Suicide and Soul Pain

Recently, two well-loved celebrities committed suicide. The world is stunned and sad.

Kate Spade, Hollywood's 55-year-old fashion icon, hanged herself in her Park Avenue apartment. Just  a few days apart, 61-year-old traveling TV chef Anthony Bourdain took his life in a hotel in France.

The tragic news demonstrates to us that suicide can afflict any one, including the rich and famous.

In my practice, suicidal individuals abound. Most of the time they feel confused about how to make sense of or understand what they're going through.

One time, a popular company CEO was talking with me and his wife about his planned suicide. He said that what he's feeling had become too painful to endure. He's losing hope.

Why this?

Harold Kushner explained that "life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning."

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes wrote, "All the labors of a man's hand are for his mouth, but his soul goes unsatisfied."

Soul pain.

It's the master key to suicide prevention. You address this root cause, you save the person.

"People who are suicidal don't want to die; they just want the pain to stop," says writer Bria Barrows from a Psych Central article.

Focusing on worldly pursuits alone produces soul pain. It leaves us feeling empty. No meaning in our lives.

We can all experience this, at different thresholds. It's built into our human nature.

So when soul pain gets too unbearable over time, a person may snap. And he or she becomes a high risk for suicide and self-destruction.

Soul pain is real. Even more real than what is visible.

We all need to be aware of it in the whole of our lives. Do something about it. Seek help. Before it gets too late.