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Suicide... why do people do it?

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huktaunluv

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I've always wondered what drives people to the decision to end their life. In certain cases I can understand why, I may not agree but I understand. There are a few who choose to do it in the privacy of their homes while other's choose a more public forum. The reason I bring this up is because last Monday, I was waiting for the train on my way into work. A young lady and her friend were talking but I had my headphones on and couldn't hear what they were saying. The young lady looked down the tunnel when she felt the breeze of the train approaching the station. While looking at her friend and smiling brightly, she jumped. I'll never forget the sounds from that day, the point of impact, the screams, and the screeching brakes of the train. I'll most certainly will not forget the sounds her friend, as she screamed and cried hysterically. People were clamoring around trying to keep her from crawling to the edge to look for her. She kept asking, 'why?", over and over again.

 

I stood there paralyzed for the first time in my life not knowing what to do. If you knew me personally, you would know I'm the one people turn to in times of crisis because I know how to keep my wits about me, but not in this case. I stood there frozen not knowing what to do. I, too, began to cry for this person I didn't know, while cursing her for doing what she did in front of not only complete strangers but her friend. I've never seen anyone die except in movies. I wished this had been a movie because to see it happen in person is jarring. I have no idea who this young lady was but she has changed my life in a way I never wanted to experience. Why did she choose that moment to end her life in such a public and gruesome way? Was this a declaration of her love for someone? I don't know. I have all these questions that I'll never learn the answer to. This young girl has affected the lives of numerous people who are all connected know even though we may not be aware. The train conductor has to live with the fact this girl died even though it was not his fault. To the rest of us, we were all apart of this girl's decision to die without regards to what it would do to us after she succeeded in her mission.

 

I've tried to go back to my normal life but it's not normal anymore. I have nightmare's which doesn't help the insomnia I've suffered from for almost twenty years. There have been times when I'm in the middle of something and it'll sneak its way in throwing me off my game. It's been just over a week and I know I have to give myself more time to try and get over what I'd witnessed, but I wish it would happen soon. I hate feeling like this.

 

So, I try to find solace in my writing and reading other people's stories. It's helped me in a way I could never express. I'm glad I have them in my life because I honestly don't know where I would be without them. It allows me to escape, if even for a little while. I'll keep going on because it's all I can do. I choose to keep on living! :rolleyes:

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What a terrible thing to witness! I'm so sorry. 

It sounds like you may have PTSD from the experience. Have you tried talking to your doctor about it?

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That was an awful thing to have experienced. I, too, am sorry you were a witness to a horror that you had no choice in. Something like that is hard to imagine and because of that, it can be hard to come to terms with. Please, if you find at some point that you cannot cope with these feelings, seek help, as Irri suggests.

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This is a very shocking thing to have witnessed.  I know when I was in an accident, the doctor warned me that people process trauma in different ways.  Some people need to talk about it and this repetition helps them.  Others find disucssing it makes the trauma worse. There's no right way or wrong way. As Irri and Ron suggested, do seek help for contructive methods of dealing with this memory if it continues to trouble you.

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That's beyond horrific.  I can't imagine how you feel.  I'm sorry you witnessed such an awful incident.  Hugs and hope you find peace.

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Many people make the mistake, of trying to "understand" suicide. They think it's about "smart" Vs. "Stupid". They think that its a conscious "rational" process that someone goes through that ends with them making a firm commitment "today I will end my life".

 

That's why you hear people say that suicide is "selfish". They think that there was some kind of rationalisation, a well thought out argument delineating the pro's and cons. It's almost never the case.

 

Suicide is almost always chemical. There is something wrong there. It may be depression, or some other form of mental illness. It may just be pure desperation and loneliness driving one to a state of panic. In any case, if you are looking for some form of rationality - the answer to the question "why?" you are almost always going to be disappointed.

 

Suicide rarely is the result of one thing. People left behind often think "If only I'd... <insert guilt trip here>". It is never so simple - that state of mind doesn't USUALLY have a single trigger, but a series of blows over a sustained timeframe. Nobody slips into a state of mind over the course of an hour.

 

Of course, you will read stories about people who commit suicide becuase "X" happened, and often "x" is a pretty big trigger, but much of the time its only the cumulation. If it wasn't that, eventually it would be something else.

 

Try not to beat yourself up. This isn't something you could have prevented. You may have stopped "this one" but you wouldn't be there to stop the next. I know you are going to be feeling the whole weight of horror and guilt over the coming weeks. Try not to let it consume you. You are strong - stay that way.

 

West

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What a terrible thing to witness! I'm so sorry. 

It sounds like you may have PTSD from the experience. Have you tried talking to your doctor about it?

 

Irritable1, I tend to internalize all my feelings. I find it hard to find the words to say aloud but not write. I would like to talk to someone but don't know if I can. I'm thinking everything will catch up to me when I least expect it to and I'll end up exploding, which is something I don't want to happen, especially in front of my niece.

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That was an awful thing to have experienced. I, too, am sorry you were a witness to a horror that you had no choice in. Something like that is hard to imagine and because of that, it can be hard to come to terms with. Please, if you find at some point that you cannot cope with these feelings, seek help, as Irri suggests.

 

Thank you, Ron, but I don't know if I can. It's hard for me to open up one on one, So I'm hoping writing will help me release what I'd been dealing with.

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That's beyond horrific.  I can't imagine how you feel.  I'm sorry you witnessed such an awful incident.  Hugs and hope you find peace.

 

Thank you, Jo Ann. It's good to have you back. I take your hugs and wrap myself up tight because I could use them!

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This is a very shocking thing to have witnessed.  I know when I was in an accident, the doctor warned me that people process trauma in different ways.  Some people need to talk about it and this repetition helps them.  Others find disucssing it makes the trauma worse. There's no right way or wrong way. As Irri and Ron suggested, do seek help for contructive methods of dealing with this memory if it continues to trouble you.

 

Percy, I will take your words and everyone else's to heart. Thank you.

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Many people make the mistake, of trying to "understand" suicide. They think it's about "smart" Vs. "Stupid". They think that its a conscious "rational" process that someone goes through that ends with them making a firm commitment "today I will end my life".

 

That's why you hear people say that suicide is "selfish". They think that there was some kind of rationalisation, a well thought out argument delineating the pro's and cons. It's almost never the case.

 

Suicide is almost always chemical. There is something wrong there. It may be depression, or some other form of mental illness. It may just be pure desperation and loneliness driving one to a state of panic. In any case, if you are looking for some form of rationality - the answer to the question "why?" you are almost always going to be disappointed.

 

Suicide rarely is the result of one thing. People left behind often think "If only I'd... <insert guilt trip here>". It is never so simple - that state of mind doesn't USUALLY have a single trigger, but a series of blows over a sustained timeframe. Nobody slips into a state of mind over the course of an hour.

 

Of course, you will read stories about people who commit suicide becuase "X" happened, and often "x" is a pretty big trigger, but much of the time its only the cumulation. If it wasn't that, eventually it would be something else.

 

Try not to beat yourself up. This isn't something you could have prevented. You may have stopped "this one" but you wouldn't be there to stop the next. I know you are going to be feeling the whole weight of horror and guilt over the coming weeks. Try not to let it consume you. You are strong - stay that way.

 

West

 

West, thank you! I do feel a little guilty because she was right there in front of me. I do replay the parts leading up to her jumping. I think, "if I could've heard them talking maybe I would've caught on and stopped her". I think that's the part that keeps interfering with my day to day because I didn't. I'll keep living my life and hopefully it will be a distant memory. Thank you again.   

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Personally, I think it's incredibly selfish for someone to do it so publicly in front of other people. If you want to take your own life, fine, that is your right. But do not do it in a public place where you are going to traumatize a bunch of innocent, unsuspecting passerbys. I ride the subway every day and this always worries me that someone is going to jump or accidentally fall as the train pulls into the station...

 

On a side note, its unusual for women to take their lives in such a bloody and messy way. They tend to stick to pills or slitting their wrists, because its relatively painless and "more feminine". Men tend to be the ones who eat the barrel of a gun or jump from a high place or in front of a train. 

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I’m shocked to read this and sorry to hear what you’re going through. You’re in my thoughts.

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I had a similar experience, saw someone in passing a few minutes before he shot himself. For a long time I wondered if there was something I could have, should have done differently. I ended up writing him several letters expressing what I felt.

 

women do tend to plan suicide, and do things like pills, running cars in a garage, etc. From what you describe I wonder if she was high or manic, and thought she could fly or was supergirl & could stop the train.

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