Over the last four decades, I’ve been involved with every aspect of suicide. In chronological order:
1. A neighbor shot himself when I was young and I saw the impact on his children
2. Moderate and fleeting thoughts of suicide after my “first love” break-up
3. Counseling people with suicidal intentions, working in hospitals with patients who attempted suicide or died
4. Training suicide and crisis-intervention volunteers at a mental health center
5. Providing holistic health care to suicidal people who wanted to keep living
6. Giving workshops for those with a loved one who died by suicide
This article is for those who are considering suicide; if you know someone like that, please share the article with him or her. If you have a loved one who has already died by suicide, read “When a Love One Dies by Suicide…What You Must Know.” I also recommend reading the Suicide: NOT an Unforgivable Sin section in my Soul Proof book.
If you are suicidal, I am sorry for all the pain and suffering you have gone through. Thoughts of suicide are fairly common when a person is in misery. Acting on those thoughts is a big step that is becoming all too common. Life on this planet can be very difficult at times for anyone. Severe and chronic physical and/or mental pain and anguish feels horrible and can be the last straw.
It’s natural to want to escape that feeling and have peace, even if it that is nothingness. I would not judge you if you chose to end your earth-experience. Ultimately, it’s your choice. If you really want to take that step, no one can stop you.
However, I’m here to tell you—based on experience—that your life can get better and you have other choices. You will be able to see this more clearly if you learn and implement the following:
contemporary understandings about the nature of reality
holistic health and integrative medical care
optimal self-care practices
assistance from family, friends, counselors, ministers, organizations, etc.
remembering who you are and why you are here
No matter what your current circumstances, you can improve your life and your outlook. I know numerous people who were suicidal years ago, but are now happy, healthy, and balanced. I know others who chose a more timely way to move on, a way that gave them and their loved ones more peace and closure.
I do not use the terms “killed himself” or “ended her life” because life is forever. People can end this earth-experience, but they can’t end life altogether. I also avoid using the term ‘committed suicide’ because that word is usually used when describing a crime such as ‘committed murder” or “committed a robbery.” Suicide is not a crime; it is a lack of awareness about better solutions and a failure of the individual and society to apply them.
On the surface, it may appear that a suicide is due to one or more external factors: he lost his job, her marriage ended, his investments failed, her child died, etc. But many people experience the same events and don’t resort to suicide. As such, I encourage you to look for inner factors—your fears, physical and mental imbalances, lack of knowledge, old beliefs—and address those. Doing so will allow you to bend, but not break during the fierce winds that you are now encountering.
My advice to those considering suicide is not “one size fits all.” There is obviously a wide-range of circumstances that make suicide more or less appropriate. At one end of the spectrum would be a teenager who is heart-broken after a first-love breakup but otherwise has a great life. His suicide would be more impulsive and tragic since he is just beginning life and has so much to look forward to.
At the other end of the spectrum might be a very old person who is losing her mind, in chronic pain, and with multiple organ failure. She doesn’t want to further bankrupt the country by receiving medical intervention that would serve no one except the disease care industry. She has no family, very little money, and doesn’t want to end her days alone decaying in a nursing home. For her, #9 and 10 below aren’t practical because there is no reasonable chance for physical recovery. This and similar cases may be a time for euthanasia, but people shouldn’t have to try to die by suicide all alone and afraid. Animals get better treatment.
Most people’s situations fall somewhere between those two extremes.
Note: I mention various products throughout this article that can help you have a breakthrough, not a breakdown. If you are suicidal and truly cannot afford them, let us know and we’ll send them at no charge.
Here are 10 ways to realize that there are usually better options than considering suicide–
1. Consider the devastating impact on others.
In your imbalanced body/mind state, you may minimize how many family and friends really care. You have more connections with people than you realize and your suicide will have negative effects on others. Family and friends are usually devastated—even when not particularly close—when a family or friend dies this way. Your suicide may trigger a lifetime of guilt, shame, and self-blame for them. Even casual acquaintances may think, “If only I had seen it coming. Was it something I did or said, or didn’t do or say that put him over the edge? Was there something I could have done to prevent it?”
Over the years, I’ve worked with many people with a loved one who died by suicide. They are often traumatized to the core, even decades later, and begin to tremble and stutter when talking about it. I can’t emphasize enough how huge of a shock your suicide will be to others. So, if for no other reason, I encourage people who are considering suicide to think of the impact on others.
You’ve probably heard of the life review that people have during a near-death experience (NDE). It is one of most transformative aspects of the NDE: it helps alcoholics quit drinking; drug users abstain; fundamentalist ministers to preach about love, not fear; and suicidal people to focus on living, not dying.
The Life Review Technique allows you to experience this without nearly dying. You can see and feel the impact of your positive and negative thoughts, words, and deeds so far. Then you can consider how to make amends so you don’t carry your “dirty laundry” over when you pass on. You can also get a better sense of what the impact would be if you go ahead with suicide.
2. Think about the loss of your contributions for good.
People who consider or complete suicide are often more sensitive than average. They are keenly aware of the injustices and pain and feel like they can’t continue living on this difficult planet any longer. But we need all hands on deck to bring love and light to the fore. We need more, not fewer people who clearly see what needs changed on this planet and are willing to pitch in.
By the way, if you are very sensitive or empathic, it’s important to shield yourself daily so you aren’t sapped or zapped by lower energy emotions that abound. Simply visualize/pray/affirm that you are surrounded by a cocoon of light that protects you 24/7. This shield helps you be around others who are suffering or imbalanced without taking on their “negative” energy. It allows you to function more effectively in the world even though you know you are not solely of this world.
I know that life on Earth is very difficult at times. However, a vast amount of evidence collectively indicates that struggle is precisely why souls volunteer to come here. Adversity and challenge can be powerful teachers. If you want to die right now, but overcome the urge to do so, you can be a potent force for positive change in the world. You’ll have a chance to better identify your soul’s missions and fulfill them. Just starting along that path will give you more of that “peace that passes all understanding” and sense of purpose that so many seek.
3. Your attempt might endanger you and others.
I’ve seen and heard many stories about suicide attempts “going wrong” and causing greater calamity to the attempter or innocent bystanders. Most recently, a patient told me about a relative who died by asphyxiation in the garage with the car engine running. The fumes leaked into the house and killed several beloved pets. The woman came home and found all of that. Do you think there might be a better way?
Suicide attempts can cause even worse life circumstances. The worst case I’ve seen occurred while I was working as a respiratory therapist in a hospital ICU. Hank’s life seemed so horrible that he thought suicide was the only option. He put the barrel of a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. The barrel shifted and blew off his face, but didn’t kill him. Hank was blinded and couldn’t talk. Most nurses and hospital staff were justifiably freaked out by this young man’s situation.
I was in theology school at the time and reading everything from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to Ram Dass. I talked to Hank and acknowledged that he had gone from the frying pan into the fire. I also told him about real-life stories of people who had turned tremendous adversity into blessings for themselves and others. I reminded him that he was surrounded by the Infinite Light, his spiritual support team, and a supportive Universe. He motioned that he wanted to write a note and, as best a newly blinded person could, scribbled: “God help me. I’m in hell!”
Those who try to kill themselves can also endanger others. Standing in front of a train could cause a train wreck. Getting drunk or taking pills and then driving into a bridge abutment could cause a wreck. Shooting yourself could cause a bullet to travel and kill someone in the next apartment. There are all kinds of ways that suicide attempts can go bad—just one more reason to create a better option.
4. Why not complete your curriculum this time around?
Your human part/ego wants life to be safe, easy, and comfortable, but your soul doesn’t care about any of that. Your essence knows it is immortal and one with All That Is right now and forevermore. Your awareness is focused on service, adventure, growth and enjoyment. It loves to create seemingly hopeless scenarios and then solve them victoriously. That makes for great stories and inspires others to do the same.
Just think what a powerful story yours will be if you can take a path that doesn’t involve killing your physical body. After suicide, many souls choose — for you are not forced — to go through the same scenario again, but take a higher path, to make a decision for life, the next time around. Why not do so here and now?
There is no judgment or penalty in Heaven/Spirit World/the Really Real Place for ending your earth-experience. It’s you who will judge yourself based on what you could have done differently. Have you ever watched a great adventure movie where the hero or heroine was in a tough situation and said, “I give up . . . I’m going to kill myself!” Who would want to watch a movie like that? Well, my friend, you are the writer, director, and actor in this little slice of forever called life on Earth.
After your body dies, you will eventually join your group of dear ones you have known since your soul was formed. How soon that reunion occurs, and the quality of it, will be directly determined by how you lived and died. To look at two ends of the spectrum again, consider the welcoming that Mother Teresa received after she changed worlds. Now contrast that with someone like Adolf Hitler.
Mother Teresa’s transition was like walking from one room to another. She was no doubt greeted with celestial high-fives and “You go, girl!” Hitler, on the other hand, likely needed a very long sleep, counseling and rehabilitation before he could even be around others. His life review would feel like hell until he truly repented, forgave himself, and planned for making amends.
I’m not comparing suicide to overseeing killing millions of people by any means. However, you get the point. When you cross over, would you rather get high-fives or Dutch rubs? Would you rather hear accolades about how you rose to the occasion or reminders that you’ve been through this before and could have done better. Again, it’s all about expanding in love and light, not about punishment or criticism.
5. Are you looking at the big picture?
Consider an extreme example of a very elderly woman who has no family, multiple organ failure, chronic pain, is losing her mind, and doesn’t want to die decaying in a nursing home. Some feel that this would be an appropriate case for euthanasia, a good death, and maybe it is.
However, from a greater perspective, there could be a rhyme and reason for her situation. Perhaps her soul chose to go through this misery so that others could practice being care-givers. How can humans – who are really eternal souls – improve their health care or ministry skills without having someone to help? Or maybe she knew that her suffering would build strength of spirit. Others might have seen her plight and committed themselves to preventing illness as much as possible.
Your five senses, wonderful as they might be, perceive much less than one percent of reality. You have been looking at life through a tiny pinhole and trying to make sense of it all. That’s why Einstein and other great minds have said we are suffering from optical delusions. From a limited human perspective, life appears to be chaotic and unfair. But much evidence strongly points to it being lawful and just. Your soul may have chosen to be amidst tremendous adversity for three reasons:
– karmic learning: maybe you caused pain to others in this or another time and place. So your inner wisdom chose to experience difficulty in this one—not to punish yourself, but to learn. Your suffering will help you remember the wisdom of following the Golden Rule.
– chosen learning: your real self knew that trials and tribulations would build spiritual muscles so it signed up for earth-school. Pretending that you can be hurt or killed is a great way to test how much you are awakened to the truth that life often changes, but never ends.
– loving service: like the extreme example with the elderly woman, you volunteered to endure pain because you knew it would help others in some way.
6. Lean on others.
As the classic song by Bill Withers reminds us, we each need to lean on others at times. Extreme situations like feeling suicidal require holistic solutions. Reach out to family, friends, ministers, counselors, health care providers, and anyone else who might help. You don’t have to go through this by yourself. What do you have to lose? Assemble your team so you can emerge victorious from this one.
I highly recommend Unity centers (www.unity.org) as heart-centered, service-oriented places for support, fellowship, and spiritual study. Other excellent denominations include Unitarian-Universalist, Religious Science, Science of Mind, Christian Science, and United Church of Christ (UCC). Sacred wisdom sources such as Native American spirituality have much to share. Each major religion has special strengths and I’ve learned from all of them.
Avoid fundamentalist denominations that teach archaic and erroneous notions of only one way to heaven, fiery eternal hell, judgmental God, born into sin, suicide is a one-way ticket to hell, etc.
Those who are struggling mightily often steer clear of orthodox churches that teach nonsensical notions such as those listed above. People with open hearts and minds understandably want nothing to do with this type of “God” or “His church.” That’s why it’s important to find enlightened groups that are more aligned with what your inner wisdom whispered to you as a child. Children with a loving family intuitively know that a wise and caring God doesn’t burn his children in hell forever.
If you’ve struggled with religious teachings that didn’t make sense to you in the past and make even less sense now, read this article Sensible, Evidence-Based Religious/Spiritual Teachings.
Excellent organizations can help when things seem hopeless. Helping Parents Heal provides hope and support for bereaved parents and families. Eternea shares much clinical and scientific evidence that consciousness survives physical death, how to more deeply realize that, and the many benefits that accompany that knowing. I can’t list all of the great resources but mention many in my books Soul Proof and Radiant Wellness.
7. Transmute your pain and suffering.
We are entertained and inspired by stories of wizards who transmute straw into gold. But even more impressive are people who heal their pain via a process of sacred alchemy. Here are two real-life examples. One bereaved mother I worked with wanted to kill herself so she could be with her deceased baby right now. Another mother described how she honors her son’s life by serving homeless people at a food kitchen. She visualizes her “departed” son and silently repeats his name every time she helps another person. The second mother is upgrading lower energy emotions of pain, anger, and hopelessness into higher ones of love, compassion, and service to others.
This is the secret of how to always be in heaven no matter where you are or what is going on around you. You receive back many times over what you put out. Your suffering can help live in the present moment and focus on the highest feeling thoughts available. Learning that lesson is invaluable. What’s more, you take that level of evolved consciousness with you through the rest of eternity. Your enhanced awareness also greatly blesses others as you shine always and in all ways.
One very powerful way to upgrade your suffering is with transformational breath work. Learn more about this amazingly life-changing technique called Holistic Breathing here.
Suicide may create a temporary disconnect with departed loved ones. Bereaved parents sometimes share that they are thinking of suicide so that they can reunite sooner with their deceased children. This is an understandable expression of their anguish that they hopefully won’t act on. You loved ones who have passed on are usually in a higher, finer, and more peaceful state of mind. Suicide may actually delay your reunion them.
Those who have just died on Earth usually experience fairly soon a blessed reunion with their departed loved ones. However, souls of people who died by suicide may experience lower energy emotions such as regret and fear. Their beliefs while on Earth, especially those about a fiery eternal place of torment, may carry over temporarily and influence their perceptions. This can put them in a very different energetic place than their “deceased” loved ones, especially those who died by natural means and dropped their bodies some time ago.
That’s why those who are more peaceful and joyful have better after-death contacts. They are on the same wavelength or energy frequency as their dear ones on “the Other Side.” Similarly, you will want your consciousness to be optimal when you cross over so you can enjoy sustained reunions with your soul mates and enjoy the highest levels of living in the phase of forever. Suicide may hinder or delay that.
To learn more about how you can enjoy a different, but very real relationship with your departed loved ones, read this article 12 Keys to Visiting with Your Departed Loved Ones. To experience a facilitated after-death contact under hypnosis, visit here…
8. Holistic and integrative healthcare.
Excellent natural healthcare approaches include specific chiropractic, acupuncture, designed nutrition, and deep tissue massage therapy. Other powerful methods include aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, energy healing, shamanic healing, and sound and light therapy. These approaches can be miraculous for relieving severe and chronic pain. To find the best practitioners in your area, ask around about who are the best ones and see what names surface repeatedly. For some people, even a 50% reduction in pain will make the difference between choosing life over hastening their death.
In many cases, severe mental symptoms such as depression and anxiety are caused by factors that can be addressed with personalized nutritional healing. Stressors such as excess heavy metals, chemicals, and microorganisms can impair brain and GI system functioning and subsequently one’s mental state. Likewise, nutritional deficiencies can prevent the brain, gut, and endocrine glands from working normally and cause extreme unhappiness and depression.
These problems can often be addressed with state-of-the-art natural healthcare approaches. I especially recommend Nutrition Response Testing or NRT. To find a practitioner near you, visit www.unsinc.info or call 727-442-7101. Another excellent technique is Applied Kinesiology.
Optimal nature care is especially important during stressful times. For example, during winter months in northern climes, many people suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Less sunshine and warmth decrease vitamin D levels and outside activities. Common symptoms of SAD include depression, sleep disturbance, and impaired immune function resulting in recurrent infections. More sensitive individuals may feel mildly suicidal when it’s cold and gloomy day after day.
Additional criteria for finding a great chiropractor include:
– Do they take x-rays or use fluoroscopy to detect exactly where subluxations are?
– Do they adjust the full spine, extremities, TMJ, and cranial bones?
– What follow-up assessments do they use to measure your progress?
– Do they use more gentle and specific approaches or grosser procedures such as very forceful lumbar roles and cervical rotary moves?
In addition to firm but specific osseous adjusting techniques, I also recommend lighter ones such as Koren Specific Technique or KST. This advanced approach also addresses emotions, cranial misalignments, and other factors. To find a practitioner near you, visit: http://www.korenspecifictechnique.com/directory.asp
It’s also good to have an integrative medical doctor who recognizes the effectiveness of natural methods and is willing to communicate and cooperate with other practitioners. A crisis or emergency may call for drug or surgical care. Much more often, however, natural methods that don’t have potential negative side-effects like invasive and risky interventions will suffice. Anti-depressant drugs have black-box warnings about increased suicidal and homicidal behavior for good reason.
9. Optimal self-care.
The power of basic health practices done on a regular basis is tremendous. Take time to get adequate rest, moderate exercise, and a healthy diet. Learn how to detox your body and minimize exposure to chemicals and heavy metals. Consider protection again electro-magnetic fields (EMF) since that factor alone can cause severe depression and illness. Use prayer, meditation, time in nature, and other centering practices to quiet your mind, increase your awareness, and remember that you are an integral part of Life now and always.
For more information about this topic, read Radiant Wellness: a Holistic Guide for Optimal Body, Mind, & Spirit. You can also read this article 7 Keys to Fine Tune Your Body/Mind.
10. Remember Who You Are.
Many wise teachers over time have advised to “know thyself.” Remembering who you are, why you’re here, and Who walks beside/ within you always makes this earth-experience much more sensible and successful. To learn more about the collective evidence that you are part of Source Energy right now, visit the www.soulproof.com website for free articles, newsletters, and radio interviews with top consciousness experts.
I especially recommend this article: Documented Clinical and Scientific Evidence That Life Is Never-Ending. You can also get to know your real self better with an Ask Your Soul hypnosis session.
The bottom line? Your worst nightmare, the life that you may be experiencing right now, can become an empowering event for you and others. That’s why, after working in this area for over four decades, I encourage people to find a way to keep on living. All things considered, I almost always encourage people to find another way. An earthly incarnation is a precious experience. Those who work through great difficulties become excellent teachers and helpers afterwards. The world needs more awakened people, which you likely are, not fewer.
NOTE: I recommend that you allow a nine-month window of time – yes, the same amount it took to prepare your entry into this world—before deciding to leave it. I hope you decide to find peace, vitality, and joy and share it with others. As always, let me know if I can help.
Note: This information is not designed to replace medical or psychological care. Dr. Pitstick’s recommendations are based on his four decades of training and experience in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and holistic private practice. They are not based on large subject studies, especially those directly or indirectly funded by the disease-care industry.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is a multi-author, master’s level clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, and frequent media guest. His goal is to help you know and show —no matter what is going on around you and even though it may not seem like it at times—that your earth-experience is a totally safe and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit www.soulproof.com for free articles, newsletters, and radio shows with top consciousness experts. Email Mark at email@example.com to ask your toughest and most challenging questions.