Suicide is a tremendous and tragic issue in Australia. Despite the greater focus and awareness on the issue of suicide in the past two decades or more, suicide has now been recognised as the leading cause of death in Australia for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 and accounts for more deaths in Australia than car accidents.
In recent years, there has been an increase in youth suicide in Australia, with nearly twice as many young men between the ages of 15 and 24 dying by suicide than young women in 2012. More recent statistics in 2014 show however that there has been a concerning increase in suicide in young women between the ages of 15 and 19.
With such as tragic number of people from all ages taking their own lives every year, this leaves many family members, loved ones, friends and colleagues in a state of absolute devastation, confusion and bereavement. In this short article, we will be looking at some of the difficulties that may occur during this time and how counselling and psychotherapy may help you in this time in your life.
How Grief After Suicide Can Affect You
The impact of losing a family member or loved one to suicide is something that leaves a profound mark on your life, from which some people feel that they can never recover from. Different to the loss and grief of loved ones passing away from illness or in other ways that occur from external circumstances, the act of suicide can leave the individuals who are left behind with many overwhelming, unbearable and ambivalent thoughts and emotions that can leave them feeling that their life has been left in a state of paralysis.
These distressing thoughts and emotions can leave the individual trying to come to terms with this loss with an absence of understanding around the question of why this happened. This is a normal process of trying to make sense and meaning of any loss but with suicide, this meaning-making process may lead to intense feelings of guilt and self-reproachful thoughts of how you may have prevented this from happening or whether you may have missed any signs that this was going to happen.
These self-reproaching thoughts, feelings of guilt and blame towards themselves and others and the absence of understanding around why this happened can leave the survivors of this tragic act in a state of despair that they feel has no end in sight and can lead to depression and other mental health difficulties.
We all have diverse ways of coping with the loss and grief of losing a loved one and we all respond differently to each loss that we face in life. As individuals, we all have a unique relationship with each individual we meet in life and our response to losing a loved one to suicide is unique and specific to you. It is important to remember that there are no correct or incorrect ways with how you may grieve with the shock and loss of losing someone to suicide.
Grief Counselling After Suicide – How Counselling & Psychotherapy Can Help
As it is known with facing the tremendous loss of losing someone, it is not the ones who passed who need the most help but it the ones who are left behind that need help the most and this is where counselling and psychotherapy can help.
If you or someone you may know wants help to talk about and work through the painful thoughts and emotions that you may be facing with this tragic loss, counselling and psychotherapy can help you to talk about, make meaning of and work through the confronting, painful and difficult thoughts and emotions that you may be faced with in this time of your life.
Grief Counselling After Suicide – Counselling & Psychotherapy Melbourne
Paul Reid – Counselling & Psychotherapy
Suicide Prevention Australia
Living is for Everyone – Suicide Prevention in Australia