How to Kill Yourself

Picture of How to Kill Yourself
So you want to kill yourself? Is that why you're here? OK, well, I'm sorry you feel that way, I know it can all feel horribly, tremendously wrong. I've been there. I've stared at sharp objects behind fences and wondered what would happen if I were to jump on them and end it all. For about an hour or so at a time. Fun stuff!

Was I the only one who felt this way? The only one who would have such feelings? What can I say, I was a teenager and I thought I was unique. What I was was stuck in a depression that was eating me alive even as I found it to be so comfy in its absoluteness. Fortunately it was a phase that I was able to put behind myself with a conscious effort.

My friend Paul wasn't so lucky. He fought his depression several times over for a couple decades. After a long battle he chose to fight alone, he took his own life. He wasn't the easiest guy to know, but at his best he could make me laugh and think about all sorts of new ideas for hours on end. I still miss Paul even though it's been over 10 years since we last hung out. This Instructable is for him.

Important Note: If you or a friend are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It is free and confidential and they know a LOT more about this stuff than I do.

This is published in support of World Suicide Prevention Day.
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mvicknair2 months ago
I gotta say I was about to chew u out for telling ppl how to commit suicide, but then u did the opposite. U helped ppl to know Paul n not do what he did to escape his troubles. Paul, I hope u know how great this guy is for doing this for u n ppl like u who dunno where to turn! RIP, Paul!
jkennedy262 months ago
Amazing that this topic or the title could be offensive here...It's written for those who may be depressed or suicidal.Not to entertain or enlighten...But to reach...TOUCH ! Someone...
If I found the post offensive, I'm sure I wouldn't here scream of a friend,family member lest of all a young child. I believe MY growth comes in addressing what's in my reflection and not on the mirror itself.
doh ! Hear
jkennedy262 months ago
Well done fungus, just don't stand to close to the flame. A well written, clearly thought out writing. As to the well put, "Sex Sells" as it were.
Really glad you didn't climb over the fence.
What's next? another page added? Another topic?

Knowledge is Power,Experience, Understanding and Communication pay the bill.
You shouldn't have titled it that I didn't like it but I'm sorry for your loss I didn't think suicide was very appropriate
JoMoFroBro3 months ago
A very thoughtful post. Well written piece of advice.
tmeade0074 months ago
RIP Paul
Advar5 months ago
Duuude... :..(
Sad but thoughtful. Nicely written.
Meloncolic...melenconic... ah hell, sweet & sad, well done.
dmosley25 months ago
Sorry about Paul. Excellent post
nancyjohns5 months ago
only once, or twice I thought, "Say, what would it be like if I jumped into that big bunch of spikes?"
Cyncha2277 months ago
Thank you Mr. "Amungus", this is a great way to reach people, even catch them off guard, and make them cry and laugh (because you're sweet and funny). I have so much to do, but I would not pass by the Instructables line on "How to kill yourself", or to write and encourage you, and maybe anyone else to reach out to someone. I have knows a couple of people who have committed suicide, and a couple of people who died young who did not. What I learned when I was a teen, and a 20 year old fr,om my friends dying young is that I need to become the best person I can be, to honor them, and to also deal with their deaths. What I learned from having childhood depression is that I don't need to blame myself for it and that Reaching out to others is important. Others may not have the skills to get through their depression. It's also a kind thing to do. You reached out to Paul, and this is good, however sometimes we just can't do anything for someone except extend their life a bit. It's heartbreaking. I feel so bad for Paul and Paul's parents! I am trying to teach my very bright son to deal with life beyond the relatively easy skill of being at the mercy of a quick mind. Life skills matter probably more than a quick mind. The pain of depression is deep, and it is ruthless. A cycle that gets nowhere. Reaching out to others, and reaching out if you are the one with depression is imperative. There is no one size fits all, there is little perfect timing. Depression is hard, it is monotonous, and it is sad. One just needs to be more persistent than the depression, even after one's patience for trying is at it's end. Life will get better. Change is inevitable. Maybe your efforts, Mr. Amungus, will help someone, along with the knowledge there really are kind-hearted people who want to ease the pain of depression.
fungus amungus (author)  Cyncha2276 months ago
Thank you very much for writing all this. It's all true and very good advice.
Nicely put thank you to Mr Amungus.. which I second.. xx
sarawelder6 months ago
thank you Fungus.
I will read all your other posts with more interest.
I was suicidal many years ago and someone gave me good advice. Just do the one think you get pleasure from even if that means taking a hot bath several times a day. Knowing there is something that makes you feel good reminds you of that emotion and that it is possible to feel pleasure again. This was a beautifully written tribute to your lost friend.
fidgety26 months ago
It is things like this that instructables was made for helping people help themselves and while many instructables are physical in nature and often cost money to make this one does not cost a dime

Well done and thank you
eorionus6 months ago
Thanks for sharing fungus. Hopefully this'll get through to the many people that need it!
weldor6 months ago
First and foremost I gotta tell you that your title kind of freaked me out at first as my brother in law committed suicide years ago. I still miss him and think about him alot.

For people on either side of the fence (no pun intended) go on line and look up NAMI. It stands for "National Alliance for Mental Illness". aas far as I know it is only here in the states (if so, it may be time for someone to start one up else where! you know who you are.) They offer support for the family and friends of people who suffer from mental illness. They offer all kinds of classes for the families and friends. For those in recovery they offer what is referred to as "peer support" classes and services.
I speak from experience as a peer. i will be taking the classes. My wife is and instructor for their Family to Family (F2F) program (because of me). The life you save could be your own.
jkrahling6 months ago
I just looked at it
whemken7 months ago
Thank you.
NeilJB7 months ago
In Australia:
Beyond Blue, depression advice:‎
Lifeline, 24hr crisis line: 13 11 14
owlart1017 months ago
Amazing 'Ible, well thought out and a lot of work put into it. Keep up the good work, I'm glad I actually opened that email I recieved from instructables... :)
kaboo7 months ago
He obviously couldn't see what a trouper of a pal he had. He will be smiling down on you with pride I'm sure, from a place where he was determined to be xx
Thank you for sharing :) It hit home as I am more often Paul, than I am normal.
obviousgenius7 months ago
The email send out titled this article "How to Save a Life." I liked that title.
While that is a more positive title, I think the intent is to direct people with suicidal tendencies to get directed here and then be shown the beauty of life. This way if anyone will be searching for 'How to Kill Yourself', they have high chances of being directed here.
larrowwood7 months ago
RIP Paul. I hope that the author feels better for sharing and others follow his advice.
fungus amungus. Great show.
mdoyle127 months ago
Thank you for this. I'm in my seventh decade and still fighting to hold on.
Along the way, many of my friends 'succeeded' in killing themselves. I tried getting help for Janice. I told her counsellor and all the psych people I could find. We all knew she would try again. The last time she had tried, taking bunches of pills, at the last minute, someone saw her, in her car off the road--passed out and 'the damn lady called 911.' This time, everyone knew she was scheming, but she played her cards close to her vest. Couldn't get her forced into protection. She succeeded 15 years ago this month.
However, I can tell you the most important thing for my staying alive. My two adult children. Kids of suicides have a much greater chance of suiciding and I couldn't do that to the ones I most loved. was a great help for me. Unlike US Samaritans, the ones in the UK promised not to call the local police to have me committed.
The third thing that helped me was getting involved in a nonjudgmental, loving group. In my case, it was my local Episcopal church. Volunteer groups often help.
Help someone else. It helped me be someone relied on by others.
obviousgenius7 months ago
Actually, I came here to learn how to save a life, but your Instructable begins with "So you want to kill yourself?" Basically, you lost me at Hello.

Honestly, I'd change the title.
blueangelcat7 months ago
Great instructable! Thanks!
dougbyte7 months ago
My best friend succeeded on his first try. 31 years later I still mourn. It's something you never quite get over, and maybe you shouldn't be able to. I've used my experience in a positive way to talk people back from the ledge.

Thanks for the post. It should be shown in every school in America and beyond.
DIYbabe7 months ago
I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Paul. Thank you for your kind and unique perspective. Sad to say, after my husband died I really didn't want to live either so this all resonates. I wish that more people could understand that suicide is a permanent solution to what is usually a temporary problem or situation. I healed over time and am much stronger now.
hay_jumper7 months ago
Great job.
ilikecory7 months ago
i was 10 . I had no friends, family issues, and many more... I tried twice. I still have the marks. I was doing my third and last time until I had the stupid idea to look up how to kill youself on instructables. This came up. Thank you for saving my life
ilikecory7 months ago
i was 10 . I had no friends, family issues, and many more... I tried twice. I still have the marks. I was doing my third and last time until I had the stupid idea to look up how to kill youself on instructables. This came up. Thank you for saving my life
itsablast7 months ago
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know grief over a friend's suicide can go on forever. In some ways I'm still haunted by the suicide of a friend in 1971. In fact, there've been several suicides of loved ones in my lifetime, including the loss of my divorced spouse in 2007.

I think one of the reasons our emotions linger has to do with wanting a suicide's life to still matter despite how it ended. I want the world to know Bob and Joe once existed, damn it!

Let me suggest you post Paul's information on The Suicide Wall Memorial, a place for remembrance. Everyone reading your instructable and commenting about your post, please do the same. I recently found the website; and adding names to it gave me a new peace. It's a wonderful, perpetual record that our lost people once walked this earth and continue to matter to us.
bstarling7 months ago
This is one that needs to be read. I too, lost a friend to depression. So sad, so sad.
valkgurl7 months ago
My "link" for this was headed "How to Save A Life" which is a great title but certainly does not convey what is here--altho of course that IS the point--how to SAVE a life.

This is a taboo subject in most places and should not be. Having grown up around depressions fueled by drugs and alcohol I have seen the attempts; the rehab; the paranoia---long before the meth days. And just going to a funny movie won't help. Yes it might amuse but--it probably will not in the long run--help. The chemistry in the brain of depressed people is altered. They NEED to adjust this.

Sadly some of them refuse or feel that the REST of the world "Likes" them medicated and as one put it to me--"Tame". Um--no. What I DO want is someone ALIVE and as functional as they can be. And "Tame" was never what happened when this person stayed ON their meds! We make a lot of jokes about "Oh he or she is off their meds" but----they really CAN help.

Also the talk therapy of old can help--a LOT. Today with the 3 minute MD appointment that has to cover ALL of your life this gets passed by. Maybe the new health insurance here in the States that is meant to HELP people with mental troubles will be able to bring this back.

Another thing you touched on which resonated for me--seeking out those we have lost contact with (for whatever reason) and making NEW contact. I did this as a whim the very first time I used a PC--in the Boston Science Museum!--and found 4 people I had lost touch with. I am SO glad that I did reach out as two of them died within the next year--one keeled over and one had a terminal illness when I located her. To this DAY I cry when I think that I SHOULD have gone against her "wishes" and just showed up at her door---the phone and email were NOT enough. I am pretty sure now that this would have gone better in person than at a distance for people who had once been closer than sisters. And--she had indeed SAVED MY LIFE.

Please expand this and get it published. IF you feel that your story is not booklength--or too much emotionaly for you---I am sure there are other people who have lost a loved one to accident, illness or suicide that would be able to collaborate with you.
Top rate, well thought out effort to get the word out on how to help people that do not want help. I hope if one of my children were suffering from depression they would have some one help them, however, the person must want help.

My former Daughter-In-Law had horrible problems with depression, her new husband packed her up and insisted her doctor help her. Yes, their marriage survived, she is like a new person and a reasonable person...

I am older, I retain the right to do what is right for me when I am no longer able to function. Nope, people close to me have no idea of my plans. I refuse to talk to my doctor about them. I have choices and I plan on exercising them right to the end of my life.

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