Suicidal Ideation and the Debt Ceiling

3 min readMay 15

TW: Mental Illness

Black background. White text in the middle of the page: “Suicidal Ideation and the Debt Ceiling”.
Black background. White text in the middle of the page: “Suicidal Ideation and the Debt Ceiling”. Image by author via Canva.

If you are living in the US you’ve probably heard about the looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling. About the devastating cuts the GOP wants to implement and the disastrous effects of a default. But what does that really mean for the people who will be affected by this?

I am one of these people and I would like to share my fears as a disabled person.

I have moderate-severe Bipolar Disorder 2, CPTSD, and Maladaptive Daydreaming. I’m currently waiting for my official diagnoses in Agoraphobia and Anorexia. I still suffer from flashbacks and am easily triggered. I cannot mentally/emotionally function without therapy, my mood stabilizer, and anti-depressant.

I have fibromyalgia, a heart closure, a yet to be diagnosed joint issue, and a history of seizures and stroke. I cannot physically function without my blood thinner and joint medication.

I’ve been waiting to get on SSI [Disability] for almost three years. I have no income whatsoever. I rely on SNAP to eat. I live with family and there is no way they can afford to pay all the bills, their food, and mine. And while my anorexia is planning on using this to its full advantage, the part of me that is trying to heal knows this will only make my demise that much quicker.

Demise is not a word I use lightly. I don’t mean it in the literary sense. Its function is literal. I cannot survive a cut or default.

I will not be able to get through my day without a mood stabilizer. I cannot pass through another week without therapy. I cannot. And that horrifies me.

Every time I hear about the debt ceiling or it pops in my head, I am reminded that anything other than a clean pass can lead to another suicide attempt. I know I cannot survive anymore of this life without the help of medication and therapy. I know this.

I am terrorized and terrified by the thought of becoming suicidal again. I have’t been in almost a year.

If Republicans get their way I will lose my Medicaid insurance and SNAP benefits. If we default, I will lose my Medicaid insurance and SNAP benefits. This will be catastrophic. I will lose the quality of life I have tried so hard to build.

For me this will be apocalyptic at best and deadly at worst. I am living in a constant state of alarm.

Let me be clear, as it stands today, I do not want to die. But future me will. And they just might be successful this time.


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