5 Ways to Fight Suicidal Thoughts by J. Scott McElroy

The world lost two incredibly talented and accomplished people to suicide last week, designer Kate Spade and traveling chef/TV host Anthony Bourdain. It’s a sad story that keeps playing out; successful, yet anguished artists who end their lives; icons like Hemingway, Monroe, Cobain, Williams, and too many more. The deaths of these influential people sometimes even cause spikes that phycologists have named “suicide contagion.” If you or someone you know has thoughts about suicide, read on to see how to fight them.

I minister with and to artists, and it’s true that creative people can be sensitive or susceptible to depression. But this tragedy of suicidal tendencies grips people from all walks of life. The CDC says suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in America.

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Knowing Jesus doesn't keep us from struggling with mental issues.

Knowing Jesus doesn’t keep us from struggling with mental issues.

Christians instinctively know that this phenomenon offers more evidence that the world needs Jesus. He is the way, in him is the truth and life (John 14:6). He designed and gives hope and purpose for our life on this earth (Ephesians 2:10), and the promise of joyous eternal life in the next (1 John 2:25).

Still, many of us experience that, even with knowing Jesus, we struggle with mental issues, many times the same issues that those poor souls suffered from: depression, anxiety, chemical imbalances, hopelessness, isolation, situational pressures. In fact, many prominent Christians dealt with these things, including C.S. Lewis and Charles Spurgeon. The Church has often had difficulties dealing with mental illness, sometimes shaming those who suffer, over-spiritualizing the causes, or sometimes ignoring it.

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Suicidal thoughts have a spiritual element that must be addressed.

Suicidal thoughts have a spiritual element that must be addressed.

I’m thankful that the tide is turning and there is less stigma for people of faith who deal with mental illness, and who choose modern treatments to help with healing. Mental illness that leads to suicide is a complex problem that often involves many levels of issues that need to be addressed, but these issues can also often have spiritual components. When those issues converge to push a person toward suicide you can bet there is a spiritual force working overtime. And it needs to be dealt with.

I’m not an expert on suicide or spiritual warfare, but I can tell you this: I have been harassed by a spirit of suicide several times. Every time God provided what I needed to overcome it. Often it dispelled immediately when confronted, other times it took more of a fight.

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The clues that a suicide spirit is harassing you include:

The clues that a suicide spirit is harassing you include:

1. Thoughts about impulsively killing yourself that immediately make you think “Where did that come from?”

2. Impulsive thoughts of killing yourself when driving or handling a knife.

3. Subtle thoughts about what it would be like to kill yourself that seem to hang around.

4. An unreasonable, overwhelming sense of confusion or despair that leads to thoughts of exiting your life.

5. A thick sense of confusion and anxiety that descends on you and leads you to feel that killing yourself makes sense.

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Satan tempts us to entertain certain lies for so long, we start to believe they're our own thoughts.

Satan tempts us to entertain certain lies for so long, we start to believe they’re our own thoughts.

The Bible tells us that we have a spiritual enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan is a liar, the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44). He only comes to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10). He specializes in deception, confusion, hopelessness, despair and death. Sometimes Satan can get us to entertain thoughts (lies) along those lines, often enough or over a long enough time that we believe they are ours. He undoubtedly harassed Kate and Anthony with lies for many years before they succumbed.

In her article 7 Lies the Enemy Wants Us to Believe about Suicide, Debbie McDaniel identifies typical lies like “They’re all better off without me,” “No one really cares about me anyway. I’m all alone in this,” “I just can’t face this pain anymore. The trial is too hard.”

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Source: Crosswalk

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