The Dark Knight of the Soul

This is the first chapter of the latest book in the Get A Grip series, Suicide – Fast or Slow.  It is an important topic – I encourage you to read this post and share it with anyone you know who is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts. There is help.

Chapter 1 – Talking About Suicide, A Healing Perspective

Suicide knows no boundaries or limitations. It affects people from every segment of society. The problems and challenges a person is struggling with can be obvious, however sometimes they are not. Suicidal thoughts arise from the feeling that there is no other option to stop the pain. There is a loss of perspective. The mind creates a false reality that sees “ending it all” as the only alternative. Suicide is often not the wish to die, but rather a way to cease unbearable agony or anguish.

The news that someone has died from suicide, whether we personally knew them or not, is tragic and frustrating. Making sense of this kind of death is extremely difficult. It’s essential that we all educate ourselves about every aspect of suicide – the risk factors, prevention, the behaviors that are signs and warnings, and how to cope when someone has died. Both as someone who may be in a deep depression, or as a friend or family member of someone afflicted, we can to try to put it into perspective, find hope, and at the very least, recognize when a problem has moved beyond something we can handle on our own.

Whether you are looking for tools to help someone close to you, or you yourself are grappling with very dark feelings that veer toward suicidal thoughts, there is valuable and practical information in the pages that follow. Though a tough subject, learning about suicide can lead to both practical, life-saving actions, and deeper understanding of how someone can reach the point of thinking there are no options (in reality, there ALWAYS are.) Most people who die by suicide wanted to find an alternative, but felt they could not. Leading up to suicide, whether it is sudden, or the slow-evolving kind, self-destructive behavior and attitudes become addictive, increasing the inability to see beyond the false beliefs and solutions. This is when people enter what I call “the dark night of the soul.”

When someone has given up on experiencing life, and is looking for an escape from the pain they associate with it, dying by their own hand makes sense to them. Usually they also convince themselves that people in their lives are better off without them. Though the exact opposite is true, in reality we have to understand that the suicidal person’s mindset has become their reality.

In the vast majority of suicide cases, there was a treatable mental disorder, with depression as the most common factor. Many times the condition was undiagnosed. Environmental factors and conditions (physical illness, financial problems, a tragic loss, etc.) can play a role. In a smaller, yet still significant percentage of suicide victims, there was no sign or warning, which is especially shocking and confusing as we try to understand the mysterious “why.” Sometimes coming out of a depression can be more of a risk for suicide than being in the middle of a deep despair. The fear of sinking back into depression becomes the trigger, which we will learn more about in the next section.

Most of us have, or will be, affected by suicide to varying degrees – either through the loss of someone we know, or by helping a friend or family member who has experienced the suicide of a person dear to them. The severe and complicated experience of losing a loved one to suicide can last a lifetime. A family may feel the effects for generations. Many people are dealing with deep depression or seemingly unsolvable problems that paint their lives as hopeless. You might suffer from these feelings. Remember, there is help, no matter which of these situations has brought you here.


To learn more about signs, prevention, healing and coping with loss, you can order the book in print or ebook formats.

Love, Love, Love, Derek

ebook $2.99 US

print $4.99 US



In an emergency, contact:

USA National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

UK Suicide Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90

Ireland Suicide Hotline: 116 123

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