13 reasons why NOT

Recently, Netflix produced a TV series detailing 13 reasons why a young woman committed suicide. Closer to home, this past week, our community lost a young soul to suicide. Suicide is not glorious as portrayed in the Netflix series. It is a frightening, irreversible act that permanently scars those affected by it and can never be rectified. Whether you know it or not, it is likely that someone with whom you have had a relationship has died by suicide. In fact, according to the suicide prevention lifeline, someone in the US dies from suicide every 16.2 minutes.


In response to this tragedy we thought we should consider 13 critical reasons to continue battling suicidal temptations:


1) Suicide is a permanent decision that can never be reversed

Survivors of suicide attempts describe being petrified immediately after the act and regretting their decision to try to end their life. They have discussed the horror of death standing before them and the realization that this a permanent decision. They have expressed gratitude for those who have saved them and for the miracles that prevented them from being successful; allowing them a second chance at life.



2) The sun will come out tomorrow

Studies show that majority of people, even with frequent, intense suicidal ideations recover from this tormenting state in less than two years. They achieve improved mental health, without suicidal thoughts. Just because you feel hopeless today, does not mean you will feel the same way a week, a month, or a year later.



3) Think about your loved ones and friends

When a loved one dies from suicide, relatives and friends feel guilt, anger, and distress. Parents of children who have died from suicide have rapidly escalating depression, anxiety, physical ailments, financial problems, and divorce. Children whose parents have lost the battle to suicidal temptation have a significantly increased risk of mental illness and completed suicide themselves, greater than expected genetically.



4) Suicide is not the only option, but it is the only one from which there is no return

There are many options and resources to address your reasons for contemplating suicide. Although suicide may seem like the only option, people are often surprised to find solutions when they work with a team of professionals. You owe it to yourself to consider all options in an attempt to improve your life and resolve the factors causing you to consider suicide.


5) The way you feel is not your fault

Often, people blame themselves and feel they don’t deserve to live. Your illness and thoughts are not your fault! Study after study demonstrates chemical imbalances and structural brain changes in people suffering from mental illness and contemplating suicide. With the right treatment, these abnormalities can be targeted and you can feel better.



6) Even your tormenters want you to live

People often feel intense guilt after a suicide, perseverating on what role they may have played. They replay all the interactions they had with the individual, thinking about what they could have done differently to change the outcome. Nobody is happy when someone dies by suicide, regardless of what they may have done or said in the past to that person. There are other, more constructive ways to deal with bullies and tormentors that will prevent them from repeating their actions.



7) You owe it to your future

Even if you can’t see it now, you have a brighter future with personal successes and friends and family that will enrich your life. There are countless stories of people who have suffered from severe mental illness or hardships and have gone on to have wildly successful and fulfilling lives. Even if you don’t become famous, it is unlikely that your future won’t be better than your present. You just have to give yourself the opportunity to live long enough to experience it.



8) The world needs your contributions

You have so much to contribute to this world. Whether you will be a future noble prize winner or the person who is able to relate to others’ difficulties and cheer them up, your existence is valuable. If you end it early you are selling short all those who could have benefited from you. Who knows how many lives you will be able to touch in your remaining years.



9) Take your own advice

Remember that time someone came to you with a difficult situation they were facing? You listened and guided them, helping them realize that all hope was not lost. Pretend you are talking to a friend and help yourself see the positives and reasons for hope in your situation.



10) Do it for others

It is well known that when one person dies from suicide others are more likely to as well. Even if you see no other option, think about those who may follow your example and how their families and associates will be affected.



11) Remember all the pleasures in life

Think about ice cream, kids laughing, an early morning run, a beautiful sunset. Remember some of your fondest memories. Even if you can’t experience pleasure now due to the weight of your illness, it is likely that you will be able to experience some pleasures again in the future. Once you die, you will never again have that opportunity.



12) Failure is human and it teaches us how to live

Every negative event in your life can strengthen you and lead to a richer more fulfilling life than if you lived in a utopia. Positive psychology teaches us that people that are able to find meaning in tragedy, emerge stronger than they were beforehand.



13) Death does not bring relief

If you are contemplating suicide, you are likely feeling real pain. People think that by dying, the pain will go away. All dying does is offload the pain on to those you left behind. It does not actually treat the cause of the pain or lead to any feelings of relief. By staying alive and targeting your stressors you are giving yourself the opportunity to attain the relief you so desperately crave.


If you are having thoughts of suicide please call 1800-273-8255 or chat with a suicide hotline here. After a suicide of someone you know it is normal to experience increased anxiety, depression and to even have suicidal thoughts of your own. Please seek out help from a mental health professional. If you have been affected by suicide, you can discuss your emotions and struggles in the support room.


Ariel Mintz, MD
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1 Comment on “13 reasons why NOT

  1. I’ve been hesitant to post about the hot controversial topic of the hour, since it is something so sensitive to me and numerous acquaintances. However, the goal of 13 Reasons Why was to open up discussions of such topics, and it would be selfish of me to be silent and not provide accurate info about mental health.
    Let’s take a look at the positive feedback: The show opens up the conversation of depression and suicide, it teaches the lesson of how every action can affect someone, and how you never know what goes on behind closed doors.
    In theory, these are great lessons that should be taught. In practice, however, the show (and the book, but mainly the show) failed to accurately depict someone with mental health issues and the therapy of it, and the show went about these lessons in an overly dramatic, graphic way. The creators defend the graphic content of suicide and rape by claiming that it needs to be shown in order to raise awareness and to show how real it is. Really? How does it make sense to show such sensitive content to many viewers who will be triggered by this? And if they wanted to actually show how real it is, why does it make therapy and medication seem like a lost cause? Her suicide is almost justified in this show. But suicide should never be justified and should never be an option. There is always someone who is here to listen. I’m here to listen. And mental health issues go far beyond the external factors, such as bullying. Depression is an internal conflict which CAN be combated and which CAN be conquered, with the right kind of help, a combination of medication and therapy.
    “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
    Suicide should never be the end.

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