The sensitive subject of Suicide

#SuicideIn Britain today, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35. And like so many of these men, I too have been vulnerable whilst living with depression.

It was a few weeks ago, that I was speaking with some writers when we were asked as a group to describe each other. The person I was team up with, said about me … steel with strength, unity with outreach, right versus wrong, no fear and standing up.

I found it interesting how I was perceived by others, whom I’d only just met.

However, this got me thinking. And, I posed a question to the group.

What makes one person quit life, and another not?

Why do some of us feel like there is no way out, and take our own lives?

I recently learned of the death of the Hungarian LGBTI activist Milan Rozsa at the young age of 26, with reports he committed suicide after battling with depression. He was the Harvey Milk, of the East.

I’ve done some research for a documentary I’m hoping to make about suicide, and whether taking your own life is guts or nuts?

Still a relatively young man who has had to live with a mental illness in the public, I more than most know what it is like to be on the edge. I am not ashamed to admit I have questioned the value of my life, because of bullies and the feelings of worthlessness.

But, what actually is it which makes one person take that extra step and another not?

As a writer and advocate for mental health among other things, I am passionate about getting to understand depression and other conditions more and sharing this publicly raising awareness.

I also learned, that in North America alone studies have found that 18-20 teenagers a day commit suicide. Another 1000 attempt to, each day.

I’m thankful I’ve never attempted or self-harmed, probably because I’m a bit of a coward.

But even in the 21st Century when we have more possessions and opportunities than ever (supposedly), people are taking their own lives. It sometimes is easier to understand those who have nothing ending it all because society has failed them, but what about those who literally have everything – or, so it seems?

The answer about why people take their lives is not an easy one, and in many cases families of those loved ones left will never know. I do know though, that money problems is one of the big reasons for people committing suicide. And, not just for those who have a lack of it.

The reasons behind suicide are complex, but I know that mental abuse places you in a dark place where you question your very existence. Loneliness another major contributor, to suicide. There is nothing worse, than feeling alone. You can be among friends and family, yet still feel the most lonely person.

I write a lot about hope, but I know it is something a lot of people don’t have. It’s a shame too, because it actually costs nothing. Over time, a little can go a long way.

As I continue my research into suicides, I remembered something I was told when I worked as a help-line volunteer supporting those who found themselves in a bad place. When someone has made the decision to end their life, it is often not the policy of many charities to dissuade someone from doing it. But, to talk them through their difficulties and that there might be reasons to live.

For five years I have battled my own demons and as we approach the new year, I am thankful that I’ve nearly reached yet another milestone. All I can say for those who find themselves in a dark place, there is help out there. There are some amazing charities like MIND, who can listen to you.

I’m a firm believer that, we are all entitled to make our own decisions regardless of the consequences.

Those who have taken their own lives have not been weak, as it takes guts to make such a decision.

Take care, Max x.