Why Do People Joke About Suicide?

Good afternoon! It’s been a tough week, but as promised I’m still upholding my promise to blog or post important facts regarding mental health. I feel this is a very important topic that so many people need to learn about.

As to the answer to the title of this post, I have no answer. Lately, I’ve seen more and more people joke about suicide. At work when they get frustrated with something or someone, they make a gun signal out of their hand and pull the trigger to their head. Or they’ll say ‘omg, I could just kill myself.’ I’ve actually seen EMOJI’s with a face and a gun pointed at it. Each time I see or hear someone act this way, I immediately imagine my father in law and that tragic day. And I think of my husband who is left with so much pain.

How did we get to this point? I know ages ago people didn’t think mental health or illnesses were all that serious and they would bypass it, but I had thought that maybe now that it’s 2016, people would be a little more educated about such topics. You never hear people joke in the same manner about cancer. I’m not here to censor people or the way they speak. But sometimes I wish some would think before they speak. Yes, I have known quite a few people who have committed suicide or contemplated it. It is no joke. Especially for those people who are left behind. Suicide, like cancer, affects everyone in some way, whether you’ve experienced someone dying by it or had suicidal thoughts yourself. If people continue to joke about it, how will anyone take someone seriously when they are reaching out? How will anyone know what to look for when someone really needs help? Joking about it will only desensitize people to it and when someone actually confides in another, they won’t take them seriously.

In case you were wondering, here are some warning signs of suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

If you or someone you know needs to speak to someone, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Line – 1-800-273-TALK (8255). http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

I hope this post helps someone or at least makes those who joke about suicide to think about it more seriously.






  1. Ms. Richards,

    I much enjoyed this little blog post but I will tell you first hand that if I have no joked to several people about suicide, if not, I would not be here right now!

    Currently, I am not suicidal but in the past I have given it great thought, made plans, assembled the needed items; I was saved through a joke.

    Everyone reaches out in different ways. I, being a male, was laughed at by family for my thoughts/actions yet my sister was shown support! Address this very real issue that men do attempt or commit suicide as much as women.

    I continue on, often for reasons I do not understand. I do understand that some higher being or deity had nothing to do with any of my actions.

    And to address your concern about people saying “I could just kill myself for being stupid”, or some idiotic emoji, triggering your loss, ponder this: My Daughter died in a car accident and her death does not stop me from driving, I am not overly fearful of cars, nor do other car crashes affect me on a personal level.

    Pardon my rambling but you do no know anything unless you have been there yourself. Books, preachers, therapists, and others, are there for suicide survivors. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can ever be said or done in that moment of personal upheaval that will stop a person from performing the deed. The only way to stop a person is via physical contact.

    People say: I saved him/her by talking to him/her. Wrong, you simply delayed the plan. The thoughts and actions are still in the works. Another attempt will be made, but he/she won’t be there to intercede.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Only a person, who is suffering from mental stress would know how it feels when you reach that threshold of your life. And honestly, nobody helps anyone on that level, except are the blessed ones. Who are ready to help and listen to others problem without judging, rather taking it seriously. Some people are vocal about their anxiety, depression or disorder but people around them make fun of them or just ignore the need for therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. My anxiety has worsened over the years (especially after my divorce) and while some are understanding, there are so many who think it’s just in my head and that I can choose not to feel that way. I hope you are well, and if you ever need anyone to talk to, please reach out. 🙂


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