The apparent suicide of a popular local disc jockey brings to the foreground an issue we are most comfortable letting hide in the shadows.
There's a fine line when it comes to talking about suicide. On one hand, we are hesitant to give it too much attention for fear that it will heighten intrigue and lead to a false sense of glamour among the vulnerable. But there is an equal danger in ignoring it.
Out of shame and sorrow, families will often create an excuse, or even fabricate a cause of death, leaving loved ones crippled with a festering wound. Only by exposing the act to the light of truth and reason are the loved ones able to heal.
The answer is not in condemning the one who committed or attempted to commit suicide, but to understand the person. Understand the hurt.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain."
Therefore, there are two ways to prevent suicide. The first is to decrease the pain. Each person's set of problems is unique, so an across-the-board solution is to ease sorrow is impossible.
It is often a result of clinical depression and can affect people of all ages.
The best solution is to increase resources for coping with pain. If you know someone who is struggling to cope, reach out. If you find yourself struggling to cope, reach out as well.
It is often beyond an individual's capacity to solve alone, or even with the help of family, so get professional help. Increase your resources.
Here are some ways to do that:
If you're contemplating suicide. call 1-800-273-8255 right away.
If someone you know is suicidal, here are some sources of information that may help:
• American Psychiatric Association. www.psych.org or (888) 357-7924
If someone you know has died from suicide, visit www.save.org/coping/when_worst.html.