[Trigger warning for talk of suicide and death.]
I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now. I wish it were easier to talk about death, mortality, and suicide. Usually when you bring up the topic, people start freaking out. Before you ask or assume, no I am not currently suicidal.
People ofthen talk about suicide and the desire to harm yourself, but not the desire for death. Yes, they are two different things. A lot of people don’t want to kill or hurt themselves, but they do wish they were dead.
For example, a suicidal person may think about driving their car into a lake and drowning themselves. Someone who just wants to die may think “You know, if a car hit me and I died that wouldn’t be too bad.” One person wants to do the deed themselves and the other person just wants it to happen sometime soon.
That’s part of the reason why I don’t like the “have you thought about harming or kiling yourself” question. The answer for people who simply wish for death is technically “no”. That doesn’t mean they’re okay though.
When I go to my therapist, I see that question in the little form you have to fill out. What I don’t see is a “have you ever/do you currently wish for death” question. I’ve never even had my therapist ask me that question. Thoughts like that are something that I do think need to be discussed more often. Now, I’m not a medical professional so I don’t know how they’d go about doing it. I just think it needs to be done.