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.

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?

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, 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, 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 2016, 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.

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443 comments on “Why Do People End Their Life by Suicide?”

  1. Happiness is a fallacy
    Darkness controls all,
    And it seems as though
    It’s the good guys who always fall
    What’s the point?
    Of living this life?
    It is filled with nothing but pain
    Tears, sorrow, and strife
    There are only those who pretend
    To dry your tears and care
    For once the hard times hit
    The room is bare
    Nobody truly cares
    And when I’m gone
    People will go on walking,
    Smiling, and singing their life song
    It may sting for a bit
    It may make some cry
    But they will never really know
    How long I tried
    How long I faked a smile
    How long I prayed
    How long I worked
    And how long I stayed
    It’s painful to see
    Everyone so happy and full of life
    Knowing I have nothing left
    Life is but a sharp knife
    Happiness is a fallacy
    Don’t you see?
    Nope, ok
    Only me.

  2. No one cares, people say they do but it's just not true. Some people only love you as much as they can use you. You can be there for others and be a shoulder to cry on. Once you're the one needing help though, they tired and they want you to chang. I tried slitting my wrist last week. But someone stopped me. I feel so hopeless so lonely I feel worthless and unwanted. Why keep going. It's never going to end

    1. If you are alone, truly alone and have tried everything, given it many months, then do what you need to do. Research your method and do not act on impulse. Take your time to be truly sure.

      1. Encouraging somebody to do this is a terrible, potentially criminal act. Even though I have suicidal thoughts its things like this that wake me up the real urgency and danger of a suicidal mindset. We cannot allow this kind of thinking to be relayed to the suicidal. Please value a person enough to not diagnose death as an option for them no matter how much you may be suffering.

    2. My life has never really had any meaning. I have been through, and have so many issues... I have no hope for the future and wish I could die in my sleep. God is nowhere for me. He never has

  3. I have thought about my suicide. Only thought... I contemplated jumping off the skyway bridge, taking pills, stabbing myself, crashing my car or just going to the beach to drown myself. Two things stop me. My 4 kids and the fact the before process of it happening. Im scared but I'm tired! I’m tired of feeling like a disappointment and I'm tired of being alone. This thought of suicide is not a thought I want to have and I feel eventually I’ll go through with my plan. I don’t want to hurt my kids they love me but why doesn’t that love feel like it’s enough? It’s not fair to them but I can’t stop my mind from wanting to die. I just lost my best friend and that cuts deeper than anyone can imagine we had a big fight and things went bad and he left me he said being around me was too much and our ship has sailed and what we had is over. That was the knife being pulled from my chest. I feel empty and useless most of all worthless

    1. Lele, You are enough! Please stay with us. Your life matters. You are struggling with much and it's good you are reaching out to talk about this. Your kids want you to stay and we care. We have some resources we can give you to help you with these thoughts. We have a partner that you can help you through this. We are emailing you with some information and a private number you can call for help, so please check your email. If you need someone to talk to right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or chat online with them at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/. You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741 too.
      Here is a list of additional suicide prevention resources https://www.thehopeline.com/suicide-prevention-resources.

  4. Why are people acting shocked that some people would prefer not to be alive than to keep struggling when even the United Nations has declared of the United States' criminalization of the poor, "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" (UN Human Rights Committee, 2014, 2018, 2019)? (Rhetorical) For years now the UN has called out the US for our financial, legislative, and law enforcement predation on the poor and homeless in ways the UN finds violate international standards of human rights the US has agreed to.
    Millions in the US also suffer from rampant age discrimination that even the US government recognizes is widespread and eventually affects growing numbers of us. Still, such is our country's "justice" that the US Supreme Court recently made it much harder to prove age discrimination in court, despite the documented earlier onset of age discrimination (studies now show it starts as early as the late twenties in many tech disciplines). It's not coincidental that suicide rates among older individuals continue to rise.
    But it's not just older people who're in tremendous pain--emotional, financial, physical. New legislation has made it harder for people of all ages in chronic pain to get drugs that blunt their pain. Even if some physicians don't believe such drugs are effective in the long-term, this just attests to our inability to manage pain effectively for millions of sufferers. And despite what the UN found--that housing costs over the past few years in the US have risen while average pay has FALLEN--costs of living across the board are up, people are working longer hours with less job security, millions have lost their homes, and chronic loneliness keeps skyrocketing.
    Still, all the anti-suicide pundits have no viable plan to provide the desperate what they REALLY need--effective medical care and pain elimination; safe, secure, affordable housing; meaningful work that supports people's dignity; enough money or resources so people aren't terrified of how they'll survive next month; authentic, edifying companionship for those who're too old, too unattractive, too poorly networked... to be valuable to the social climbers; worker retraining programs that don't require the poor to go further in debt to finance academic programs little if any evidence supports the efficacy of; a truly accessible and fair justice system... These are among the stressors that cause many people to consider suicide seriously. Therapy is great for those who find it benefits them, but without addressing the grave social problems that plague millions every single day, all this suicide-is-tragic talk is hollow verbiage. If you can't take other people's long-standing, significant pain away and you can't fix the social system people must live in, you're not entitled to judge them for seeking to escape conditions even international authorities like the United Nations condemn as rank violations of human rights.
    Many want to commit suicide because their lives are full of pain, therapy is powerless to change many of the causes of their pain, and thanks to the way our society works the odds of continued or worsening suffering for far too many is unacceptably high.

  5. The things that get old the quickest: preaching about a higher power's plan and being told to look on the bright side/silver lining/things get better any of that cookie cutter surface friend jargon.
    Life is just tiring. Work hard. Be supportive. Listen. Help others. By the end of it, you've earned another day to do it again. Then you earn another day to do it again. Maybe you could work harder, ask for help, speak up. That'll earn you another day to do it again.
    That isn't living or as I would describe life. It is a cruel ride and I'm ready to get off now.

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