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3-19-2010 @ 11:08AM
You may say its selfish and such (and it very well is), but as someone who has lost someone from this type of thing i'd rather not read this and remember someone close to me as "selfish".
3-19-2010 @ 12:27PM
Take all talk about suicide seriously. To call a suicidal person "selfish" is assuming a lot. I would expect someone that is bipolar to understand that not everyone that feels depression is in a correctable state of mind. Chatty Mage sounds like someone that can get help, that much I would agree on. I would argue though, that it's equally selfish to ask an individual to endure a life of depression just so the people that care about them don't feel sad. Please don't misunderstand me, I do not condone suicide. I just feel it's beyond judgmental to assume or to advise people that all suicide is selfish. Even professionals will tell you that.
3-19-2010 @ 11:31AM
Izzie, as someone who battled depression in my own past, it was incredibly helpful to finally hear from an objective source that suicide was a selfish thing to do. It helped me realize how many people would really be hurt if I hurt myself, and that opened the door to me realizing how fortunate I actually was to have people care about me.I know it sounds harsh, but its actually an incredibly valuable and objective thing to say.
3-19-2010 @ 11:38AM
And you shouldn't have to. Remember that there is more to a person than their last action. Suicide, the action, is a selfish act. But so is walking *just* a bit faster to beat someone, inconspicuously, the the checkout line.Whoever it was that you lost, it already seems that you remember them for who they were and not for what their last act was. Just keep that up :)
3-19-2010 @ 11:39AM
It may sound cruel to you, and it is now almost impossible for anyone to reply as well without seeming cruel, but it is the unfortunate truth.It is unfortunate that this hurts your feelings, but this is important information which could stop more people from killing themselves, and unfortunately, cruel as it may sound, I think all of those people are more important than the slight hurt you feel over this statement.
It's hard to have a discussion about suicide without mentioning the selfish nature of the act itself. People aren't defined by how they leave, though. While they may have done a selfish thing, that doesn't mean that they, as a whole, are automatically selfish people.
3-19-2010 @ 11:50AM
I lost someone to suicide as well and I think that saying it's a selfish act is one of the single most convincing arguments you can give to someone that's considering it. He thought that everyone's lives would be better if he were gone and that they wouldn't have to worry about all the problems and trouble that he brought. The reality was that the people who loved him saw through the problems and wanted to help even though he was shutting them out. The suicide caused more damage than any of the drugs or dealings with the police.I think a lot of times people don't see the collateral damage that could come from it. They just see things from their own perspective and think that everyone would be better off without them, that the problems would end and everyone would be happier. It just isn't like that. Debts don't disappear with a death, they get passed on to someone else.
I have lost somebody to this too, and I still think suicide is the ultimate selfish act. Of course, the thing is that the people who are considering suicide are not in a mental state that lets them see it that way, and that is a terrible and sad thing.I don't remember the person concerned as selfish just because his last action was: I remember him as happy, funny, chatty and all the rest of it. I refuse to define his entire life by the manner of his death.If this column is read by just one person that realises that what they are considering is going to hurt those they love (and hurt them very much), then it will be worth it. Kudos for tackling the subject, Drama mamas.
3-19-2010 @ 11:53AM
@GeorgeReally? Beating someone to the "checkout line" is your analogy? Accident or tong-in-cheek? A little funny in a depressing topic though... I like it.
3-19-2010 @ 12:11PM
@imsobuzzedHonestly, it was the first trivial-as-compared-to-suicide selfish act that came into my head. And when you're replying to comments via iPhone on your lunch break, you don't get to be choosy about your ideas.Glad you liked I though!
3-19-2010 @ 12:31PM
I can definitely see why people view this as a selfish act, but I think leaving it at that is oversimplifying the issue and failing to grasp the situation of one contemplating suicide. Having attempted suicide in the past, I can say that suicide isn't a primarily selfish act, but a desperate one. When I attempted suicide, I was fully aware of how it would affect those around me, and that was definitely the hardest thing about it. However the far more powerful feeling was that I simply couldn't hold on any longer. The feelings of loneliness and hopelessness easily overwhelm any altruistic notions of selfish or unselfish. And to flip the situation on its head- could it not also be considered selfish for people to expect you to hold on and suffer through a life without hope or joy simply so they don't feel sorrow? I understand the notions of responsibility and family, but a human heart can only take so much before it shatters.Now the obvious response to this is- go get help! And it is the right and realistic response. However, understand this isn't as easy as waltzing into a clinic and asking for help. To go for help means to admit that you are sick and need help, and to admit that can be terrible for someone who already has low self esteem or is already loaded down. No one likes to think of themselves as some demented, sickly creature needing society- o the irony- to fix them, especially when they view a misunderstanding and cold society as their problem in the first place. Eventually, with a great deal of love and care, a suicidal person can be eased into getting help, and healing can begin. First however, some extremely painful delusions need to be shattered, and don't underestimate how difficult that is.As a final thought, suicidal people are selfish to an extent because they have to be. They are in a state where they simply cannot go on alone, and if left to their own devices they will die (and often they recognize this). Therefore I would question how helpful it is to tell suicidal people they're selfish, not matter how true it is- in their state judgment of that nature is nothing but harmful, and thinking that branding them selfish will cause them to snap back to reality is both shortsighted and potentially disastrous.
3-19-2010 @ 12:44PM
I whole-heartedly agree with you. But you have to understand that comment about being selfish is accurate. That's not to say you aren't allowed to remember the good things though. I've had a few friends in high school reveal to me that they've had suicidal thoughts(they come to me...they all come to me. how do they find me?), and at the time I really didn't know what to say. Infact I think I said that to one of them. But it really was such a big thing that I had trouble focusing on anything else: homework, band/choir...everything was second in my mind. And now looking back, it was kind of selfish of that person to put such a burden on me.You have to wonder what's going on in their mind, what they are thinking about - who they are thinking about...cause you know it's not about you and how you'll deal with it, it's about them.
3-19-2010 @ 12:54PM
"He thought that everyone's lives would be better if he were gone and that they wouldn't have to worry about all the problems and trouble that he brought."I want to emphasize this. I am a bit uncomfortable talking about this- because I end up feeling like an attention whore, but I think it has to be said so people can understand. I have been there, and I don't know how many other people who are suicidal have felt this, but that is what goes through your head, truly. You think that other people are being too burdened by your issues, you don't feel like you have enough strength to do what you have to.. And I would venture a guess that the great majority of people who are feeling suicidal feel this way. But, personally, as soon as my confidant told me he would be incredibly angry with me for doing that to him and that it was really a selfish choice- well, you know, it changes things. It makes it a lot harder to consider, because at that point you *know* it's selfish. You KNOW you'd be hurting everyone else, and most people don't want to do that. Some people do. But not most. Ultimately, yes, killing yourself is really the ultimate in selfish acts, but keep in mind that if you're at that point, you may not even realize that it's selfish. You may be so in your head that you truly believe the world would be a better place without you and that you have literally no one who cares. And if you're to that point, call a help line. Or call a therapist. It's hard, but you have to do it- and have faith that eventually you will realize that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
3-19-2010 @ 1:05PM
I have tried to kill myself, and I can agree it was selfish. My little brother and mother found me and have never been the same. I consider that to be the biggest mistake I have ever made.
3-19-2010 @ 1:20PM
Two of my classmates committed suicide; one during high school and the other about ten years after graduation. Those who commit suicide leave behind family, friends, and onlookers who will be shaking their heads at how totally unjustified the act was; how common the victim's struggles were; and how many little opportunities and simple pleasures were thrown away.
3-19-2010 @ 1:35PM
I, too, am bipolar. I've been suicidal. I've gone down that road. There are times when you get so desperate, and everything hurts so much, you reach out to inappropriate people and places. Almost like you are seeking permission to hurt yourself, in a weird way. If the author of this letter carelessly said "fine, go off yourself" then Chatty Mage might have done just that. Kudos to him for taking this seriously. Remember, if you are actively suicidal, then in the USA if you go to the emergency room they HAVE to accept you. If you are going to harm yourself or someone else, have a plan, and the will to do so, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. They may keep you at that hospital, send you to another one, or hook you up with whatever you can afford. YOU DO NOT NEED INSURANCE FOR THIS! If, for whatever reason you cannot get to the ER on your own, you can call 911. Tell them you are suicidal. They can send someone to you. They can, and will help you. No matter what, it is not worth taking your own life. I swear to you, speaking as someone who has been to the bottom of that emotional pit, it can and will get better. You just need to give it a chance. If you kill yourself and end everything, you will never have the chance to have the happiness that could have been yours. You may feel like you are drowning, but if you reach out for help, a hand will be there to grab yours and hold on.
3-19-2010 @ 1:46PM
@BronwynI had a similar experience 5 years ago. I was suffering from postpartum depression greatly enhanced by my daughter's biological father being extremely cruel and demeaning (he actually suggested I kill myself, if that gives you an idea).I sat in front of my computer with about a dozen pill bottles in front of me and AIM up, where I was lucky enough to have a friend online who told me, "Please, I know what you're thinking, but don't make me tell your teenage daughter why her mom's not around."That was exactly what I needed to hear. He followed it up with, "Go talk to someone--now." I got up and woke my parents up and told them I needed help. I spent one day a week day for the next four months sitting in a leather chair at a church counselor's office. 3 years later, when my son was born, the PPD returned, but this time I had a wonderful husband and a family who had already been down the road with me before. Thank you for not shying away from the serious topics, Drama Mamas. You earned a lot of rep with me today. :-)
3-19-2010 @ 3:24PM
@AedilhildIf you can't understand how someone is feeling, dismissing it as wrong is a great way to make them feel unloved isolated and ugly. You're wrong, depression (actual chronic depression, not boohoo I'm sad for a good reason and will be better in a week) is incredibly crippling and agonizing. If you've never felt that way, count your lucky stars, don't reject the possibility of even feeling that way.
3-19-2010 @ 3:32PM
Suicide is only selfish because modern Western society (based in Judeo-Christian morals) has deemed it so. Other cultures deem suicide as acceptable for various reasons. If I was to develop an incurable, fatal disease then it is my right to chose to end my life on my terms. It is, after all, my life. It doesn't belong to anyone else and I would end my life, regardless of what society or the law says.All humans have a breaking point. They have a point that they can reach and say enough, not one step more. When one reaches that point, is it not more humane to let them end their existence if that is their choice? What right does society have to deny them that right? The blanket answer about suicide being bad and selfish is naive at best.
3-19-2010 @ 3:47PM
@wolftech,Oh please. I'm a pretty staunch existentialist, but what you're taking is beyond moral relativism. By extension of your logic, no one has a right to have an emotional incvestment in whether or not someone else lives or dies, nor should anyone care at all about the consequences of their own actions upon others.That position is quite literally sociopathy.
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