One peculiar property of an emotional mind is exaggerated projections about future, says Dr. Shrirang Bakhle.
Mr. Patil was intensely depressed because of financial problems.The intensity of the sadness was unbearable. He desperately wanted to escape from the constant mental pain. So, finally, he decided to commit suicide as a way of ending the mental pain. But he read an article that advised people thinking of suicide to postpone it by a couple of days. He did that. And it so happened that he came back from the brink and became a successful businessman to lead a long and happy life. This is a true story.
The biggest tragedy of suicide is this: just because the person is unable to bear the intense mental pain, s/he ends the life. By ending the life, the person misses out on all the wonderful things that would have happened in his/her life had s/he lived on – like Mr. Patil did. Consider an eighteen-year old who ends his life because the girl he loves has ditched him. Consider the long life of another forty-fifty years of joys he would miss just because intense mental pain that could have ended after a few days. What a loss!
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers in the USA. Why would so many teenagers living in the land of hope feel like ending their life? Why do people commit suicide? Can we understand what goes on in the minds of people who want to end their life? What can be done to avoid this colossal tragedy?
People who are troubled by seemingly hopeless problems in the life think of suicide. But every person who faces such a problem does not end his or her life. People, who experience intense unpleasant emotions (sadness, fear, anger) as a result of the problems, think of ending the life. So it is important to understand the difference between the problem situation and the intense mental pain. Every person who has a similar problem situation does not think of ending the life. Only the people who feel the intense mental pain feel like ending the life. So the real cause of suicide is not the problem but the intense mental pain.
Once we identify this target, we can find out many ways of tackling and solving the mental pain. The most important point to be remembered that the mental pain is a solvable problem. So why should a person end the whole life just because of a temporary and solvable problem?
One peculiar property of an emotional mind is exaggerated projections about the future. For example, if an emotional person develops intense pain, s/he starts thinking that this pain is going to remain for lifetime! The next conclusion is: therefore the situation is hopeless! The sensible person understands that this episode of mental pain will get over some time and s/he will get back the mental peace again.
But how to remove the intense mental pain from the mind? Mind is like a room. If you keep all the windows and doors of the room closed for a long time, the air inside will become stale and toxic. If you open the windows, fresh air comes in and the stale air gets diluted. This is the difference between people who brood and people who keep talking to others. People who keep brooding about the same painful thoughts again and again, tend to develop intense mental pain. Whereas, people who keep talking to others do not brood about the same thoughts again and again. They keep getting fresh thoughts from all the people they talk to. And when they talk about their painful thoughts to others, they get diluted. Also, others give them different perspectives to look their problems. The idea of postponing the suicide works through this principle.
Understand that the mental pain is nothing but an intense unpleasant emotion (sadness, fear anger). The aim is to remove the unpleasant emotion and get peace and happiness. There are many techniques such as the Relaxation Technique or meditation that can help in calming down.
Examine your beliefs related to the mental pain. Many a times, irrational or illogical beliefs are responsible for the mental pain. For example, someone insults you and you feel intensely unhappy. So what is the illogical belief in this? The irrational belief is, “All the people should talk to me nicely all the time”. Is this going to be true for anyone? The rational belief is, “Although I like people talking to me nicely, it is possible that sometimes, some persons may talk to me unpleasantly”. Correcting such illogical beliefs can remove much mental pain.
Take the help of mental health professionals to help in removing the mental pain. Counsellors, doctors, Psychiatrists understand this. They are trained to understand such problems. And they know many solutions (including medicines) to relieve the mental pain.