Revealing a Heartbreaking Secret on the TED stage

Talking with people about the real world inside of me, the one where I spent alot of my life hating myself and wanting to die, is a very recent practice of mine.

Previously, it made no sense to me.

For at least the first 25 years of my life my history of experiences with people and their shared insight or responses to me after I’ve shared my inner world, have ranged only from disastrous to pointless with few different kinds of disappointing in between.

And I am an introvert, I process my world internally, this is my nature.
How could talking about such an extremely uncomfortable, and an impossible to explain topic help me?

I really thought sharing what I really think and feel, the thoughts that consumed me, was just another thing that people do that didn’t apply to me.

I have learnt differently, and I still don’t really understand how it works.
Putting thoughts into words, then sharing said words and feeling heard, all seems to lead to some amount of relief

Although suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Canada ages 10 through 25, and second leading cause in ages 26 through 35, for those suffering talking about depression and suicide is like talking to someone in a foreign language.

In our society it is a discussion we don’t do often and when we do, we don’t do it very well.

Its a complicated subject.
It is so. very. complicated.
For anyone who has not suffered clinical depression in which professional diagnosis and treatment were sought, it is not fully comprehensible.
It’s intricately unique in its details to each sufferer.
It is also hard to understand because its not logical in how it functions.

But the conversation is badly needed.

The isolation that a sufferer feels, explicitly the kind that is a result of knowing their experiences are not understood by others, is what drives many people to suicidal thoughts.

Every single person seeks out the experience of being understood by someone else. Once again, this seems innately human.

Every friday TED and The Huffington Post TED are bringing us “a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful idea worth spreading anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk”

In a recent installment Named ‘Revealing a Heartbreaking Secret on the TED Stage’ JD Schramm shares very informative insights into why we need to and what we can understand when opening up to this conversation, as a community.
As well as an excellent understanding on how you can best be a helpful listener if a person sharing an experience with suicidal thoughts or attempts, speaks to you:

” 1) Breaking the silence is not an event, but a process. Through hundreds of emails and thousands of comments on various websites, it is clear that attempt survivors don’t just break the silence one time, but over and over and over again. Or they don’t, and live in the silence after once having a bad experience with sharing their secret with another.

2) Tough questions don’t have easy answers. I’m a layperson with no training in the healing arts. I attempted to start a conversation, but then could mostly just listen (or rather) read as others were inspired to share about their journey. Where possible I pointed people to the best resources I knew but felt inadequate to do more.

3) Conversations are a crucial, but slow path to change. In my own life I’ve witnessed the self-inflicted deaths of several people I’ve loved and known. While I wanted their closest friends and family members to share their stories too, I was powerless to cause that. I simply remained open to the conversation, replied to each email or invitation to chat, and urged strugglers to find or build the network of committed listeners in their own lives to further the conversation. ”

Check out this powerful ted talk, @ The Huffington Post, here

‘My TEDTalk may have begun a conversation, but the challenge now is how to continue that dialogue’ – JD Schram


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