Why Do People End Their Life by Suicide?

The very idea that someone wants to die is frightening. As a result, suicide is not an easy topic to discuss for many people. But suicide is preventable and talking about suicide does save lives. If one person can be saved from suicide by talking about it with someone, it is worth it; especially if that someone is you.

How to Handle Suicidal Thinking

Talking About Suicide Save Lives

I am amazed at the many powerful and wise comments I have received from you about suicide. I asked you to tell me why you think people contemplate suicide and you had some amazing insights. It is clear that it is usually not just one thing that compels someone to feel suicidal. You said it is a combination of a lot of things, including:

  • pain
  • loneliness
  • rejection
  • abuse
  • guilt
  • depression
  • helplessness
  • hopelessness

More than anything, I believe people who live with depression and suicidal thoughts feel hopeless. They are hurting so badly and want nothing more than for the pain to end. Unfortunately, they cannot imagine the pain ever going away. They cannot see the light at the end of the very dark and lonely tunnel they have found themselves traveling down. Have you ever felt this way?

Why Is Suicide So Common Among College Students?

For most students, college is a time of “firsts.” For the first time, you’re faced with living outside your parents’ home, managing your own schedule, deciding on an academic trajectory, working or taking out loans to pay for school, making new friends, getting to know a new environment, etc. Trying a new thing is always going to be a bit stressful, even if you’re excited about it. Trying a million new things all at once? Very stressful.

Without support, self-care, and a certain level of familiarity with mental health, times of transition and stress are very likely to impact us emotionally. College is a time when loneliness, hopelessness, depression, and anxiety have a lot of opportunities to take hold of you. On top of that, the typical age range of a college student (18-24) is a time when many mental illnesses manifest in patients. Whether you’re in college or not, these years are when your brain may develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.

Between the stage of brain development that most college students are in, and the stress level they’re experiencing in a time of high expectations and constant change, it’s no surprise that suicide rates are especially high within this particular population.

So what can you do about it? If you or someone you know is headed to college, get on the school’s official website and explore what kinds of resources they offer for mental health. Most campuses have health centers to support their students’ needs, and many of those now offer services like counseling or support groups that are free for students. Get familiar with that resource so that if you need it, you can use it! And even though college is a busy time, make sure that caring for yourself is a top priority. Adequate sleep, nutritious food, exercise, other types of rest, and social support are all crucial elements of a healthy college experience.

Don't Believe the Lies...You Matter

It is not uncommon for a person’s circumstances or their self-image to cause someone to think negatively about themselves.

Oftentimes, people consider suicide because they are unable to find any reason to make living worthwhile. They think their problems are unsolvable and they feel completely out of control. I believe first and foremost; hopelessness is a serious spiritual problem rooted in lies and faulty thinking. Anytime you believe lies that depression and suicidal thoughts tell you about yourself, you are listening to the wrong voices.

Jennifer said suicide has been a daily struggle for the past nine years due to being sexually abused. "I feel like suicide is the only option I have left, the only chance at peace I'll ever have. I just want the pain to stop. It's as if something will always be missing and life will never be quite right." There is no denying that the pain of sexual abuse can be tremendous. But the abuse is not Jennifer’s fault. She needs to find the hope that she can overcome this pain. Many people just like Jennifer have overcome abuse by talking about it with a professional counselor. She needs to learn how to stop punishing herself for her abuser’s actions.

Reach Out to Talk About the Pain...Never Give Up

Have you ever gone through something so painful you were convinced the pain was never going to go away? Many people who contemplate suicide say something like: I don't want to die. I just want the pain to stop. They think, "Because I’m in intense pain today, I will always be in pain." It is this kind of faulty thinking that can lead people down the path that leads to suicide.

Kas wrote: I think about suicide pretty much every second of the day. It seems like it's my only choice anymore. I know it's not the answer, but at times I just feel like I can't move on with this life anymore.

Substance Abuse Magnifies Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

If you are already living with suicidal ideation, it is important to remember that substance abuse only works to magnify these thoughts and behaviors. Alcohol makes depression worse, impairs thinking and judgment, and increases impulsivity. There is no safety without sobriety. Additionally, coping skills like alcohol, drugs, and self-harm, all fail – because they never address the actual root of the pain. They only serve to temporarily cover it up.

Jordyn wrote: Some people have suicidal thoughts because they want to escape the isolation, pain, and rejection from the environment surrounding them. Others simply feel they have reached a state of loneliness and depression in their lives to the point where their thoughts become so negative, that they can't find any other reason to live. They would rather not confront it because of the fear of hurt that comes along with it. I feel that when you go through times of depression and think about suicide, God is there by your side. He will not abandon you. It is only a matter of whether you reach out to Him through prayer that you will be free from these thoughts.

Mandy also wrote: "Part of the very reason people do what they do is because they have failed. Suicide is the result of irrational thinking in the illness of DEPRESSION. And when people reach that level, just as my father did on the 18th of January 2020, it was a reminder that even the strong fall... "

Depression is a real illness and needs real meaningful help. If you're thinking, "I just want the pain to stop", let us help you. To learn more about depression, please read this guest blog from our partner, Centerstone.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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443 comments on “Why Do People End Their Life by Suicide?”

  1. People suicide because life sucks! Human are unkind - all that "are you okeh??" is all fake! Nobody cares except for themselves - feeding their own ego.
    Can see and feel more kindness on animals reign than humans. You know that animals suicide too, right? Yeah, they feel when they are jailed and "go for escape plan" - smart creatures!
    World is nothing but hypocrites people that "feed" the gross global system / corporations / high occult elite / and abusing governments against themselves. People should realize that they are just NUMBERS for this huge prison ruled by a very cruel entity / machine and we are nothing but slaves in its view.
    Imagine that we all would suicide. Who "they" would "suck" for energy next?
    Life is nothing but a prison. LIFE IS NOTHING BUT A PAINFUL ILLUSION! Suicide is freedom. We are FREE for that. Our lives is our own. We - the people - are to decide what we doing here or the next one if there is any!

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