Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Although the incidence of suicide in the Philippines is not as high as those in developed countries, this country has had its share of high-profile cases. The latest is the case of Trina, wife of a popular television and radio broadcaster here.

It baffled me no end, because the family is well off, and the family was never involved in any controversy, even when previously Ted Failon, the broadcaster, had a short stint in the house of representative being elected congressman of his District .

Indeed, suicide is more complicated than most of us think it to be. And when I googled it, I was disturbed to know that most suicide is committed by teenagers!

People who end their lives or attempt suicide might be trying to escape feelings of rejection, hurt, or loss. Others might be angry, ashamed, or guilty about something. Still others may be worried about disappointing friends or family members. And some may feel unwanted, unloved, victimized, or like they're a burden to others. And at that particular moment dying seemed like the only way out.

What the heck, we all feel overwhelmed by difficult emotions or situations sometimes. But somehow we get through it or are able to put our problems in perspective and find a way to carry on with determination and hope!

So why does one person try suicide when another person in the same tough situation does not? What makes some people more resilient than others? What makes a person unable to see another way out of a bad situation besides ending his or her life?

I don’t have answers to these questions. Except that maybe some people focus more on failures and disappointments, or emphasize the negative side of their situation and downplay their capabilities or worth. They become so depressed that they see no possibility of a good outcome and believe they will never be happy or that things will never go right for them.

Surprisingly, those who have survived this act, had told relatives that they aren't completely sure they want to die, but that it’s just a way to express deep emotional pain. They can't say how they feel, so, for them, attempting suicide feels like the only way to get their message across.

This is especially sad as many people who really didn't mean to kill themselves end up dead or critically ill.

But one thing is certain, people are better able to deal with tough circumstances when they have at least one person who believes in them, one person who wants the best for them, someone whom they can confide.

So if you find someone who is depressed and talked about committing suicide, then don’t be afraid or feel uncomfortable talking to him or her. Try to overcome these feelings of discomfort — this is a time when someone absolutely needs to feel connected to others.

A simple act of listening may save a life.


Siva said...

Namaste odd ji...suicide is a form of negative thoughts and vibirations which is made by the self experince of ones life..Those who are attempt to suicide there thoughts deeply affected by the negative thoughts that which they suffered during that time if a person did not have confidence in life his mind only will think why we have to live in this world?Why we have to suffer?why we have to affect others by having such life?...this questions normal awaken very strongly around one situation when they have chances to be alone or when the chances of negative thoughts very heigh it is done by them..Its mostly done by teenagers because of there un matured mind and fearnes of the society..This is the reason ji...Hariomtatsat...

Amy said...

god you write some great posts! Luckily i have never had to go through losing someone to suicide but i would try and help anyone who has these bad feelings and feel so depressed! xx

Odette said...

siva ji,
we cannot control other people's emotion but maybe we can stop someone in the brink of suicide if we just pay attention.

thanks for the comment. namaste.

Odette said...

hello Amy,
this is a dark topic, but i cannot help writing this as i have been following in the news, the suicide i mentioned in the blog. the sad part though is that the police theorized that the husband has something to do with her death even when evidence point otherwise.
maybe thats becoz this broadcaster had aired many times the shenanigans of these policemen in his city.
still the drama continues...


Hi Odette, you are right, people do need to care.
I have lost too many people I have known by suicide.
One my friend Laila was the closest to home, and unfortunately I also found her dead.. She committed suicide while I was coincidently doing papers on Youth and Suicide in this country, we have one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
What many people don't understand and say often is "Oh its attention seeking". Its not!! If a person believes death is a better option to living, then there is something seriously wrong.
In many cases most suicides are because of pre existing mental illness,people with post traumatic stress, past histories of abuse, Domestic Violence, alcohol and or drug addiction, tremendous loss,or no coping skills. There is always a reason for these people, and there is always lack of understanding and little empathy for them also.
When someone said to me "Oh she was selfish" I wanted to spit in heir face, they had no idea how much my friend had suffered in her young life, and when she went for help from the professionals, there was none.


Odette said...

OMG, the highest in the world, Kirst??!
to think that life in your country is far better than us who live in the third world!
look, people here wallow in poverty, of not having enough to get by. but in contrast, even the poorest of the poor still finds meaning to life and continue to face the battle.
but you are right to say that those who committed suicide may have pre-existing mental illness like depression that they don't have control over. therefore it is necessary those people around them be more supportive and help them seek psychiatric help.
you, however my friend is admirably made of tougher stuff. so here, take my hand, and let's face life's challenge head on. we have been scarred and wounded, but life still has a lot to look forward to, no?

Sid Brechin said...

In many cases suicidal thoughts can be a medical reaction. Some anti-depressants warn of them being a side effect. As someone who has unsuccessfully tried it. ( I took 8 times the normally leathal dose of a medication and woke 3 days later ) I can say that they overwhelm rational thought. It is something you become obsessed about and it is not the same as "normal" depression.

Teens have not adjusted to the idea of peer pressure just being giving in to someone else's ideas.

For example who would want to make love to a Supermodel. They are so bony it hurts ( trust me ) it's like riding your bike on railroad tracks. Eventually you'll get where your going but it's a heck of a rough ride. ( and point hips leave awful bruises )


Yes :) we will survive hand in hand! Supporting each other like on here is so important. We have our own natural resiliency thank god, and mutual understanding for that I am grateful to know you(as well as your brilliant posts).
I try to find one good thing everyday to keep the strength up it may only be that the sun is shining:)
Unfortunately it is true about our statistics, I believe it is due to family breakdowns, lack of support, and the challenges the Maori (first settlers) have endured. Maori have the highest rate of suicide. You find in any country that has been taken over by Europeans that the indigenous people suffer the most.

The Acolyte Tao said...

Hm, probably once a year at school we hear a suicide story of a student or former student or of someone's brother/sister.
And Siva, its not done because of an "un matured" mind, its done because of the circumstances society puts them in and overwhelming stress and anxiety. Many times its a mental problem of severe depression, chemical imbalances, not the person's fault or immature mind. Quite arrogant of you to say that really.
I could say all people over 25 are senile because their brains have stopped growing and therefore I no longer see them as fully functional. About as ignorant as that statement. A 15 year old views and experiences the world the same as a 50 year old, however the only thing the 50 year old has over the 15 is experience, not outlook. Look into some psychology.

Odette said...

its pretty scary that some student weren't able to graduate to become responsible adult.
but you are so right when you say that depression isn't selective of age.
we just have to help people with depression cope, and make sure they know they aren't alone.

Angry American said...

I agree with Acolyte Tao. I also think what you said was arrogant. Having "been there done that", I would even take personal offense to it, except for the fact that I'm used to hearing garbage like that. I'm sure you didn't mean it to be offensive anyway so, no big deal.

Like kirst said, depression and especially suicide, is very complex. To use Tao's analogy, a person could experience more horror and trama by age 15 than a 50 year old had ever think of. Even if a person has all the text book psychological knowlege of, or has all the details and empathy for tramatic experiences, they still won't totally understand it until they've experienced it.

Another piece of the puzzle is personal perspective. What makes one person depressed might be seen by another as a healthy challenge. What brings one person joy and excitment might strike fear into another and make them think the former is crazy.

As far as coping skills, my experience has been that some people are born with them, and some aren't. But, just about anybody can be taught them. Unfortunately, parents are the ones who are most responsible for teaching these skills but, more often than not, are the ones responsible for destroying them.

Angry American said...

Sorry, I meant trauma not trama.


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