There are few more painful thoughts or frightening events than suicide, a phenomenon unique to the human species. Depression, rage, and powerlessness can overwhelm ego functions, leading someone to believe that escaping life is the only option. Affects of archetypal proportions can act like tsunamis in the psyche. What can help?
A supportive other can offer protection, options, and hope. Willingness to engage in mental health and medical treatment is critical, as is the development of a symbolic attitude: what value, belief, or ambition may need to die instead of being concretized as physical death? Similarly, what maturational task, sacrifice, or fate is asking to be met?
Facing suicidal thoughts can bring the potential for new life, but when death occurs bereavement can be especially painful for families and friends. One of the tasks of mourning is accepting that each of us is ultimately, and sometimes tragically, responsible for our life.
I see a baby approximately a month old. It is my baby, and it has been crying a lot. I see that he is wet, so much so that his blanket is also wet. I am in horror as I try to understand why is he so wet, even with the diaper on. I wonder for how long did I not check on him. I change him, while doing [I see] that his leg is so fragile that if I hold it twists. I panic. I look at my hands and they are shaking. I get scared and criticize myself and wonder if I would be able to take care of him. In the end, he has been changed and cleaned and I am holding him in my arms, it’s peaceful now and I feel much better.
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Jan Bauer. Impossible Love: Or Why the Heart Must Go Wrong (Amazon).