Skip to main content

Why does suicide ever seem like a good idea?

By Stpehen C. Schultz

It was a Thursday afternoon and I was sitting in a seat at 36,000 feet above the earth. While I have made the trip to Atlanta from West to East many times, the trip coming home always seems to take forever. I put down my novel and tipped my head back against the seat. The stale air from the little nozzle overhead blew in my face. I closed my eyes and thought sleep would help the time pass. I was wrong...sleep never came.

I was thinking about my time in Atlanta. I was there with Shawn Brooks, the Executive Director of Oxbow Academy. We were in Atlanta providing a workshop to clinicians on the struggles teens face now days around the development of healthy sexuality. It was a good workshop that covered topics from abuse, to trauma to ASD. It was actually a fun and a productive trip.

I reached under the seat and pulled my carry-on up onto my lap. I reached in and slid out my I-Pad. Since sleep was not an option, I thought I might as well check emails and catch up on some communications. I logged into my email and there was a message from an Educational Consultant friend of mine. The subject line read, "Sad News". My heart skipped a beat. When I opened the message, I was saddened to read that the 24 year old son of another friend and Educational Consultant had taken his own life. This time my heart sank and immediately I said a short prayer for my friend and her husband. I knew the emotions would be raw and the thoughts of emails distant in their time of sorrow and pain, but I sent off a short message expressing that my thoughts and prayers were with them.

The flight did not seem to go faster. I personally knew this young man and I was aware of some of his struggles in life. From my life's perspective, none of the concerns he was struggling with seemed to be insurmountable. But from his life perspective, suicide must have seemed like the best option. But, why? What is the thought process one goes through to reach that conclusion? Is there any thought about the effect on family? Is there any thought about the effect on the person who finds them? Is there any thought about the effect on friends?

The questions seem to be endless. The acute pain of loosing a loved one will fade over time to a nagging dullness, only to be resurrected by a sound or a smell or a memory that races into consciousness out of nowhere. Approximately a year ago, this same thing happened to another dear friend and colleague. I wrote a blog post then as well. The CDC has recently reported that thoughts of suicide amongst teens is on the rise. No matter how many times I am confronted with the pain of someone taking their own life, the one lingering question is always, "Why does suicide ever seem like a good answer?"


Popular posts from this blog

The Young Boy and the Rattlesnake

By Stephen C. Schultz (Editors note: This is a story used in a Wilderness Treatment Program for Young Adults . Many come to this program having struggled with substance abuse and interacting with unsavory friends.)   Many years ago there was a young Native American who lived in the very land you are residing in. He decided to seek wisdom by journeying to the top of Indian Peak. As he approached the base of the mountain he came across a rattlesnake that slithered beside him. The snake coiled as if to strike and the young boy moved back quickly in fear of being struck by the snake’s deadly venom. At that instant the snake spoke to the boy saying, “Don’t be afraid of me, I mean you no harm. I come to you to ask a favor. I see that you are about to traverse to the top of Indian Peak and was hoping that you may be willing to place me in your satchel so that I don’t have to make the long journey alone.” The young boy surprised by the snake’s request quickly responded b

Navigating the Highway of Healthy Communication

By Stephen C. Schultz “I was on the road in my car last week. It was a long stretch of highway where it is easy for your speed to creep up. I looked in the review mirror and saw blue and red flashing lights. I watched as the right hand of the officer extended to lift a microphone to his mouth. He was obviously running my plates. I glanced at my driver’s side mirror and observed as his door opened and he stepped around the edge of the door and closed it with a single, fluid motion. In a cautious and calculated manner, with his right hand resting about hip high on his revolver and his left hand carrying some paper, he was at my door in ten easy strides.” Ok…now that you have read that first paragraph, what are you feeling? Did reading that stir any emotions? Could you relate to my experience? How many of you are smiling? You’ve been there…right? You know the feeling. Often there is dread. Sometimes there is fear. Most times there is frustration because you were just goin

Video Games, Anxiety and ADHD - Free Family Resources

 By Stephen C. Schultz Video Games, Anxiety and ADHD - Is there a common theme? Aloft Transitions Home for Young Adults This is simply a complimentary resource guide for parents of teens and young adults who struggle with ADHD, Anxiety and Gaming. ADHD:   • Russell Barkley,  Taking Charge of ADHD • Hallowell & Ratey,  Delivered from Distraction • Harvey Parker,  The ADD Hyperactivity Workbook for Parents, Teachers, & Kids • Bradley & Giedd,  Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your  Mind  • Gurian, Michael,  The Minds of Boys Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and  Life, 2005. • Hanna, Mohab,  Making the Connection: A Parents’ Guide to Medication in AD/HD •  (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) • • (American Academy of Pediatrics) • (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Young Adult caring for new baby calf Anxiety: The following websites