Suicide, Depression, and Triggers

The title should make it obvious but in case it’s not I’m going to be talking about suicide and depression so please skip this if you need.
I’m also going to mention pregnancy so if that’s a trigger you can skip this too.

Several bloggers I follow, both infertility bloggers and others, have posted about depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide. Many have said far better than I the things I want to say so I’m going to keep this brief rather than cluttering everyone’s feeds with more talk of this subject.

I have a history of depression and suicidal thoughts as well as self-harming behaviors. I have never attempted suicide although I have been so close that I’ve been handcuffed and taken to the hospital against my will.

I have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes they are rare, sometimes they are frequent. They are not something I am in control of. They just are. When I tell this to people it scares them, they hear suicidal thoughts and think suicidal intent. For me, they are two very different things.

I currently have no intent or desire to hurt or kill myself, but lately I’ve had suicidal thoughts daily.

I have a great deal of guilt around being depressed while pregnant. I don’t want my depression to cause any harm to this baby, but it’s not something I’m entirely in control of. I have taken steps to manage my depression including medication and therapy with a social worker. The other night during a really difficult talk with my husband I sobbed into his arms swearing that I didn’t want to hurt myself or this baby and that I was scared they were going to lock me up again.

Since the death of Robin Williams I have had an extremely difficult time being on social media. Facebook has been the worst but Twitter and blogs have also proven triggering. I made the big mistake the other day of reading an article which included some details of the manner of death and the way he was found. I really wish I hadn’t because I can’t get the pictures out of my mind.

I’m choosing to practice self-care and stay away from these places as much as possible right now. I was already in a fragile state before this. I wanted to explain in more detail why I’ve been so absent. It’s just too hard right now. I’m sorry if I’ve missed important posts about things going on with everyone but I have to take care of myself first.

Think of it like infertiles unfollowing or muting those who become pregnant or even stepping away from the community altogether. We all have to put our own oxygen mask on first before we can help others. Right now I’m just trying to keep breathing.

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7 comments

  1. You sound a lot like my husband. It’s not something I previously understood, but after much talking about it, I’ve come to that understanding about him… that he has suicidal thoughts, but he does not have suicidal intent. That is such an important distinction.

    Good for you for understanding your triggers and knowing when you need to separate yourself. That’s something that I’m trying to learn to do better.

  2. I am certain your hormonal in fluxes are contributing to your current depression. It is so strange how powerful hormones and our body chemistry play in so many things. I am praying with and for you. Congrats on the pregnancy !!

  3. I think I understand. I mean, I’ve never had suicidal thoughts or even depression, so I can’t completely understand. But my dad committed suicide 8 years ago and there’s a long history of depression in our family on his side. So, I’ve mostly avoided all the media posts about Robin Williams, because it only drums up all the bad stuff I’ve already processed and dealt with. When I do let myself think about it, my heart gets heavy for his family, who I know are dealing with some strong, complex emotions. I hate to think about the long road they have ahead of them, how they will never understand how their loved one could leave them in this manner, and how they’re probably never really going to get over it completely, no matter how much therapy they have.

  4. I’ve suffered with depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts for as long as I can remember so can relate to your situation. It is so important to allow yourself to take a break and take care of yourself. Well done for being strong enough to do that. Wishing all the best. D xx

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