It's easy to judge the decisions parents end up making. Most of the scrutiny is about small, daily choices: staying at home versus going to work, for example. Other judgements, however, have life-altering consequences. Like judging a mom with postpartum depression for choosing medication, or looking down on moms who feel so lost they contemplate or attempt to end their life. Most are quick to say they want to assist new moms, but we can't help moms who attempt suicide if we keep judging them endlessly, scrutinizing their choices, and making the conscience decision to dismiss their valid feelings, fears, and anxieties. We just can't.
I've always struggled with mental health issues, but never more severely than after I lost my daughter. When I was pregnant I suffered through a prenatal depression that went wholly unchecked. I didn’t have insurance or the financial resources to seek counseling, either, so my condition didn't improve. When my daughter passed away just after she was born, my life felt like it had already ended. I honestly saw no point in going on. I struggled, daily, with thoughts of suicide. Somehow I managed to overcome these feelings, and it was most likely due to the incredible support system I had in my family, friends, and spouse. But not everyone is as lucky as I was (and continue to be). I’ve had several friends who attempted suicide at various points in their lives, including after losing a loved one, after experiencing an assault, and at times of extreme financial distress. I don’t judge any of them for how they felt. It’s easy to drown in your own emotions and the dark corners of your mind, to the point that you just can't see the point in living.
So instead of judging people for feeling so lost that suicide becomes the only way out, we should comfort them and their loved ones. We should seek to better understand what happened, and why it happened, and how we can improve ourselves as human beings. We need to help others who might show signs of suicidal ideation, by refusing to ever say the following things: