The Unexpected Reason Some People Are 4 Times More Likely To Attempt Suicide

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The Reason Why Adopted Kids Are Four Times More Likely To Commit Suicide getty

In the last few days, we’ve lost two celebrities — Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain — to suicide. 

To the outside world, they had everything — fame, money, status, and people who adored them. Yet, that wasn't enough. It never is. They had inner demons that they struggled with. They had internal emotional pain that they could no longer live with. They were victims of suicidal thinking and depression.


What were the signs and causes of suicide that made them take their own life? For whatever reason, they were unable to release that pain which caused them to relieve it by ending it altogether.

I’ve personally been so low that I fully understand what may have been going through their minds. And I bet you do too, or you know someone who does. 

As a society, we tend to overlook people who have everything that we think accounts for a perfect life as being "OK". In fact, we even overlook those who we know are at risk

Adopted kids and adults are four times at greater risk of committing suicide than non-adopted. 


RELATED: Parenting An Adopted Child Is A Lot Easier Than You Think (If You Do These 10 Things)

Yet, that fact is often overshadowed by adoptive parents who only want to hear the good adoption stats. 

If people in the world whom you would least expect to take their own lives are doing so, wouldn't it make sense then, to listen to those most likely to do so? 


No, because it doesn't fit the agenda. The imaginary script book (or should I say adoption propaganda) says you can buy someone's child and squeeze them into your family and they will be fine. The belief is, because you’re good people and all adoptees need is love, it won’t happen to you.

This dismisses all regard for the loss and trauma this child may be facing or will face.

If I told you that you have a 4 times greater risk of getting shot in the head by driving down a certain street, would you risk those odds? If you said yes, you shouldn't be a parent.

Risks in life are meant to be taken with business and buying stocks — not with people’s lives, especially the innocent helpless adopted child. 


That adopted child has a war going on in their head and they don’t know why. 

The internal conflict the adopted person feels batters their soul and plays roulette with their spirit. Children at the hands of others making decisions for them that aren't always in their best interest.  

Thinking or expecting that because they were raised in a ‘good home’ all will be well isn't enough anymore. And as we can see, it’s never been enough. 

What is a ‘good home’ anyway? Parents who have good jobs, are financially secure, and have all their external needs are met? 

RELATED: Why So Many Adoptees Are Angry

What you see on TV and Facebook isn't the reality for most people, especially for the adopted. 


Being raised in a good home means being emotionally adept at handling what life throws your way. It means having dealt with your own demons and meeting your own needs so you can meet those of your adopted child. It means looking in the mirror and cleaning up your own baggage.

You can have a full bank account but if your emotional account is overdrawn, you have nothing to give. Your house can be furnished with the finest china and have the cleanest floors, but if the inside of your head is tarnished, you will parent through that lens. 

People are more sad and unsettled than ever. Look around at the number of people seeking therapy — the rise in self-help and the over-populated prisons. Look at the drug epidemic and alcoholism — both have increased exponentially.

Shopping and gambling, emotional eating, internet and sex addictions — the list goes on and on, without stopping.


They all serve a purpose — to relieve or escape the pain. 

If you're seeking to adopt a child and knowing that adoptees are at a greater risk to commit suicide, wouldn't you want to do whatever you can to ensure you are in the best mental frame of mind possible?

If you’ve done any adoption research, you’ll have heard or read that adoption is riddled with complex emotions for the child. If you have difficulty handling your own emotions, how can you expect to be present for your child's emotions?

Sometimes those emotions don’t surface until they are older but they almost always surface. 

Many adoptive parents (probably not you) refuse to accept this and in turn, cause added suffering for their child. But they will never know because the adopted child had learned it’s not safe to express how they really feel. 


Partly because they don’t understand their complex emotions, and partly because they have become mired too, in societal expectations. They think they ‘should’ be happy.

But often times it’s a show. 

This leaves them feeling flawed. They think if they ‘should’ be happy and they’re not, then something must be wrong with them. Thus begins the negative self-talk and depressive thinking. 


They hear the propaganda, they listen to their adoptive parents speaking for them and telling everyone they are fine.

They get shut down for thinking differently and being unrelatable and they’re made to feel bad for not being grateful. And often times, it’s not intentional, which brings me back to the point of being emotionally adept. 

When we are not, we burden the already burdened adoptee through unconscious and unintentional expectations. It’s what is called the generational cycle. 

We don’t really know why these two tragic suicides happened and we may never know. It is clear that they were both unexpected — there appeared to be no signs suggesting a struggle (although it’s still early).


It’s because people become very accomplished at wearing masks — socially acceptable masks that ward off the possibility of judgment and shame if they expose their vulnerabilities. 

And adoptees have become masterful at this because they have to. For them, for us, it’s a matter of life and death. 

RELATED: The Tough Lessons I Learned From A Tragic Teen Suicide Close To Home

Suzanne Jones is an adoptive parenting coach and mother of three. As an adoptee herself, her mission is to help fearful adoptive parents become more confident in their parenting skills and learn the tools they need to best meet the needs of their adopted child. You can connect with Suzanne to learn more about raising a happy, healthy adopted child. For additional guidance and support please read her free e-book, Debunking The Adoption Myth.