The Anguish of Suicidal Thoughts

Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron discusses his depression in the wake of Kurt Cobain's death.
3:00 | 04/04/14

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Transcript for The Anguish of Suicidal Thoughts
Wouldn't Kurt Cobain the rock poet of the group Nirvana committed suicide. -- -- drum driven reckless indulgence. For the emotional agony that Americans of all ages and occupations have struggled with. Well for those left behind it's the same question left with them. Was there's something that would have stopped it a word -- gesture. Grenade dishonest trying to find out. He was 27 years old. At the peak of his career musically. So when Kurt Cobain shot himself to death last week. His thousands of fans were stunned. Later many of them gathered for a candlelight vigil. Hoping the suicide note read by his widow Courtney Love would give them some kind of explanation. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- What they thought it was a sense of this pain. The kind of pain that drives 30000 people a year to take their own lives in this country. People who've been there say attempting suicide is usually not an impulsive act but the accumulation of months even years of anguish. It's a moment when one decides I can no longer bear this pain. And I would I would rather die than we then that can do it and -- Pulitzer Prize winning author William Styron fantasized about killing himself for years before he committed themselves to a hospital for treatment of his severe depression. An emotional torment too often dismissed he says by others. Every human being should. Suffer at least for briefly. The pain depression. -- to be able to understand how horrible it is. The pain is overwhelming they feel hopeless and -- hopelessness more than depression. That predicts suicide. They want to be able to and the pain and if there was some other way to and the pain they would -- doctor. Andrew -- -- author of a book on suicide -- no one saw my pain. Says for friends and relatives it's important to recognize the warning signs the early symptoms of suicidal depression. There's a number of things sleep appetite -- -- disturbance for people using drugs or alcohol or sex or work to sort of self medicated depression shut up. And listen. Don't tell people what to think don't tell them that it's a small thing -- they'll get over it. Listen -- Alan Ross runs in New York City suicide prevention hotline fielding calls 24 hours a day give anybody talked. Two suicide prevention is not solving problems but helping people get through this moment so people often say well he just wanted attention. If you have to cut your wrist threatened to hang yourself. -- dealing drugs it's not that you want attention it's -- -- need attention. William Styron says it was his deep connection to his wife that medium pulled back from the edge and seek help. When my determining. Factors. In in -- hospital myself was to. Prevent her from. Continuing to choose just to suffer the pain that I was suffering but ultimately -- -- Go away. We listen. We pay attention we take it seriously suicide is one of the few problems we can see a great effect in preventing. By the way you've probably heard that a lot of people kill themselves over the Christmas holidays in -- for unknown reasons. The fewest suicides or in December while the most -- this time of the year. In April.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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