliffs. And often as you have seen in mass shootings, they set up a homicide/suicide situation where they will commit a homicide(s), and want to take themselves out in the sad hope of making a mark on the world (another blog on profiling to come). Women overall, use less violent means. They overdose, or they may use carbon monoxide poisoning with their car, in their garage or with a hose, other may use other methods of poisoning, and hanging. Women use firearms as well but the statistics are much lower for firearms and suicide with women. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the USA, suicide statistics for all men, all races, and all ages was the 7th leading cause of death from 2000 to 2008. From 2008 to 2010 sadly, it moved from the 7th position to be the 4th leading cause of death among men. For women of all ages, & races, from 2002 to 2010 suicide was not listed at all in any of the top 10 leading causes of death for women. The first 3 causes of death have consistently been heart disease, cancer, and stroke for the past 8 years. Personally, I think this is because women are stronger emotionally. Possibly, have better emotional networking and support and have a tendency to use their support systems. They may not be as strong physically, but most know how to lean on others and talk. This blends into some of my previous posts about men, just not having the emotional tools to communicate effectively. It’s not their fault. Part of it is wiring and part is our culture. The need to demonstrate they are “strong”. Trying to treat law enforcement persons is even more difficult. And please know when I make these statements there are many exceptions to this rule. Interestingly, when looking closer at suicides, the CDC reports that the highest number of suicides among men were because of a”failed relationship”. Health problems were the second cause of suicide. Again, the failure of relationships most likely would have to do with emotional issues including communication, and their lack of understanding how to connect with women on an emotional level. I use to manage the emergency mental health department for the City of Alexandria, VA about 5 miles outside Washington, DC. I worked closely with police and fire departments and witnessed these statistics play out in real life and real-time. I was often called to hostage barricade situations, as well as suicide calls, both attempted and completed. One cold winter evening in the winter, I think it was in November, someone was reported as standing on the outside rail facing the water, on a bridge. The wind was blowing fiercely that evening. This man wanted to jump very badly off the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. This is a bridge that crosses the Potomac River and connects VA to MD. The man eventually came down after several hours of negotiating. Another oddity, is when I when I was growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, we had 4 suicides on my street in a 3 year period. Two of them were housewives that had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in their garages. They lived across the street from one another. The two events were not connected. The next was year, a 15-year-old boy shot himself in the head in his house after school. Four houses down from me and 5 houses from the 2 women. His little brother who was about 9 years old, ran up to my house saying he was afraid that ” the big bookshelf upstairs fell down” and he was scared. The parents were not home from work. I ran down there with my father to see what happened. He didn’t know his brother was home and this young man had used a shotgun and shot himself at the top of the steps. The walls were covered. It was a such a sad and macabre seen. A few years later, that same child who came up to my house, ended up shooting himself in the head in the same house in the same place. I felt so bad for the mother of these children who was a wonderful person. Who survives that? I remember her on her front lawn on the ground rolling around in hysterics making sounds I had never heard from any human. We all got it. No one judged her, it was like something on 60 minutes. Her marriage fell apart and she ended up living in the house alone, and passed away a few years ago of a health problem. The suicides of her only 2 children destroyed her. She never came back from that. Not really. This verifies the information we sometimes hear that suicide happens in clusters. One person does it and suddenly it’s happening all over the place. Even on the news. And it’s true. The reason for my post is to share that suicide permanently emotionally damages any family and friends who are left behind. I currently see a lovely man who came to me because his only son, who was 24 at the time, an extremely handsome, intelligent, sweet young man, and graduate from an Air Force Special Intelligence school shot himself in the head in his bathtub one week after his graduation. He had been hired to go on special assignment after graduation. His father, has been seeing me off and on for 5 years now, since the suicide. His son left no note. No trace of any issues, nothing. His father, has scoured through his sons computer, his files, his personal belongings and his clothing looking, researching for clues and answers anything to help him understand why his son would do this? He goes to his son’s grave every Sunday alone, by request, and “shares” a glass of scotch with him. He has changed. His tears today are as fresh and deep as the day it happened. He has been to every place, down every road, to every hotel, talked to every friend, family member, girlfriend, and even exactly mirrored the week his son experienced the week of his death. He really didn’t learn anything. Nothing. It kills him that he doesn’t know why? This has been the biggest challenge for him. His life now, revolves around his son’s birthday, the day he committed suicide, the day he was buried, and the day he found out. The holidays mean very little to him now, his marriage is falling apart. His son not only took his own life, he took his father’s life too.

Suicide is not a private event.It is like throwing a stone in a pond and each ripple represents a person. Then each person carries with them guilt, grief, anger, and confusion, and wonders if they could have done anything, anything at all to prevent it. Then it touches another person. Marriages break up, siblings struggle in their personal relationships, siblings struggle with their parents if their sibling committed suicide, often other siblings or friends commit suicide. It tears families apart at the hinges. Lives change. It is an angry and selfish thing to do to those in your life who love you. It is the ultimate angry abandonment. A final permanent expression of contempt to those left. Reach out, even if you think no one will understand. Read about survivors and how they pulled themselves out of the hopeless trap they tricked themselves to believing they were caught in.  There is always hope. 20140627-214401-78241971.jpg 20140627-214422-78262378.jpg

11 thoughts on “Suicide. Permanent Contempt”

  1. Such a well-written post about such a sensitive event which really needs to be highlighted more to reduce the stigma and gain awareness!


  2. Of course, we are devastated that our son died but in no way ever have we been angry with him… My anger has been managed by my faith in God…and it has been God that I was angry with in the beginning. And yes, I can say with all honesty and clarity of mind that my son was a sensitive and kind person, just like you described the 24 yr old son of your client/patient who died by suicide. He didn’t sound like a selfish contemptible person …nor was my son. In fact, the mysteries about suicide are just that and the most accomplished, well-loved, kind, human can take their own life…and NOT be selfish. To say that is lacking compassion for those who are in your professional charge. My son, and others who have died by suicide were not about inflicting pain but about leaving pain. If that is selfish …then so be it. That would also make those terminally ill, desiring to be euthanized, to be selfish, as well.

    You have already stated in your first sentence posted ..”Men, as in most studies, generally have more aggressive impulses,..” IMPULSE meaning: “A sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination.” this would mean that there is no forethought of malice, especially as to how that act would affect others.

    While my blog may be personally therapeutic to a degree, it is also a public service in the name of neuro-science, spirituality, and empathy. I also find myself defending my son’s death simply because of the stigma that unfairly judges a person who is ill enough to end “it all.” Mental illness affects behavior and thought.


    1. If you are driving down the road and you hit an animal by accident. And the animal dies. It really doesn’t matter whether it was accidental or deliberate. The result is the same. The animal is dead. My point, regardless of why a behavior occurred it has results.
      I am sure your son, who appeared very loving from his pictures, did not kill himself to intentionally hurt you. Although I am sure you have read in your perusal of research many do it to inflict anger. I suppose that is your issue of debate. Regardless, I am happy you have found peace, understanding and support through the love of God. I wish you the very best in your blog, and your journey.


      1. Thank you….and yes, the results are devastating but I will not allow my son’s death to go in vain if I can help others to cope with the aftermath of their own loss to suicide. We are on an eternal search for answers. My “issue of debate” is that “selfishness” is not an answer to this very delicate and complicated matter.

        Behavior is exactly what you have addressed which got my attention in the first place. I was interested in all you wrote but the summary assessment and the final plea caught me by surprise which stirred me to comment. Anger is an emotion that can take over like any emotion…with an unforgiving consequence, but it does not always describe the suicidal mind. Thank you for allowing my comments.


        1. Of course. I welcome your comments and feedback and appreciate your insights. They will not go unnoticed. I think what your doing is great and I’m sire you have and will continue to make a difference and make the pain worth something,


  3. …”It is an angry and selfish thing to do to those in your life who love you. It is the ultimate angry abandonment. A final permanent expression of contempt to those left….” this statement is a terrible admonishment of the mentally ill and emotionally unstable. Would you be so bold to tell a cancer patient the same thing?: People in the throes of despair and the depths of depression are in a most unbearable place. Suicide is neither a crime or a selfish act. Those terms came from the Dark Ages. Sadly, the stigma prevails and we who are “left behind” must endure the ignorance. I have spent the last five years researching and gathering sources of info for my own blog in memory of my son who died by suicide. I am the mother of a fine son who would never have hurt anyone…especially his family. The pain of someone who dies by their own hand outweighs rational thinking. Although, there is never just one reason for suicide…there is one conclusion that makes sense to those of us whose loved ones have died…mental illness can be fatal. I hope you rethink your assumption that suicide is a selfish act when in fact, it is the end result to something much more complicated.


    1. Thank you for that. As someone who has worked with the mentally ill for 35 years I understand depression is a mental illness. Or mood disorders and often substance abusers instability results in suicide. That being said the sad reality is that the act itself while it may be a function of mental illness, is an act that is solely for the person who self destructs. Unfortunately, it does take prisoners with it. Of course it is not rational and there are many reasons for one making the decision to self destruct. Cancer patients and those who have a terminal illness is another ball park. Assisted suicide in that situation is more often then not a group effort that the ill person has discussed in depth and it’s clear that the end of his or her life is imminent.
      I am sorry you lost your son. And I am sure his suicide was a devastating blow. That being said I find it difficult to believe it did not hurt you and at no time you struggled with anger. The fact that you started a blog, Which is incredible tells me you continue to work through a traumatic experience.
      I would love to follow it. No disrespect to your son, saying that he wouldn’t hurt anyone when in fact he hurt you all is why the post was written. Unintentional or not


  4. Well said. I live in an area with some pretty high suicide rates and it is absolutely heartbreaking. It really does ripple out into the community and hurt us all. Men around here are hit especially hard and the elderly. There is always hope, this too shall pass, change can be right around the corner.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s