Thoughts on What Makes Suicide an Option in a Broken Brain

There’s a line from the book and movie Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, where a detective says, “For neonaticide to be possible, the mother doesn’t have an emotional connection to the baby, which makes murder possible.” The baby becomes object, other, rather than part of her, a person, lovable.

I’m thinking, then, that when my bipolar brain decides that suicide or self-harm are good ideas to end relentless and DARK pain, that I have turned my own body, my own self, my own soul into an object, an other. I view it from the outside, rather than the inside. I turn my view so that I see any part of who I am as a third party with whom I have no connection. I lose connection to my own self. I experienced that Very Deeply this past January. I viewed myself above myself, barely looking through my own eyes. Inside it felt terrible and dark and disorienting and like walking through a tunnel towards death. Not pretty. But that was my reality.

I don’t know what causes the detachment to happen. The panic of dealing with deep pain? Or does the detachment cause the panic so that I can’t deal with the pain? Either way the brain isn’t functioning the way it’s supposed to be. It’s what makes bipolar a biological disease. Something in the neurotransmitters is misfiring so that we ignore our innate survival instinct. What makes this instinct go away? What makes us (me?) turn ourselves into “other” so that suicide is possible?

I have no clue.

I do know that statistics about bipolar say 1 in 5 people with bipolar will attempt suicide. I don’t like those odds. Especially when I’m beginning to spiral down – before I’m suicidal – and believe with all my heart that I will die young, perhaps from my own hand or plan, or maybe not. And the statistics say yes, that is possible.


  • These are 2 articles about suicide warnings signs here based on one statistical study in Florida.
  • Here is a link to NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) with more info.
  • This list of articles is for those with mental health issues and those who care about them.

Even though there is help from family and friends, from professionals, from anonymous hotlines, from police officers and EMTs, from hospitals, someone who feels suicidal doesn’t always reach out for help. There is something in our brains that makes it difficult to reach out. Culturally it can be hard to admit a mental health disorder, or hard to ask for help. Sometimes the lies that our neurotransmitters are telling us are so true we are delusional, and hopefully not psychotic, and won’t be able to do anything. At one point before a recent hospitalization, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to the hospital because that meant I wanted help. Dying felt like a better option. That probably sounds crazy to you. It is sound logic to me. SIGH

I have no answers why that was the case then, or any of the other times. Or for anyone else. I can only repeat what all the other bloggers and professionals say – Get Help! You Are Not Alone! Get in touch with others before you need help, and get their help when you are not feeling well.

I have such a Hard, Hard, Hard time believing that I’m not alone and then that getting help WILL help. But it’s part of the recovery process to do it anyway.    $&%@)%^#    It’s hard to do even when I’m feeling a bit better, such as right now, and nearly impossible when I’m feeling terrible. SIGH  Why in the world did I crash so suddenly 2 years ago so that depression that leads to suicidality is part of my regular rhythm?

Bipolar Sucks.

If you are feeling suicidal, Get Help! The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

2 responses to “Thoughts on What Makes Suicide an Option in a Broken Brain

  1. Thank you for all the resources!!

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