While pain is of course the primary symptom for those with chronic pain conditions, there can be a wide range of accompany symptoms and side effects as well. Living with daily pain and any resulting limitations or lifestyle changes can naturally take a toll on a person’s mental health, and lead to feelings of loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
If you’ve struggled with your mental health or experienced suicidal thoughts because of your chronic pain, you are not alone.
Studies have shown that those with chronic pain are at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and death by suicide, which is why it’s so critical for us to talk about this correlation, and elevate the voices of those who have been there.
It’s not always easy to say the words, “I’m thinking about suicide,” so some people may use different words or phrases to communicate their feelings. But if their loved ones don’t know what these phrases are “code” for, they may not understand the real meaning behind them.
That’s why we asked our Mighty community to share something they say that really means “I’m thinking about suicide.” Of course, everyone uses different words and behaviors to communicate how they’re feeling, and even the same language can hold a variety of different meanings – so if you have someone with chronic pain in your life, it’s important to take the time to really listen and pay attention to the unique ways they express themselves. And for those of you who struggle with suicidal thoughts, your experiences are valid, and you deserve to seek out any support or treatment you may need.
Here’s what our community shared with us:
1. “I’m done.”
“‘I’m done.’ Followed by immediate reclusiveness and rejection towards even basic social interaction such as ‘hello/goodbye,’ ‘yes/no.’” – Harley F.
“‘I’m done.’ Silence from me is a sign I’m spiraling out. I just quit answering, or change the subject.” – Hannah W.
“I’m just done.” – Kris S.
2. “I’m exhausted.”
“‘I’m exhausted’ followed by huge lengthy bouts of crying and sleepless nights. I wish it wasn’t the case but when you suffer with several conditions it’s hard not to feel like that.” – Abi S.
3. “I can’t take the pain anymore.”
“I can’t take it anymore. I’m desperate. I would do anything to get rid of the pain. Please help me.” – Mollie D.
“I can’t do one more day of this pain. I just can’t.” – Jacqueline B.
“I’m not sure I can stand being in this much pain anymore.” – Livi D.
“I was suicidal and I tried suicide. ‘I can’t live with this all-consuming pain anymore. It’s taken everything from me. Every single moment of my life, my brain and body is filled with pain pain pain pain pain pain pain, relentless, it never stops. I need to make this stop.’” – Nancy M.
4. “I just want to disappear.”
“I just want to disappear from my life. Everyone else can have me in their lives, but I don’t want to be in mine.” – Alexa G.
5. “I don’t want to live like this.”
“I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this.” – Bobbette D.
“I don’t want to live my life like this.” – Tonya M.W.
6. “I’ve had enough.”
“When I’m looking in the mirror with tears falling, ‘I’ve had enough… I’m saying, ‘when.’” – Julie H.C.
7. “I’m fine.”
“‘No really, I’m fine.’” – Jill C.
“‘I’m fine.’” – Ronnie W.
8. “I’m just so tired.”
“I’m just so damn tired. And not that kind of tired you’re accustomed to.” – Staci M.
“I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m just so damn tired. Usually breaking down and crying at the tiniest thing and not wanting people to be around me which of course since they know me makes them worry and want to be around me more…” – Jessica L.
“I’m tired of doing this.” – Michelle M.
“I’m tired of caring.” – Monica I.Y.
9. “This is not ‘living.’”
“This is not a life, this is just surviving and grieving my youth.” – Charis W.
“This is not living, and this isn’t how I want to live my life.” – Kaydee R.L.
10. “I don’t know if I can keep going.”
“I don’t know if I’m strong enough to keep this up for 60 more years. My pain doesn’t have an end. There’s no end game for me except the Big End. I’m never getting better. This is as good as it’ll ever be, my disease will only get worse.” – Rosella W.
11. “I’m sorry I’m sick.”
“Telling people that I’m sorry I am sick.” – Tamara R.
12. “I can’t do this anymore.”
“I can’t do this anymore. Everything is too hard.” – Susan B.
“I can’t do this anymore or I don’t think I can live in this much pain for the rest of my life.” – Paula T.
“I can’t live like this anymore.” – Melissa H.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain and suicidal thoughts, check out these messages of hope and encouragement from members of our chronic pain community who have been there: