I was 18 when I walked into my first Kate Spade store, and I instantly felt like I was wrapped in a bubble of happiness. I tried to imagine the designer, someone with a zest for life, filled with positivity and always looking at the fun side of life!

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, popularly known as Kate Spade and now known as Kate Valentine left a note to mark her final moments here. The reports by the New York police state cause of death: Suicide.

Suicide, the word echoes as one-question plagues my mind – WHY?

It is difficult for most to understand how one can ignore their survival instinct. Psychiatrist and psychologist can begin to decipher and diagnose what caused the sudden turn of events, were there any warning signs or was the person suffering from biological abnormalities that made them feel inexplicably suicidal. The truth is their reason for choosing suicide over life can never be fully understood or resolved.

One should know that suicide is not a random act; it is not done without intent or purpose. It is often done to solve a problem, seek a solution, get out of a crisis, and end ones misery. For one to choose suicide over life, they must be going through intense suffering, emotional distress, and in an unbearable solution. The psychological pain is so severe that they are unable to effectively engage in a problem-solving behaviour. The fear of continuing life is more powerful than the fear of death.

Myth: People who want to commit suicide don’t really talk about it.

Truth: People with suicidal ideation have had suicidal gestures. They have often subtly spoken about it, given an indication of their intention or have signalled distress. Unfortunately, they are indirect and evident only in hindsight.

There is no one cause that determines suicide, sometimes even the most experienced mental health professional may struggle to identify these signs. Nonetheless, the most noted characteristics of individuals with suicidal ideation are

– Going through intense psychological distress

– Experiencing an intense amount of guilt and shame

– Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness

– Feel emotionally isolated from others

– Feel stuck and stagnated in life

– Self-destructive behaviour

As they are unable to think clearly due to the overwhelming psychological pain, they feel suicide is the only solution to their problem.

I think one can conclude that suicide is complex, and cannot be explained with a simple cause and effect. However, what we can do is look for the signs, encourage people to seek help for their emotional distress and think before acting.

For suicide warning signs click here.

For suicide helpline numbers in India click here.

Resource:

Support for Suicide, http://www.supportaftersuicide.org.au/understanding-suicide-and-grief/about-suicide#shneidman, June 05, 2018

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