My Take on Suicide as a Verbal Abuse Survivor
Trigger warning: This post involves a frank discussion about suicidal thoughts of abuse victims.
The topic of suicide is one that many people shy away from but shouldn't. The overwhelming feelings of despair and hopelessness should receive the attention they need to garner help and guidance rather than shame or humiliation. September is National Suicide Awareness Month, with World Suicide Prevention Day falling on September 10. The more information we can put out there may help people like me who face suicidal ideation.1
My First Recollection of Suicidal Thoughts
I was about seven or eight years old the first time I recall the feeling of wanting to die. I had an overpowering sense of sadness and desperation. At this young age, I believed that the only way to escape the turmoil of my life was to end it myself.
Although I did not go through with anything at that time, I continued to grow and think of things I could do that may stop me from feeling depressed and worthless. Therapy has shown how these emotions are a result of suffering from years of verbal abuse.
Although some individuals may have thoughts of suicide or self-harm without being abused, verbal abuse can amplify an already sensitive psyche, diminishing already low self-esteem. Unfortunately, I cannot recall a time when I was truly happy without an underlying fear or anxiety just below the surface.
So, I cannot be sure if I have a psychological predisposition to depression because of a medical condition, if it is entirely because of being abused, or a combination of both. Unfortunately, I may never know.
My Suicidal Ideation Lurks Beneath the Surface of Depression
In my experience, my suicidal ideation hides just below my depression. Yet, this monster sits on my shoulder, whispering in my ear on my bad days about how I am not good enough or how I will never be happy.
Thankfully, my therapists work hard with me to help battle these demons and guide me to rewire my thought processes. Without the care and attention of these professionals, I'm not sure I would still be here today. I've tried several types of medication, with lapses between treatments, thinking I need to be strong and learn how to deal with life on my own.
Today, I've realized that when I take my medication, my depression remains minimal, helping to keep away the black cloud of suicide. And although I have a remarkable life and a wonderful family with supportive friends, if my depressive episodes are not under control, thoughts of suicide are more apt to return.
If you experience any symptoms of depression, anxiety, or suicidal ideation, it's critical that you seek help as soon as possible. No one should have to suffer alone or feel like there is no way out of despair. I am so thankful that I held on and got the help I desperately needed.
Remember that if you feel like you cannot get through the week, take it day by day or hour by hour. In addition, visit our resources page to find support in your area to get the assistance you need to move away from suicide ideation and to a healthier life.
If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources, and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.
- Suicidal Ideation (No. 33351435). (n.d.). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33351435/
Wozny, C. (2022, September 1). My Take on Suicide as a Verbal Abuse Survivor, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/9/my-take-on-suicide-as-a-verbal-abuse-survivor