Anxiety Is Temporary -- Suicide is Forever

September 18, 2019 TJ DeSalvo

Trigger warning: This post contains a frank discussion of suicide and temporary anxiety.

As September is Suicide Awareness Month, it is only appropriate that the subject of suicide and temporary anxiety should be touched upon in this blog. Like with any mental illness, the specter of suicide is never far from the man or woman with anxiety. When you think about it, this makes sense – to someone weathered and beaten by an unending torrent of stress, suicide can seem to be a logical way to end that stress and keep your mind at peace. This, of course, is a failure of logic, for as the title of this blog makes clear, anxiety is temporary, while suicide is forever.

Why Anxiety Is Temporary

It may strike some of you as misguided to claim anxiety is temporary. After all, if you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, that doesn’t go away. The best you can do is try to control it with therapy, medication, or another form of anxiety treatment. So I understand if some of you disagree with me calling anxiety a “temporary” malady.

But consider this: Though anxiety disorder may last a lifetime, it does not necessarily mean that anxiety has to define you. I get anxiety much more than others, of course, and there are certainly days when that anxiety feels crippling. But I understand myself well enough to know that those are the bad days. They don’t last forever and they always pass. Other bad days will come in the future, but again, those too will pass. In that sense, anxiety still is temporary.

Why Suicide Is Permanent

Suicide, of course, is categorically different. Once a person makes the choice to take their own life, and the person succeeds, there is no taking that back. The ramifications of that decision must be taken seriously.

To die by suicide because of anxiety is to affirm that anxiety, a temporary affliction, is the strongest force in life, that nothing else can overcome that strength.

But of course, things can overcome its strength. Life is about so much more than those moments that make us anxious. Friendship, love, art, exploring new opportunities – all of these things (and much more) are as much a part of life as anxiety is. Added together, their beauty must be a compelling counterargument to suicide. Is losing all of these things worth it? Surely it can’t be.

If that isn’t enough, consider this: Suicide is not a personal choice. A person who commits suicide leaves behind a trail of family and friends that will have to spend a lifetime trying to navigate the consequences of that decision. I cannot understand how anyone could willingly choose to consign their loved ones to live in such a world.

For these reasons and more, suicide should never be considered a solution, even when your anxiety is at its worst. The bad days will always be just that: bad days. They do not equal a bad life. Please feel free to use the resources below if you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide.

If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2019, September 18). Anxiety Is Temporary -- Suicide is Forever, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

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