It’s Many Things, But Painless Isn’t One Of Them


Image courtesy of Pixabay

Suicide is no stranger to our family. Both a nephew and a nephew-in-law took their own lives at relatively young ages. Then a few years ago my husband’s brother used a gun to end his own life. And even though my son’s death was termed an accidental overdose, in Tim’s own words he was “killing himself one day at a time.”

When a celebrity such as Robin Williams, Kate Spade, or Anthony Bourdain dies by suicide, it brings the tragedy to the forefront of our collective consciousness. But when someone close to you has taken his or her own life, that becomes very much a part of your own life. And sadly, suicide is no longer a rare occurrence.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. The 2017 figures show that over 47,000 Americans took their own lives. That same year close to a million and a half people attempted suicide.

There are many reasons why people take their own lives: depression, mental illness, loss, chronic pain, social isolation, to name a few. And many veterans– suffering from PTSD combined with inadequate (or sometimes non-existent) counseling help– are killing themselves in record numbers, sometimes on the properties of Veterans Administration agencies. I’ve included a link below to a story on that.

The warning signs of someone considering suicide are varied as well. Be sure to check out the comprehensive list on the link below.

I recall when I was trained as a Stephen Minister at my church that a suicide threat was one of the few occurrences that called for us to break our confidentiality agreement with the care receiver.

I’ve mentioned previously that often I don’t know what I’m going to write about until the day a post is due. An article in a magazine at a doctor’s office prompted today’s blog. I’ll tell you more about that in Saturday’s post; this is part one of two about suicide.

PLEASE…if you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). This is free, confidential support that’s available 24/7/365.


USA Today- personal story of attempted suicide by a veteran

Warning signs that someone may be considering suicide

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline


4 thoughts on “It’s Many Things, But Painless Isn’t One Of Them

  1. Frederique Vincent says:

    Thank you for this necessary post, Norma. I saved the Hotline number to be able to assist faster in case of need!

  2. Judy Jones says:

    Hi Norma,
    This is a very important message–THANK YOU!
    I was at a graduation last week and the speaker asked if the graduates knew what the worst health concern is out there today. The answer is ISOLATION. The tech generation has removed the physical support necessary for a healthy mind, body and spirit. I was shocked, but the reality shook me to the core for the upcoming generations. The question is “How do we get them to change?” You see young toddlers with an iPhone in their hands.

    • Norma Thatcher says:

      I know. I hate to see a child trying to get its parents attention and the parent responds by handing them a phone. Technology is both wonderful and terrible in many ways.

  3. Betsy says:

    This is just one reason, although I have many including security issues, why I have chosen not to use some of the technology out there, particularly Facebook. If someone really wants to be in touch with me, it could start with an email (as I’m not completely out of the online world, obviously I’m reading this blog and responding) but it most likely will eventually require at least a phone call if not a personal visit. I do have some friends who have told me they feel exactly the same way as I do and have also limited their online presence.

    I have witnessed way too many parents in public places totally ignoring their children as they have their faces glued to their phones, at times when it could result in the worst case scenario of an abduction not just the so sad expressions on their faces as they are being completely ignored. As children learn by emulating, it’s no wonder they eventually end up being addicted to their devices and, yes, there are already studies showing cell phone (or other device) addition is a real “thing” … leading, as Norma has shown, to social isolation and other issues such as depression which can eventually lead to suicide.

    Yes, there are a lot of good things which have come out of all the technology out there; BUT does the good outweigh the bad??? Yet to be discovered!

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