The Sums Of Suicide and Where to Find Help

by Matt Peet
Male Suicide

*Please note this article discusses suicide,  if you feel this could be a potential trigger for you we have other articles for you here.

Before I start talking about such a controversial subject, I want to point out that I do not profess to be an expert on suicide or the reasons behind why people take their own lives.

I have had suicidal thoughts myself and recently a person very close to me tried to take their own life, so I am going to share my thoughts on the subject and I understand if you decide that this article may not be for you (as suicide is something that shouldn’t be so easily spoken about) then I understand. I also understand that, if after reading it you think that I am completely wrong, and that’s OK too.


For people who are left behind, I now imagine that it is inconceivable. What would make someone want to kill themselves? However, for those people who have suicidal thoughts – which believe me they don’t want to have those thoughts – it seems like a very plausible way of stopping the pain. I was at a really low stage in my depression and suicide was on my mind a lot…but I did not want to die. I didn’t. I was tired, so very tired; it became logical to me that this would help me rest and also that people would be better off without me. I did think of the affect it would have on my loved ones but the thoughts of the pain ending were always there too, eating away at me. These two arguments in my mind were always at a constant battle for my soul.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

You may have seen the above scale before. In this case, 1 is good – 10 is bad. I am going to use this scale along with simple maths to try and explain suicide, in my own way. When depressed, I was asked to rate lots of things: my concentration, energy levels, happiness, motivation etc. which when you are feeling low is extremely tiring and seems pointless. I would always score myself at 1 or 2 for most of the questions linked to how positive I was feeling. Yet I would rate my negative thoughts as a 10.

So if you take my emotional feeling: 2 and take it away from my pain score: 10, 10–2= 8. Essentially, my happiness and any elements of mental positivity were simply not high enough to combat the overwhelming, negative thoughts that were taking over my brain.

How do I get rid of the heavy score of 8 I am left with? My mind then started to use what I call the ‘sum of suicide’ It began by seeing myself as a zero, a nothing… ‘If I am a zero then I’m no longer on the scale at all and I cannot feel the pain of the higher scaled 8 because… I am a zero. So, how do I get to be a zero?

Suicide. It doesn’t matter how much pain scores, if I am a zero it can’t affect it me any longer…’ If you are feeling like this, or know somebody who is, then please take note of this particular scale:

­10 ­9 ­8 ­7 ­6 ­5 ­4 ­3 ­2 ­1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

If you feel as though you want to be a zero and you have nothing, then your pain is probably at 10 on the scale and if you see no other way out then subtract 10 from zero. 0–10= ­10 on the new scale. This number represents you if you choose to leave. Your loved ones, the people you leave behind, will all feel this new scale and carry you (a ‘­10’) around with them because you are no longer around. If they go to watch their favourite band, film or just see something that reminds them of you, or even a smell then their emotional score will be knocked down by ­10!

Death and suicide are horrible, and something that we as humans can often struggle to comprehend. I am sorry to anyone who has lost a loved one; in any way. I believe that people who take their own lives, do not actually want to die or intend to hurt anyone, they simply can’t see any other way of making the pain stop.

I urge you to always tell your loved ones that they are in fact loved ones, every time you leave them and please never, ever think of yourself as a zero. To someone else you are very, very special.

Where can I find help for Suicidal thoughts and feelings?

If you or anyone you know may need immediate support, please call the Samaritans on 116 123, alternatively please call 999 if you are in serious danger of harming yourself. Below you can find the different ways of contacting the Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Samaritans Help

Samaritans Help

Other options are available

  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.

Help for young men

Men may be more likely to avoid or ignore problems and many are reluctant to talk about their feelings or seek help when they need it.

A support group called the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an excellent resource for young men who are feeling unhappy. As well as their website, CALM also has a helpline (0800 58 58 58).

Seeing your GP

It would also help to see your GP. They can advise you about appropriate treatment if they think you have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.

Your GP may be able to help you with access to talking therapies. Talking therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), are often used to help people who have suicidal thoughts and usually involve talking about your feelings with a professional.

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