Saturday, December 29, 2012

Suicide Note Analyzed

People often wonder if a suicide threat is real.  Here is an example of one that, sadly, proved real.  This young man took his own life by walking in front of a train.  

The reality is that all threats should be viewed as realistic, as even a cry for help may be a step in the direction of suicide.  

Suicide notes that are carried out, often have a sense of finality to them, along with a departing statement such as "good bye" and will often include well wishes for life afterwards. 

He left this note on Facebook:

"To all my friends and family on Facebook. Thank you all you

 have all made an impact on my life some of you good some

 of you not but you all are loved I hope you all have wonderful

 lives. I know its not my time to go but I cannot take living any

 longer. So as of tonight I will end my life. Again thank you for

 being apart of my life. Merry Christmas.......Goodbye."

1.  Note the conflicting signal of "good" before "not", yet 

then is confronted with the rebuttal of "but"

2.  Note the well wishing of "I hope you all have 

wonderful lives" as a signal of hope for others after 

the suicide.

3.  Note the positive, "I know its not my time" is then 

also met with the rebuttal of "but"

4.  Notice the strong use of pronoun, "I" in both, "I 

cannot take living any longer" and the affirmative 

"I will end my life."

These are strong indicators that the subject was 

serious about ending his life. 

5.  Note the well wish for others with "Merry Christmas"

and the final, "goodbye"

The strongest indicator that the subject was serious was

the strong and appropriate use of the pronoun, "I" in 

his statement. 

Those who cry out for help, not yet at the point of 

suicide may drop pronouns, and may seek to barter

with someone to help them.  Here, there is no bartering

and there is a sense of finality in his well wishes for 

the lives of others, and his "goodbye"; but it is the 

sentence, "I will end my life" which has no qualifiers to 


It is the most serious. 


Anonymous said...


Trigger said...

That's a strong suicide note.

It is sad that he could not find peace and happiness here among the living.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the saddest stories I've read about.
He was only 21 YOA.
My heart is with his friends & family.
I pray he has found peace now.

Anonymous said...

Was his "Merry Christmas" wish being sarcastic in his parting words? How could anyone who is about to kill himself wish his friends and loved ones a merry christmas as he dies, knowing they would not have a merry christmas after learning of his suicide?

How could any of them have a merry christmas? But he was young. Maybe he didn't stop to think about that, or did he? Had he been so disillusioned by them all, that this wish was his final bitterness poured out on them for what they had done to him? Sort of like, "see what you've done, you didn't care, NOW go have yourselves a merry christmas".

I had not thought about leaving a note at all when I was planning to kill myself. No one else was even in my thoughts, only my tiredness of it all. Just let them figure it out for themelves, or not. I no longer cared one way or the other. I was completely weary of life and saw no logical reason to live. For what, only to die in the end anyhow? Why wait out the inevitable? What was it all about anyway? Just a lot of disappointments, then you die?

I thought about it for a very long time, even told a sister I was thinking about killing myself, which her reponse was, impatiently, "why don't you"? Obviously not taking me seriously. She should have as it was not a threat, or a matter of "if" or of my seeking attention, it was only a matter of "when". I was dead serious.

Finally I bought a .38 and bullets, loaded it and kept it hidden in a closet. I was just waiting for the right time. Then the day came, sitting in the kitchen having coffee one morning and thinking it over, no one was home, the house was empty, and I decided this is it, todays the day.

Just as I went upstairs to get the gun, lay down on the bed and do it, I suddenly thought like a bolt of lightening had just hit me, 'oh no, my little boy will come home from school this afternoon and find me with my head blown off. It will destroy his life forever that his own mother committed suicide. He will grow up hurt, bitter and angry and someday will kill himself too'. So then I thought as if I were in a trance, "now run upstairs and unload that pistol" which I did, and have never thought about killing myself again.

I was very blessed that day. I believe that it was the hand of God that stopped me as I most certainly did plan to do it. That was over 30 years ago and I have never thought of killing myself again since that day.

The next time someone tells you they are thinking of killing themselves, BELIEVE IT. It is not an idle threat, it is not an 'oh poor pitiful me' or attention they seek. They just want out of this life.

I know someone right now who has been thinking of killing himself, and has threatened to do it at his weakest moments, and I don't know what to do about it as I know him well and he just might do that very thing. He is still young and has a terminal illness and is very depressed thinking of his impending death and not much hope to go on. Daily, I am doing all I can to stop him as I KNOW how he is thinking. But he is wrong. Those who are close to you DO pay for your suicide.

Nic said...

Off topic:

Peter, can you recommend a German site? My friend is German. I've referred her here re the Armstrong analysis (she is a *huge* Tour de France fan). English is her second language and she finds English analysis very difficult. Nonetheless, she struggled through your analysis and as a result was "bitten"/fascinated by Statement Analysis and would like to learn more.

Is there a German equivalent/German analyst you know of that you can point me to so I can refer her? I have tried to Google a site for her but a lot of hits that come up are analysis about German topics, instead.

Thanks in advance for any recommendation you may have.

Anonymous said...

Anon@6:05, I'm so glad you had that moment of divine clarity because you are right, and let's not even think about what the consequences would have been like for your son. I'm glad you are ok.
I don't think he was being sarcastic. Have you ever been with someone in hospice or someone who was really ready to go? They have a peace, and then they detach. They detach from their belongings and to their relationships with others. It's as if they break off an invisible limb. It's a very odd statement and I could be wrong. It's also odd to think of someone in psychic pain saying merry christmas, thinking it or even being at peace. But to me it sounds like he was just so ready to go and he was offering forgiveness and wanted nothing left behind to connect him to the negative, nothing tying him here.
I'm not going to connect my experience with this here, but suffice it to say I feel this for him from both sides, and for you.

Anonymous said...

OT, a suicide in the midst of a terminal illness, I'm sorry, I feel like that is forgiveable...I had an experience with this recently and I was able to make peace with it immediately. My loved one would only have been suffering for me, and I didn't want that. I never knew about it, the intentions, but I did know of the suffering. I was powerless to help. No one could do anything to ease any of the suffering. It was heartbreaking. This will be heretical to many of you, but I found it brave and I was glad, in the end, after I processed it, that my need to keep my loved one longer didn't override his need to not suffer so acutely. I would have intervened because thats what we do, thats what law requires, but it's selfish. It's very, very selfish to expect people who are suffering to hang in there for our sake. And I am only talking about terminally ill people who contemplate suicide and yes, I am for euthanasia.

Anonymous said...

My partner died in March 2011. Recently i was cleaning out a cupboard and found my suicide note from late last year. I don't remember writing it. I've also been fighting depression for 10 years. 3 years ago i had complete breakdown and was extremely suicidal. I no longer judge anyone for taking their own life. I can totally understand it. I get tired of fighting. Very tired. RIP. and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The SCAN technique ( does not deal with sarcasm; only the words chosen.
Over the years, I have come to see the wisdom in this.


Lis said...

This is so very sad.

I feel as though the people who understand sorrow and suffering firsthand may be some of the most valuable people to have in the world.