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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Unpromted Suicide Attempts

05/30/2006

Question:

I`ve been attempting suicide for years and I`m not sure why. One moment I`ll be perfectly fine and the next I`ll be swallowing an entire bottle of Tylenol. The first time I tried to kill myself, I was eight years old. I remember at the time it seemed the perfectly logical thing to do and my only regret afterwards was that I failed. I had mixed all of the cleaning chemicals under the sink together and drank it even though it burned my mouth. I`ve been sent to countless doctors who say that I never really wanted to kill myself to begin with. None of them understood that I did, that I knew what I was doing the entire time. What I don`t understand is that these sudden suicide attempts come out of nowhere with barely anything provoking me. I just all of a sudden feel miserable and I HAVE to kill myself.

Every time I try to kill myself, I seclude myself away from everyone else in my family so they won`t interfere and lock myself in a room. My mother, however, seems to have a sixth sense for these things and she always manages to get the door open.

Sometimes when I walk down the street and stare at the traffic, I wonder if I threw myself in front of the cars whether I would die or just become maimed. The same thing occurs when I walk over a cosway and briefly consider jumping.

Many, many, many tests have been done but no brain tumors have been found and I don`t have epilepsy. By the time I was 14 anything physical was ruled out and I started seeing phychiatrists by the handful. None believed me when I said it just happens. They told me that I was after attention, was inconsiderate and that I was putting my parents under unneeded stress. I find it unbelievably frustrating that no one believes me.

I`m now 18 and things aren`t getting any better. I was at work one night in November and everything went fine all night until the final hour of my shift. One moment I was doing the dishes and the next I was trying to hack my own arm off with a seven inch serrated knife. I managed to cut through half my arm before I realized what I was doing and stopped. I have no answer of why I did that. At the moment it made sense to cut my arm.

My questions are : What should I do? Is there any way to handle these situations when they seem so natural at the time?

Answer:

I'm sorry, but I am unable to diagnose specific illnesses over the internet.  I encourage you to continue to seek psychiatric advice, and to be open to their suggestions, comments and advice. 

You can visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you need to speak with someone about suicide.

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati