A Life Worth Living

When news media fail to handle reports of suicide with care and respect, the public repercussions can be disastrous. Please help change the mindset of those still in the dark.

While watering the garden this afternoon, I saw a vision of myself hanging on a tree. I very rarely contemplate suicide these days but when it happens I ask Jesus my Lord and King and Saviour to hold me and never let me go. Jesus died for my sins, including my sins of self-harm and self-murder attempts. Jesus rose from the dead. I am saved and I have hope in life here and after.

Bringing my suffering to the cross and leaving it there has helped me miraculously over the past 10 months — a thousand thousand times better than years of psychotherapy. Besides, it was because of maltreatment in therapy with the psychologist Kit Balane that I started hurting myself and trying to kill myself.

Early in this sermon, Voddie Baucham mentions Biblical events (Jesus at Gethsemane, weeping at Lazarus’ tomb, joyful when Lazarus came back to life), and calls these by diagnostic terms as ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’ and ‘bipolar’, Here, Voddie was showing the absurdity of the diagnostic methods of current psychology and psychiatry. The profession itself recognizes the controversial nature of diagnosing mental illness, in fact their ‘bible’ of mental disorders (the DSM in the US, the ICD in Europe) are often updated every decade or so. Hence, your diagnosis of disorder today may no longer be a disorder in 10 years or so. It may not even be a mental illness in other parts of the world.

In retrospect, the idea of hanging as a way to kill myself was influenced by suicide reports by The Bohol Chronicle. Their reports were shockingly irresponsible. I began complaining about the reporting in 2018-2019 when suicide rates were extremely high, but no one took notice. In October 2021, I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper, which, after a few months, seem to have prompted mental health organizations in Bohol to finally issue a statement regarding responsible suicide reporting.

I have placed my letter on-line as a resource for you. I want you to use it as a guide for your friends working in the media. If you find careless handling of suicide in your newspapers, please use my letter to help you or your organization in crafting a letter that will bring awareness to this problem.

By Fatima

Artist, Writer, Farmer. Born in Manila, lives in Bohol, Philippines.