Thanks to the Samaritans for the stats.
Why do people kill themselves? There are as many reasons as there are people who do it. Not everyone who kills themselves is mentally ill, but mentally ill people are more likely to kill themselves than the general population. As a rough generalisation, I would say that people who kill themselves can no longer face the world in which they live. Many people attempt suicide and are found; some will try again, but many don't. It is a solitary experience - one is always alone at the end. A few make a gesture, hoping to be found; when they aren't found they die by mistake. In every case, talk of suicide should be taken seriously. People are afraid to ask in case the subject makes it worse for the sufferer - not so; they are probably thankful to have it out in the open. Most suicides are planned in advance and often the person seems happier just before the act - this is confusing to relatives and friends left behind, but having the plan in place the person relaxes in some way. In depression, a person is often too low to have the motivation to kill themselves - it's when they start getting better that the danger arises.
There is often a lot of guilt and anger left after someone has committed suicide. People will say that they should have seen it coming, or that they could have done more. In most cases this is untrue. If someone has decided to kill themselves, it would take a massive shift to get them to change their mind. In depression, when you have reached that stage, it is, quite simply, the only answer. People who are in that state need to be kept safe until it passes.
My method of choice is pills, which is why I'm only getting 3 days' supply at any one time. I actually think I'm safe now but I still have those thoughts, mainly at this time of night, and it's better to be safe than sorry. When I did take an overdose, I woke up 36 hours later, feeling frightful, and wasn't sorry that I"d failed. When I had an 8 month admission I was obsessed with committing suicide - it filled my every waking moment -- how can I get hold of enough pills? How can I escape the staff? Fortunately, I was watched day and night until I was a bit better.
Next time - self harm.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?