Dr. Z, why are you talking about suicide? Because someone has to. I’ve lost people to suicide including a high school boyfriend, one of my best friends, and a cousin. Yet, no one, those closest to them, said it was suicide. My aunt said her daughter died of alcoholism, which is more acceptable in an Irish family than heroin.
It’s dangerous when we don’t share our stories of suicide. We talk about suicide and not the reasons why people want to leave this world. The suicide becomes THE story while the mother f*cking pain, the trauma that caused someone to kill themselves isn’t told.
The Culprit Is Trauma
Suicide has NOTHING to do with men being weak or women being undesirable. This is what the status quo would love for you to believe. Instead, it has to do with trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are ten potentially traumatic events that occur between the ages of 0-17 years. ACEs focus on violence, abuse, or neglect, as well as substance use and mental health problems. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance abuse problems which can lead to suicide. There are gender differences. Women are more likely to attempt suicide, where men are more likely to die by suicide. F*ck stats, what matters is we all suffer, and we need to acknowledge these stories. We need to listen.
A Forest Needs Trees
I’m thankful I was born in the U.S. I know my privilege. However, I also know the damage the culture of individualism versus collectivism has caused. The mantra of “I matter,” and “It’s my destiny” has caused us to not give a rat’s ass about others. Our culture has pitted us against each other, men versus women, men versus men, women versus women. Yet historically we have lived in a society, a village where we respected our strengths and worked to support the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of our community.
Imagine a world where love and acceptance took precedence over individualism and cultural norms. What if we valued the tree and the forest?