Suicide is the single most self destuctive act. It means that all the attachments in the person’s life have not been enough to contain their hopelessness, rage and despair.
People become alone and isolated internally. They may be angry with those around them who they could not connect with. More often, they feel hopeless-unable to see past their present issues. The sense of self value hits a new low. Thoughts such as, ‘I am better off dead’, ‘my family will benefit from my insurance’, ‘I really don’t matter’, ‘they will know how low I was feeling’…..
Then a prevailing depression hits a new low – a sense of uselessness, the pain of not being connected with is turned on themselves…..taking action against the low and depressed feelings feels empowering. So, planning their suicide becomes an empowering experience against the experience of prevailing hopelessness and not being of any value.
A perceived rejection, unfair and cruel acts done towards them can all be reasons to kill oneself. The suicide can be saying, ‘you misjudged me’ ‘you thought I was making it up’. In any suicide case, it is clear that the person did not feel there was hope in life and they did not see any way to go on.
Freud and Klein explored the idea of the death instinct which opposes the life instinct. Death instinct produces sabotaging tendencies and if left unchecked, the person withdraws from the external world because it is too much to bear. The underlying psychology would be something like, ‘I will rest in peace…I won’t have to struggle anymore’. ‘Others will be benefit from my passing…they won’t have to deal with my poorly self’. Here you can see how hopeless it has been-the person has felt hopeless and is projecting it onto others. They are probably also not feeling they can be helped.
Our relationships anchor us to this life and this world. Relationships that are attuned and able to touch the deeper core of strong emotions within us, keep the channels of communication open and reduce the chances of strong fixations taking hold. The life instinct becomes paramount and manifests in good relationships, creative hobbies and pursuits.
For the suicidal person, somewhere, connection has been lost and paranoid-schizoid feelings dominate. People become deeply disturbed, suspicious and angry with their near and dear ones. These are not necessarily people who are physically alone. They experience loneliness even among others.
They do not feel understood. Their anguish remains a silent scream inside – full of anger and resentment.
Others seem to forgive everyone around them before dying, passing on their mixed feelings to those who survive them.
The thought of ending the anger and loss they are feeling becomes paramount. It becomes an ideal, a fixation.
Grandiose thoughts of how their death will finally get them the attention and empathy they lack are some of the compensatory phantasies.
Broadly, there are two kinds of suicidal people – the first may attempt it a number of times and learn to use it to get the attention they sorely need for their deep psychic wounds.
With the other type, they have made up their minds that they are going and it is a secret. A powerful one.