Reasons People Attempt Suicide Even If They Seem 'OK'

  • 9 months ago
4 minute read.
Reasons People Attempt Suicide Even If They Seem 'OK'

Have you ever encountered someone who seemed to have it all together on the outside, only to discover later that they were battling immense emotional pain? It's a disheartening reality that many people attempting suicide may appear 'OK' to the world around them.

Behind the smiles we see on the faces of our friends, family, and colleagues, there may lie a hidden struggle that is often concealed from the world. Suicide, a distressing issue, can affect even those who seem 'OK' on the surface. It is a perplexing reality that leaves us wondering how someone who appeared to have it all together could reach such a dark and desperate point.

Risk Factors for Suicidal Behavior

Suicide is often the result of a complex interplay of various factors, and not everyone who experiences difficult life events will consider suicide. Each individual responds to adversity differently, and the reasons behind suicidal thoughts are deeply personal and unique. While certain life events can contribute to someone's emotional struggles, it's essential to remember that suicide doesn't always have a single, clear cause. Instead, it is often the culmination of long-term difficulties with thoughts, feelings, or experiences that become overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable.

Among the feelings that a person contemplating suicide may experience are sadness, grief, shame, worthlessness, guilt, rage, or a desire for revenge. They might perceive themselves as a burden to others, feeling devoid of worth or trapped both physically and emotionally. The belief that life is not worth living and that things will never get better can further compound their distress.

While specific life events, like the death of a loved one, bullying, discrimination, or major life changes, can be contributing factors, they are not the sole cause of suicidal ideation. People's vulnerability to suicidal thoughts is influenced by a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, past traumas, and individual coping mechanisms. It is crucial to recognize that even when facing similar challenges, individuals will have different responses and levels of resilience.

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Reasons people attempt suicide

Suicide is a deeply complex and troubling phenomenon that often leaves us bewildered and searching for answers. Understanding the reasons why people attempt suicide, even when they appear to be okay, is crucial for raising awareness, fostering empathy, and providing the necessary support to prevent such tragedies.

Fear of judgment and rejection

The fear of judgment and rejection can drive individuals to conceal their true feelings and thoughts. Society's tendency to stigmatize mental health problems can make those suffering feel isolated and misunderstood. Consequently, even those who may be surrounded by friends and family can find themselves grappling with feelings of loneliness, further pushing them toward the precipice of suicide.

Hopelessness and despair

In some cases, individuals may believe that their circumstances are beyond remedy, leading to a profound sense of hopelessness and despair. The weight of these feelings can overshadow any positive aspects of life, causing them to see suicide as the only way out of their seemingly endless suffering.

Mental illness

Underlying mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder, can significantly contribute to suicidal thoughts and actions. The chemical imbalances in the brain and distorted thought patterns that accompany these conditions can magnify feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Disconnection from emotions

Depression and certain mental health disorders can lead to emotional pain and detachment. People may start to believe that life has no meaning when they are unable to feel joy, connection, or purpose; as a result, suicide may seem like a logical solution to their emotional emptiness.

Impulsive reactions

Sometimes, suicidal thoughts and attempts can be impulsive reactions to intense emotional states, such as anger, sadness, or frustration. These overwhelming feelings may cloud rational thinking and result in impulsive decisions, catching even those closest to the individual off guard.

Desire to end pain

The desire for relief from extreme emotional or physical pain can be a major reason for suicide attempts. Some individuals may feel trapped in a cycle of suffering and believe that ending their life is the only way to find respite.

Believing that others will be better off without them

Individuals who are struggling may mistakenly believe that their loved ones or society would be better off without them. This distorted perspective can stem from feelings of worthlessness and a belief that they are a burden on those around them.

Ways you can help

  • If they mention suicide, treat it seriously and with empathy.
  • Gently ask how they're feeling and listen attentively.
  • Urge them to seek therapy or counseling.
  • Let them know you're there for them and willing to help.
  • Keep regular contact to show you care.
  • Limit access to potential self-harm methods.
  • Learn about signs of suicidal behavior.
  • Continue checking in and offering your support.

Also check: Watch out for suicidal behavior: warnings & how to help?


It is crucial to understand that someone appearing 'OK' on the surface does not mean they are not struggling with their mental health. Many factors, internal and external can lead individuals to contemplate suicide even while maintaining a facade of normalcy. By fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and open communication around mental health, we can break down the barriers that prevent people from seeking help and support those in need effectively.

If you suspect someone may be experiencing distress, offering a non-judgmental ear and encouraging professional help could make a significant difference in their life and potentially save it. Remember, suicide is preventable, and each one of us can contribute to creating a safer and more compassionate world.

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