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Levels of Suicidal?


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#1 romanoff

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 05:27 AM

[This got a level of interest at WOM that surprised me, so I thought I would see how it played here.]

THIS IS NOT A SCIENTIFICALLY ORTHODOX THEORY. I compiled it based on my own experience. I find it useful as a "thermometer" of where I stand on a given day.

I have been in all these places except, obviously, (9). I don't get scared before I reach (4) or (5), usually.

I am curious how others' experiences are similar or different. (It would appear that not everyone necessarily experiences each consecutive stage).

=============

(1) Unwelcome thoughts of suicide, actively pushed away

(2) Thinking about it, but not obsessively

(3) Feeling suicidal

(4) Ideating (i.e. imagining, often obsessively)

(5) Planning and/or making active preparations

(6) Lame* attempt

(7) Serious* attempt

( 8 ) Attempt ("Lame" or "Serious") leading to medical intervention

(9) Attempt resulting in death

=============

*"Lame" and "Serious" refer to your level of motivation, not to what you actually did.

For example I have sometimes "attempted" knowing in the back of my mind that I didn't truly intend it, was just playing with it. That is what I mean by "Lame".

I called the attempt "Serious" when I know I really mean it and when it failed I was just inept, not ambivalent. I can recognize it by a special state of mind, others doubtless have other ways to tell.

=============

#2 pita

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:12 PM

I can relate to this.
I have gone through the progression up to lame attempts.
It really is pretty accurate for me.

#3 KenL

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 02:13 PM

Yeah, that makes sense.

Not sure how I missed that in WOM, but sometimes I avoid the Suicide folder.

(Usually when I'm at certain higher numbers of that range, I guess.)

Sometimes, I might just sit there and wish that I could vanish. You know, if the aliens kidnapped me, it would be okay, that kind of thing.

Other times, the blade has been on my wrist, which is certainly a higher level of suicidal feeling than lying on the couch thinking "Gee, I wish I could vanish."

I think you're right about the difference between the lame and serious attempts, too. There's a difference between holding a knife at my wrist to cut (lengthwise, of course) and some other options.

#4 mask

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:02 PM

I can say this would apply to me. I think you need a passively suicidal level ,though, like KenL described. The I don't care if I get hit by a truck but I am not going to throw myself in front of one level. I think it would fit nicely between 4 and 5. JMO!

I often describe myself as passively suicidal. My T knew exactly what I was talking about. There are times when she laughs hysterically when I mention being P.S. :shock: :? Not always trying to be funny.... !


If this should show up as a double post at some future point, I apologise in advance. I could have sworn I responded to this yesterday...

#5 romanoff

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:29 PM

Mask

I guess I always felt "passively suicidal" at (2).

But the point of this thread is to provoke discussion and find out how we differ, so thanks for the feedback!

I have heard responses like "4-1/2" but not usually in a passive context.

Rick

#6 Jellycat

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 09:13 PM

mmmm..interesting post but i think there is a grey zone between (6) and (7)...in my experience i was somewhere in between, in this grey zone when i had no idea whether it was serious or not and i didnt care what happened as by this stage i had lost my sense of reality.
In addition i once made what i thought was a lame attempt and in reality it was serious.

sometimes what could have been a serious attempt was something i changed my mind over at the last minute

Jellyxxxx

#7 romanoff

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 10:05 PM

Jellycat

This was a tough call.

Originally I had defined "lame" and "serious" according to the outcome but decided that wasn't fair, as the individual does not necessarily how effective a given method is likely to be. (I am living proof of that.)

So, I settled on seriousness of intention without regard to outcome. If it goes to (9) nobody will ever know anyway.

I have also seen answers like "6-1/2", which may fit what you are describing.

We all have our individual signs. When I am feeling very down or otherwise hyper-emotional, if I get past (5) it will probably be "lame". If I enter a surreal zone of calm and freedom from pain, then it is getting "serious", at least for me.

Rick

#8 mask

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 01:05 PM

Rick,

I think I am permanently stuck at a passive 4 1/2. I can't really allow myself to plan although back in December I found myself thinking well, I can't so it in Jan or May because of my dds' birthdays. Maybe March??? That sent me back to the psych, actually. I can't leave my kids. Were it not for them, I have no doubt I would not be here.

Even with them, it gets harder and harder to hold on.

#9 Jellycat

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 04:17 PM

((((((((Mask)))))))


Well done for recognising you needed help and going back to your psy doc.

I think the greatest danger is when someone starts to think along your lines but doesnt seek help or talk about it to anyone . From my own experience I thought that thinking of suicide and starting to make plans was almost normal when I was very depressed and was surprised at my docs reaction when I talked about it in a manner of fact way not realising these thoughts werent normal,but that it was because of depression. After a while realising that it was just depression talking i realised the best thing to do was to hang on, and that depression can be helped.

You hang on too Mask



love Jellyxxx

#10 romanoff

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 08:20 PM

(((Mask)))

Yes, our kids save our lives. Mine certainly put a lower limit on how far I could let myself sink, and was the reason that I couldn't bring myself to end it all more than once.

Hang in there - it will get better.

Rick
:?:

#11 Marvin42

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 11:04 PM

:sigh: I'm another 4-1/2 case, although I try and hide it from everyone and I try to push those 'waiting for a truck' thoughts below the conscious level. Interesting idea. But with me, when I get really down (like now) the thought of how other people will feel to lose me just brings me down further,but somehow I seem to get over it. Just shows how different we all are. But more alike than different.
Marvin

#12 LEMON SORBET

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 11:02 PM

I don't often look in ST these days, but i'm glad I did, cos this post is interesting. There is scope for a lot more in-between levels I reckon, and i'm tempted to think about it, but not sure if that's a bad idea. Maybe if we had a sticky with the levels of suicide in this folder, it'd help someone suicidal, cos I found that when I first stumbled across BTB, it was reading my feelings described by another that gave most comfort. If we can reel off the thoughts that go with STs, maybe we can provide a convincing case that they are predictable, horrible, beast-speak. What does anyone think? Maybe it is too massive a subject to cover, because i suppose it is such a personal experience.

Anyway, i'd say I was 2) for most of my life, often 3) in my teens. When ill there was a huge amount of prolonged obsessive 4), progressing to 5) which i think can also be divided into lame and serious. I had made a lot of 'comfort' or 'escape' S plans, if that makes sense, but it wasn't till my crash this summer that I was actively 5). i was all set to 9) (lots of research went into it-i'm as certain as i could be that it would have been successful) on a certain date, but then a family member found my prepared notes, funeral plans etc....and the rest is history. For anyone reading this and feeling suicidal now...I got away from the feelings-I am doing well. I feel good more than bad most days. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO SURVIVE THIS SHIT

Some 6) in my teens too, but very very lame, so more like 5.25- I hope this doesn't sound weird or flippant, but I sort of toyed with death. Like, I was too scared to really KILL myself, but I did stuff that I hoped would make me DIE. Stupid stuff like trying to suffocate myself with my pillow, keep my head underwater-stuff which my body would of course resist, but I really hoped it'd work. I must've known it couldn't, but I really wanted it to. Anyone get what I mean?

Better now than i've ever been since childhood. Still 1) most days, occaisionally 2).

The low end of the scale suits me fine. Maybe one day i'll shoot off the end (in the good direction). I have a feeling though that STs will always excert an influence on me. This isn't necessarily awful-they are a part of who I was, who i am, and who I will be. They make me respect life and the good bits. I would like to move to 0.5) (passing suicidal thoughts, no effort needed -drift away by themselves) because I accept that a human mind is made up of a whole cauldron of different thoughts and impulses, not all good-we each just have to find our balance-decide which ones to listen to.

H xx

#13 romanoff

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 01:19 AM

Sorbet

Thank you for your thoughtful analysis. I just cobbled this together based on my own experience, and am very open to suggestions for revision. I think that many folks skip levels or do things in a different order, and I posted this partly to find out about that.

I can completely relate to your “5.25” analysis, I have “played” with it a lot. I have only had a few “serious” (7) attempts, the most recent last autumn. Most of the time, like you, I loiter between (1) and (2).

Mostly, I just use this as a “barometer” to check on where I am.

Rick
:?:

#14 MinMu

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 01:25 AM

Another Vote for Passively Suicidal as a real level.

For me, this is the point where I change lanes on the highway without looking to see if the way is clear or when I walk into traffic and figure that it is up to the cars whether they can stop or not.

I suppose this can also be seen as why I am setting myself up for a heart attack and don't care, but just hope it finishes me off cleanly....

So definitely a real level: when you don't want to live anymore but can't formulate a plan, take responsibility for the end result or make the commitment.

I'm not sure where this would go on the scale. Many people neglect their health, but not as many people walk out in front of cars, not even watching to see whether they will be hit or not....

--MinMu

#15 romanoff

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 02:23 AM

Ken, Mask, MinMu

In the face of this much support, I must agree that "passive" is a level.

The problem is whether to include it vertically in the existing list, and if so at what level. The alternative is to create another branch.

This is not unllike the dilemma of whether to classify an alcoholic drinking or someone in to S&M as doing Self-Injury.

I am more than open to continued discussion of this.

Rick

#16 Aud

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 12:36 PM

Well, I guess according to this scale, I've been to 8. But that was a long time ago, when I was 16. Since then have been back and forth up to 6 and 7 several times. Any intervention was because I freaked out and sought it, or someone else did for me, not because what I'd done had physically caused it. If that makes sense. To me there's a difference, anyway.

Most of the time, when things are bad I hover around 4 and 5. And would say that I'm also passively suicidal. When things are good (or as good as they usually get) I seem to be about 1 and 2. It's very rare for me to not be thinking about it at all. Best case scenario - 0.5 - thoughts, but they come and go without huge effort.

Hmmm....been thinking about where you'd put 'passively suicidal' on the scale. I would've said at 4.5. BUT...I know that sometimes when I'd say I'm about 2 or 3 I'd also say I was P.S. Maybe it's a parallel state to this scale? And there's levels of being P.S I think. The difference between thinking it would be ok for that truck to hit you, and actively not looking to check (if that makes sense).

#17 Katee

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 09:26 PM

I live my life on this scale. My good days are lived between 1 and 3. It never goes away.

I've been to 8 three times, twice with serious attempts and once with a lame one, all three times 4 years ago.

In the last two months, I've been to 5 several times and 6 one day.

I understand the passive bit and I thought Aud made a good point about degrees of passive suicidal thoughts.

One thing I do know is that for me, it's a fast trip from 5 to 8, that being at that level 5 is very dangerous for me.

#18 Mom27

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:24 PM

I, too, never seem to get away from the thoughts, though I'd say I never really get below a 2. Never gotten to the point where I've had medical intervention, although I've had several near-attempts, not even a real attempt. I agree with being P.S. though...this is a very interesting thread. I think this is interesting to see how others fare on this.

#19 Samantha

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:59 AM

I did the #8 and from what my doctor's told me, "My higher power kept me here." I was very serious about it and frankly, I was angry when I woke up.

I have gone to #7, two times, but I haven't even admitted that to my doctors.

In the past several years I have suicidal thoughts at least once a day. My therapist and I even joked about it was a good day if I didn't want to hurt myself. I don't have that therapist anymore and I sure do miss him.

Since my serious attempt, I start to scare myself when I get to #5. I usually check myself into the hospital when I have a plan and start to feel a relief about having a plan. I admitted myself to the hospital last March. I had a plan and even a backup plan if they didn't admit me.

I have been to #5 several times since March but I did talk to my psychiatrist about it and had my meds changed.

The ST's are definitely something I hate to have.

#20 tears_of_crimson_red

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 06:03 PM

[quote="romanoff"]

(1) Unwelcome thoughts of suicide, actively pushed away

(2) Thinking about it, but not obsessively

(3) Feeling suicidal

(4) Ideating (i.e. imagining, often obsessively)

(5) Planning and/or making active preparations

(6) Lame* attempt

(7) Serious* attempt

( 8 ) Attempt ("Lame" or "Serious") leading to medical intervention

(9) Attempt resulting in death


I reached 8 when i was 14, i am now 15 and still suicidal, i have severe depression but i wont except medication as an answer to my problems, I spend every day wishing i was dead and cant break the cycle. I want to be happy and i want to get over it but cant, here is one of my poems as it explains how i feel better than i can write normally.

*Tears*

I close the doors and break down.
I cry these tears,
tears no-one will see,
scream these screams,
the ones no-one will hear.
I hide behind these walls in my mind,
I long to open the door but cant see how.
These tears and screams in my mind long to escape,
but i live in fear that they will destroy me.