Accepting Suicide

Attempt, thoughts, knowing someone who had an attempt or thoughts – you will be hard pressed to find a person who hasn’t been impacted by suicide. If they talk about it. A lot of people won’t out of fear of being judged.

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide can be prevented. In order to do so, however, it’s necessary to accept – which means without judgment – that it exists and needs to be addressed. No calling it a sin or a sign of weakness. No keeping it quiet. No more stigma.

As long as there are psychiatric disorders, trauma, addiction, chronic health conditions, and loss, there will be suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. It is what it is, and it needn’t be.

Check out these resources:

International Association for Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person

Finding a Mental Health Professional

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“It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect…

…it just has to be good enough.”

My supervisor chuckled at that one.

Perfectionism is one of those things that, to some, sounds less pathological than what is the case. People have their quirks, and we all know at least one person who spends a lengthy amount of time scrubbing their kitchen floor to quasi-sterility but seems to otherwise behave normally. Some people use the statement “I’m a perfectionist” to describe how they want things to be a specific way but actually are able to accept when they aren’t to their liking. These traits can be useful. Perfectionism of the useful sort is closer to what some clinicians call conscientiousness, which is marked by being detail-oriented, hardworking, and self-disciplined.

Now how is that different than the perfectionism to which I am referring? Well, perfectionism lends itself to be more compulsive to the point of failing to complete tasks because they’re not “good enough” (OCPD), poor body image (Anorexia), low self-esteem, and treatment-resistant depression. The journey to “good enough” doesn’t mean a whole lot if you are miserable and especially if you are dead (such as medical complications from Anorexia or suicide from psychiatric issues in general). Perfectionism is a personality trait seen in people with overcontrol disorders, and it typically does not go away when a disorder is treated unless it is also targeted during treatment. For example, you can treat the hoarding behaviors in Hoarding Disorder, but that doesn’t mean the individual with that diagnosis will no longer have perfectionism once the hoarding is under control. Same with OCD, eating disorders, etc.

Perfectionism isn’t positive. It’s a crippling plague of distorted thinking, insecurity, anger, fear, and sadness under the guise of striving for achievement. But a plague that can be tempered to actions leading to feeling a genuine sense of accomplishment. Finding value in “good enough.” This involves some introspection, allowing imperfection, and ignoring those who punish “good enough.”

Which is not easy.