Archive for June 7th, 2012

Bridge To Eternity

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

More people kill themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge than any other place in the world.  Despite signs on the bridge pleading for depressed people to get help,  about 2 or 3 a month leap 254 feet – 25 stories down – and shatter their bodies when they hit the water at 75-mph.  Over 1500 suicides are recorded since the bridge was built in 1937 – and many go unnoticed.

Many people think “well, if they don’t kill themselves here, they’ll find another way.”  That’s rarely true.  Out of the hundreds of people who have been “talked down” and the very few who actually survived the leap, less than 10% ended their life by suicide.  Killing yourself is often an impulsive, permanent solution to usually temporary problems.

The appeal of the Bridge is it appears to be an easy out – a quick way to end personal suffering .  No preparation, no mess for family members, no cries for help, few failures – just a quick step over a 4-foot barrier and then a “can’t-change-my-mind-now” jump.

About 1 in 50 people actually survives the leap.  The strangest case by far is Sarah Birnbaum – the only person to make the jump TWICE.  She was alive when rescued, brought back to health, and then she  leaped AGAIN from the same spot!  The second time, she was successful.