The Student Room Group

Trauma following an attempt to 'end it'?

Trigger warning: depression, suicide.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with bipolar (type 2) following years of depression and a suicide attempt.

In 2019, things reached a head again and I made a second attempt.
I came close. I stopped breathing at one point.

Other things happened: being on the news listed as a missing person, sectioned, found unconscious in the woods, etc.

Happily, I feel I have recovered from those dark times.

However, I've been left with this weird internal feeling that I'll never fully 'unburden' myself from the experience of going through all that.
It's kind of like having seen the dark depths that a human mind can go to, and having seen what's at the bottom of that rabbit hole, I've been traumatised by it.
It's as though an impression has been made in my mind, in some way.

Is it possible to be left traumatised by deep depression/suicide attempts, or is this something else?
I'm sorry to hear of all you've been through, and am glad you feel you're generally in a better place than you were during those attempts.

I think it's very natural to become traumatised by having tried to end things. I know I felt (still sort of feel, to a smaller degree) completely haunted by my first attempt. Processing and doing imagery rescripting of that attempt in therapy helped quite a bit to take away some of the pain and trauma of it, but it is still there and when that time of year comes, I do end up 'going through the motions' of it internally :redface:
Reply 2
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
I'm sorry to hear of all you've been through, and am glad you feel you're generally in a better place than you were during those attempts.

I think it's very natural to become traumatised by having tried to end things. I know I felt (still sort of feel, to a smaller degree) completely haunted by my first attempt. Processing and doing imagery rescripting of that attempt in therapy helped quite a bit to take away some of the pain and trauma of it, but it is still there and when that time of year comes, I do end up 'going through the motions' of it internally :redface:

Yeah, it was a horrific time and tbh I sometimes feel as though I have one foot 'on the other side'.

My grandad dying from cancer when I was 6 followed by emotionally immature parents lead to being diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants when I was just 8.

In some ways that was a long time ago. Though in many ways, the issues still persist and to be honest I often wonder whether I'll go through with it at some point in the future.
Original post by mathperson
Yeah, it was a horrific time and tbh I sometimes feel as though I have one foot 'on the other side'.

My grandad dying from cancer when I was 6 followed by emotionally immature parents lead to being diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants when I was just 8.

In some ways that was a long time ago. Though in many ways, the issues still persist and to be honest I often wonder whether I'll go through with it at some point in the future.

Oh wow, antidepressants aged 8! That's a super-rough time you've had then :frown:

I think it's understandable to feel the way you do, and to wonder whether it'll happen at some point. I hope life becomes easier for you somehow, with the passing of time and changes in circumstances. It might be worth talking to your team about how you feel, and see whether any additional trauma-related diagnosis might be deemed relevant? :console:
Reply 4
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Oh wow, antidepressants aged 8! That's a super-rough time you've had then :frown:

I think it's understandable to feel the way you do, and to wonder whether it'll happen at some point. I hope life becomes easier for you somehow, with the passing of time and changes in circumstances. It might be worth talking to your team about how you feel, and see whether any additional trauma-related diagnosis might be deemed relevant? :console:

Yeah it was rough, not going to lie.

However, I made a number of changes that have made my life immeasurably better.

1.

I kicked every single member of my family out of my life, other than one cousin who is awesome.

2.

I moved far away from where I was living, as in opposite end of the country!

3.

I stopped exploring organised religion. It's basically a manipulative, controlling, insular culture.

4.

Religiously take antidepressants.

Original post by mathperson
Yeah it was rough, not going to lie.

However, I made a number of changes that have made my life immeasurably better.

1.

I kicked every single member of my family out of my life, other than one cousin who is awesome.

2.

I moved far away from where I was living, as in opposite end of the country!

3.

I stopped exploring organised religion. It's basically a manipulative, controlling, insular culture.

4.

Religiously take antidepressants.


Wow those are all very positive changes to make. I hope it's not patronising to say well done for finding the strength to make all those changes :yep:
Reply 6
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Wow those are all very positive changes to make. I hope it's not patronising to say well done for finding the strength to make all those changes :yep:

Not patronising at all. Thank you :smile:
Reply 7
You are not alone, I had flashbacks for almost a decade after my second attempt and it took about five years until I was able to be in the same environment again. I wish I'd reached out soon after to talk about it and get some help rather than let it fester.
Reply 8
Original post by Gannet24
You are not alone, I had flashbacks for almost a decade after my second attempt and it took about five years until I was able to be in the same environment again. I wish I'd reached out soon after to talk about it and get some help rather than let it fester.

Yes exactly!

The flashbacks are consuming, aren't they?
Replaying what happened.

May I ask what help you received/what was most helpful for you?
Reply 9
Original post by mathperson
Yes exactly!

The flashbacks are consuming, aren't they?
Replaying what happened.

May I ask what help you received/what was most helpful for you?

I didn't get any help for it specifically but when my mental health got worse again last year, I was referred first for counselling and then for MBT (for unrelated issues). As part of that we ended talking about the attempts and I think that in itself helped (I'd not really talked about how it had affected me to anyone else before). Going through it all in quite a lot of detail with a therapist made me realise that I had all these negative feelings still attached to the event. Now I can look at it with more distance. So if you haven't already talked about it with someone, I would really recommend you do instead of bottling it up like I did.

Quick Reply