Sunday, September 13, 2009

Diary of Obsessive or Intrusive Suicidal Thoughts



Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham and Isaac 1634. Oil on canvas 158 x 117 cm (62 x 46 in.)

may trigger...includes suicidal thoughts.

My sister called me and told me my 9 year old niece had been told about sex by a couple kids at school. My niece got it into her head that it was an awful thing to know about and that she would get in trouble for knowing about it. She began acting really strange and my sister asked her what was wrong...and she blurted it all out..full of all her nine year old angst about thinking such bad thoughts.

She told her Mom that when the kids told her she could not get the images and thoughts out of her mind and the more she tried to get rid of them the more she thought about them.

My sister, being the loving and level headed Mom she is asked her what thoughts she was having. At first my niece was horror struck by the thought of sharing such awful thoughts with her Mom. So my sister explained to my niece that we all have tons of thoughts, some even awful, going through our heads all the time. They are just thoughts. They can't hurt us.

To prove the point she said to my niece, "I'll show you...over the next few minutes, while we are driving I will say out loud all the thoughts I have. So she began:
  • What was she thinking...that dress is awful (seeing some woman dressed in a "bad" dress.
  • Look at him!
  • I'm so hungry
  • Brandi made me so mad today
  • argh, why are people such crappy drivers
  • etc., etc.
My niece started laughing at how her Mom was being so nosy about other people's business. So my sister asked her what the thoughts about sex were. What did the girls say? My niece looked straight at her horrified. "They said babies are made by kissing. That is so gross. It's not true is it?"

I wish my intrusive thoughts were about kissing. Here is how they manifest themselves in me...over and over and over again. I spend a lot of time considering, planning and trying to push myself to commit suicide. I notice, now that I have seen the thoughts written down, trying to find reasons why that might not be a good idea (at least for my dog).

Here is a stream of consciousness example of the thoughts that have gone through my head in the last 5 minutes. I have these thoughts throughout the day, almost everyday.

Please know they are only thoughts. I have had these kinds of thoughts during every depressive episode I have ever had. I have never attempted suicide.

On a huge level I know they are only thoughts...but I feel so worn down by both them and my depression. I wish I could get rid of them. Also, while I am having them I don't feel I am aware they are only thoughts...it feels like I am trying to compel myself to commit suicide.
  • Your life is a waste.
  • kill yourself.
  • do it.
  • you have the means
  • you could take all your hoarded pills.
  • my head is so heavy.
  • I feel sick.
  • I don't want to live anymore.
  • why live when everyday is a struggle to live.
  • kill yourself.
  • you could leave a note on the door for someone to get your dog afterwards.
  • Or you could e-mail dr.x and let him now you are dead and the dog needs help.
  • but that's awful, how could I even think doing that would be okay.
  • imagine how he would feel if I did that.
  • After all he has done for me.
  • I'm evil for thinking the way I do.
  • I just don't know how to keep trying when I feel so depressed.
  • Why do I have to feel like this.
  • I'm not evil, I just can't take it anymore.
  • Why do I never get better.
  • I have done this to myself.
  • I have destroyed my life.
  • I wish I would die.
  • Why do I have to live?
  • Why can't I just go and have everyone know it is better for me to go.
  • I could hang myself.
  • It would feel so good for my head to be gone.
  • that tree in the park.
  • the one with all the huge limbs.
  • I could climb up to the top and...
  • what about Skookum.
  • I could tie him to the base of the tree.
  • Someone would find him.
  • What if a bad person found him?
  • I could leave a note on myself with my sister's #.
  • my sister would take him.
  • what if no one found me soon enough.
  • What if got attacked by coyotes?
  • what if he starved to death before someone found him?
  • I can't do that to him.
  • How can I die and make it be okay for everyone else?
  • It's not like there are many "everyone else's".
  • The people I do love really matter.
  • I wish I could get better.
  • God I am so sick of myself.
  • imagine what it is like for everyone around me.
  • I wish I could be put to sleep.
  • Euthanized.
  • Then I would die and not fuck up and end up brain-damaged and still alive.
  • I couldn't handle that.
  • WTF...I can't handle this.
  • Please make all this stop.
  • etc., etc., etc.

I really am amazed I have lasted this long with such ideas in my head. I just noticed too that I talk to myself in the 2nd person...like I'm distancing myself from my self.

12 comments:

Polar Bear said...

Aqua,
It must be terrible to have these thoughts all the time. I guess I can relate to a certain degree, I do get running thoughts in my head when I'm stressed.

It's hard to be told not to think of something, because of course you inevitably think of it. i think V tried to tell me something like that once - she'd say - try not to think about a pink elephant for the next 1 minute, and of course, the pink elephant pops into my mind. Then she said it's easier to fill the mind with other things so that the pink elephant doesn't pop into the head. It's harder to do than it seems, but I hope you can fill your head with nice images - like Skookum, like recall times when you are playing with him, funny things he does, etc.

Do take care.
Polar B.

mysadalterego said...

Sorry if this sounds insensitive, but this would probably make a good blog meme. I might try it during some suicidal thought phase. My list is sort of the same but also very different. I guess they say all suicide notes/thoughts are ultimately pretty much the same.

sarah said...

I can relate, all too well. I second polar bear's idea to try and "replace" those thoughts and ideas by deliberately thinking about something else. It's hard but it does get easier - most of the time. Sometimes, I know, it just feels impossible. (I usually use sleeping pills for those times! ;) )

Anyway, long time reader and lurker, just wanted to say that I can relate, and that I'm thinking of you. And that I think your niece is adorable and so sweetly innocent, and your sister handled her concerns beautifully.

WillSpirit said...

In the past, I never escaped such thoughts. Now, I often get away from them, but at my down moments they still sometimes attack. I understand too well what it is like to live with that kind of commentary.

I notice one really good thing, which is your love for your dog. There have been many times where only my love for my wife and dogs has kept me going. I've often thought, well, if my wife died, that I could try to find a home for my dogs so I could go ahead and die. But how would I find them a home? And wouldn't they be hurt from losing the two people they've loved their whole lives? So the love is sometimes all that keeps us going, but you do have that.

It is possible to get a grip on thoughts, and redirect or ignore them. There are books ('Mind Over Mood') that teach how to challenge negative thoughts and others ('Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life') that teach how to not let the thoughts 'get' to you. I never thought I could get away from my obsessive negative thought trains, but I have. Most of the time.

I wish you the best.

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi. I have had several periods in my life when such thoughts would go through my head every day for a whole year or more. During such times those thoughts become completely normal to me. Just part of everyday existence. Of course it feels bad to be suicidal all the time, but it becomes as normal as drinking a cup of tea. Suicide for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I don't know how or why it comes to an end but these things are cyclical so they do end.

These thoughts are actually very different from a real decision to kill yourself. I have experienced both so I know the difference. And you do realise that these are just thoughts, which is very helpful. I suppose this is where CBT (or similar) may prove a useful tool. Or you could just work on *choosing* which thoughts to have.

Hope you feel better soon.
Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx

Annie said...

Aqua,
So sorry you are experiencing so much pain! I can relate to the never ending painful thoughts. I wonder if this has helped to write about it? I certainly hope so. You deserve a break from the discomfort of self-destructive thoughts.
Peace.
Annie

asmile said...

Aqua, have you read "power of now" by Eckhart Tolle? If you havent, please do. Sometimes just a change of perspective on your life is what is needed. I am not an expert on this subject but I have been able to get myself out of really awful and deep depression/anxiety reading spiritual materials like above. One mesage that stick to my mind the most that has helped is "what you resist, persists". So the idea is to allow the negative feelings/thoughts to be there, just dont judge it, dont label it, dont resist it, dont hate it. Let it be there and observe it from a distance.

There are many other teaching and practices you will discover. Here are some Tolle's work in video format:
http://www.livevideo.com/media/tag/eckhart-tolle.aspx

There are 15 videos on power of now, start from 1... Hope this helps. I wish you peace and joy.

Anonymous said...

Aqua you and I are exactly the same its been 10 months and counting and like you I could never act it out . I just wish it will just go away.
Stay strong becuz I am. I never give up ....
God bless

Anonymous said...

Hey aqua, I posted months ago and have been checking in periodically to see how you're doing and I guess to feel something myself. I know so how you feel and I understand the tenuous string that you gang by; wanting to die but wanting some reason to stay alive. I have three wonderful little children that I know I will be burdening with my death but it's just a meter of time before my fear overcomes my pain and I finally get the peace that I long for so badly. I just want to stop feeling so disconnected from the rest of society. Why am I the lonely soul? Why am I the one missing something? Where does everyone else get this driving force for self love and self preservation that I seem to be missing? I don't know. I just wish that I would never wake up from my next sleep; when will I gather the courage to do what I need to do? I want this to stop. I don't want to feel like this anymore

Anonymous said...

Hey aqua, I posted months ago and have been checking in periodically to see how you're doing and I guess to feel something myself. I know so how you feel and I understand the tenuous string that you gang by; wanting to die but wanting some reason to stay alive. I have three wonderful little children that I know I will be burdening with my death but it's just a meter of time before my fear overcomes my pain and I finally get the peace that I long for so badly. I just want to stop feeling so disconnected from the rest of society. Why am I the lonely soul? Why am I the one missing something? Where does everyone else get this driving force for self love and self preservation that I seem to be missing? I don't know. I just wish that I would never wake up from my next sleep; when will I gather the courage to do what I need to do? I want this to stop. I don't want to feel like this anymore

nicolas said...

Suicidal Ideation...
As this is a reoccurring topic of yours I tell you how I kind of managed....

After being in a downwards spiral with thoughts of suicide for years that didn't seem to lead anywhere nor being "helpfull" in anyway I concluded to break this circle by thinking it through.
Pros and cons of suicide in general... "moral" evaluation... technical implementation... and so on.
The first attempts still did lead me to nowhere and kept me in the old train of thoughts, but after a while I more and more was able to free myself by systematically braking apart all the aspects of suicide and digest them separately.
This dark subject overcharged with fear, sense of guilt, impalpability was dissected in chunks that allowed for reflections "from outside".

I came to the following conclusions (in veeery short)

- It is OK to commit suicide per se
- my pain does not exempt my from obligations towards friends/family/(dogs ;-) ) bystanders (in life and death)
- I decided for a way to "do it" and to procure for the means
- I made a list of last things I had to do before I kill myself


I could elaborate on my conclusions and go into detail but I think you get the idea. Everybody's inferences will be different anyway, the more important part is that even though I still come back to thoughts of suicide I don't feel anymore incarcerated in this endless cycle... I provided myself with a foundation that allows for a "productive" interaction with these thoughts.

I live with "the means" and the "list of last things" on my cupboard since about 8 years, I guess chances are I will commit suicide one day but hope I will then kind of know what I do and till then I'm free of these dark unproductive suicidal ideation.


I would have to say some more personal stuff to the thoughts you mention in different postings in connection with suicide but I'm afraid to sound to confronting by doing so....
Maybe I dare an other time.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Aqua-
it is good to know that i am not the only one out there that has these racing thoughts. it is just where my mind goes, if it is my mind really at all. the best way i can describe it is like being an architect going into a building. what's the first thing this person would be aware of? awareness of space and trying to comprehend how it was all put together. when i walk into a new situation the first thoughts that i find running in the fore front of my mind is how to kill myself. and usually a dozen or so flash like movie clips in my mind's eye. hang yourself with this or that, break a mirror and cut yourself, poison yourself, find a gun and put it to your head, etc. it has been this way my whole life and nothing makes it "better". smoking pot at least temporary stops them and having a beer or two before bed allows me to sleep. but no medication has helped at all, in fact most have only made the matter worse. and i find these thoughts in all aspects of my life. driving at 75mph and cranking the wheel over would be so easy to do. it is constant and not too many people are willing or can talk about it. and the most ironic thing is that if you try and talk this through with "professional" therapists you usually find yourself being committed into a psych ward, which only makes it all worse. some health care system we really have out there. get better but you can't say what's really going on. doctors are really only interested in protecting themselves and not in the health and well being of real people. and here is the other thing everyone dies. why is the majority of people so scared about it let alone talking and confronting it. i have found that through my own process the real people i can talk to have all said that i make the most sense, that i seem the most sane. that based on the reality of human nature and the current world situation why would you want to be living? this world is beyond saving and the ship is going down. it would be way better to just end it and find the relief and peace that would come from it. i feel that i am waking up to reality to the truth about what is. but then again here i am writing this comment and not following my own advice as it were. but i do realize that the thoughts are real and overwhelming and constant and they are what they are. so as i said to start this whole thing, it is nice to know that i am not alone with having these thoughts because every doctor i have talked with has never seen nor heard of anything like this before and doesn't have any advice to give. thanks for having the strength to freely and openly face this "disorder" that apparently affects/effects many people. peace.