Trigger warning for suicidal ideation, violent imagery, talk of depression and anxiety and disappointment in the NHS (and by extension the social security in Spain, which wasn’t any better).
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist; I am not a qualified therapist, or a doctor, or anything of the sort. I talk about my lived experience and what I’ve glimpsed of others’ lived experience.
I didn’t intend to begin this post like this, but I will: there’s something really messed up about the fact that the only mental health symptom considered an emergency is attempted suicide.
Here’s how I wanted to begin this post: there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think, “I want to kill myself.” Sometimes it’s empty words; sometimes it’s cathartic, the only way to let off steam without screaming. Sometimes it’s just a chorus playing over and over in my head. Sometimes it’s calmness: sometimes I hit rock bottom, and I think about dying, and it’s comforting. My most violent imagery happens those times, when I’m not anxious, when I’m instead calm — unbearably sad, disappointed, resigned — and it helps to picture ways to die.
In general, suicidal ideation is pervasive. The scale goes from those empty words I mentioned above to desire and intent. You need to attempt suicide, or be very, very clear you’re going to, to receive any sort of emergency help. To check into a mental hospital. Feeling like you’re going to explode doesn’t matter unless you plan to end your life. It doesn’t matter if you just want to be dead. Resources cannot be allocated to run-of-the-mill breakdowns.
Suicidal ideation is a symptom of many mental disorders, and I know plenty of people who struggle with it. But I rarely see talk of it in this blogosphere that — wonderfully — speaks up about anxiety and depression so often, and I want to do my part for it.