Suicide is NOT selfish

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by EffieGr, Aug 19, 2014.

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  1. EffieGr

    EffieGr New Member

    Robin Williams's death sparked heated debate on actors and their sinful lifestyles and on harsh criticism on suicide. Let's consider the reality of depression for a minute. It is very ignorant and sad when people criticize suicide as selfish, totally ignoring the huge impact depression has on someone!

    I wrote this article with the intention to raise some awareness on this sensitive issue. All feedback welcome :)

    <mod edit- promotional post>
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
  2. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Thank you for posting. If you would like to post the contents of your own work here for discussion you may but we do not allow promotion of work on 3rd party sites.

    Your article was interesting however I will have to disagree about suicide being selfish and it was not actually discussed from that viewpoint anyplace but in the title and one line declaring it was not. Depression is in fact , as you mentioned, treatable in the vast majority of situations, choosing not to get treatment is a choice that says your aversion to getting treatment is more important than anybody else's feelings about your death and how that may effect them. This is not saying you should simply go on being depressed- it is saying you have a responsibility to yourself and others to seek treatment to improve your own quality of life. If you decide you do not want to get better and prefer to die by suicide instead that is a personal choice made only considering your personal feelings and not considering anything it may do to others. That may or may not be wrong, but it most certainly is selfish.
  3. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    In addition to NYJ's post... there's a lot that can be said when we are more critical of ourselves, and believing that we are not good enough/worthy of being alive, without a true feedback and conversation with those closest to us. Whether it's criticisms of how others behave, and work it two ways so everyone gets a fair crack at the whip (so to speak).
  4. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    I know in the darkest place it is hard to even realize what your actions will do there is only darkness sadness and pain that is why it is so important to get support before you get to such a cold place
    Have someone to turn to selfish yes but perhaps in that moment their was nothing but pain inside and that is all he could see was the pain
    i wish that he did not feel so alone i really wish he did not feel so hopeless and noone can judge they can't
  5. Event_Horizon

    Event_Horizon SF Supporter

    Something I wrote before. What is annoying me though is how people are feeding off Robin Williams death as if it legitimises their own want all of a sudden. The reporting has also led to spike in suicides when various mental health based agencies warned the press on how to go about it. But no, lets just be reckless and sensationalist. What is some more none famous people to add to the count.

    This question comes up a lot but it really is not a fair question.

    What is understandable is suicide harms everyone in ways that are different to a natural death. There will always be a feeling of could I have done more. That will never really go away. I know this from experience and sometimes have imaginary conversations where I had said something different or had just gone round. It does nag at me still. But saying that any death causes pain and sadness. Grief is grief regardless. I am sure most parents would be devastated by the loss of their child to suicide. It is not really selfish to love a person and want them to stay alive, that is pretty much a default mentality. A good parent will try and get help for their child. But not everyone is blessed with good parents. But even this can be selfish, parents that keep their near enough brain dead child on a ventilator for years with no hope of recovery because they can't just let them go. Selfishness does cut both ways.

    A better question would be what is not selfish? Because you will really struggle to find anything that is not selfish in some capacity. We live in a society that is driven by mostly selfish motives. Do you come to SF out of purely altruistic desire or do you get something out of it? Would that be defined as selfish? Helping others to help ones self. Is that selfish? Selfish or not is rather absurd when you consider everything going on in the world. Do you put petrol in your car? We all do and that comes at the expense of other countries. Do you eat food? That is also selfish it comes at the expense of animals and plants. Where do you want to draw the line at what is and isn't selfish.

    Instead maybe we should look at pain. The causes of pain and how pain can be minimised. Because I think it is undeniable people that kill themselves are in pain. Pain clouds your view of the damage you may do to others. If you have ever been in pain you know it is hard to ignore. There have been people tortured in Gulags that contemplated suicide and some followed through. To ask if that is selfish or not is ridiculous it is natural to want to escape pain. Cattle afflicted with illness will smash their heads against the stalls until dead. If your hand is in fire your instinct is to withdraw it.

    The debate around selfish or not is irrelevant if nothing is being done to address pain. I think this world profits too much on pain but that is just my rather bleak view. I have no doubt there are selfish suicides done to hurt others and those would certainly be viewed as selfish. But I am not concerned by attention seeking behaviour. If you are hungry you seek food, if you are in pain you seek some one to stop it. Pain and desperation makes us all very vocal. Maybe we should all shut up then as we don't live in North Korea and drink out of mud puddles. Maybe those people seeking attention need that attention and subsequent help. But what if there is no help? Or you cannot afford help. Or that help has written you off as a cost cutting exercise. Where does the desperate then go? Why are children as young as five killing themselves? They likely don't even have a proper concept of selfishness.

    My friend was very successful in her attention seeking behaviour you should have seen the turn out at her funeral. What a poisonous view of the ill and desperate. No wonder many get encouraged to suicide since vocalising distress is all an attention seeking ploy if they were genuine they would just get on and do it. Facts don't bear that out. A lot of attention seeking is from neglect and maladaptive coping mechanisms not maliciousness.

    Becoming so called selfish seems an entirely reasonable response to chronic pain and a society that does not want to do anything to help that pain.
  6. shadowonthewall

    shadowonthewall Well-Known Member

    It is selfish in the strictest sense. It's normally done with one's own interests at its heart. However, it would be completely unjustifiable to expect someone to be selfless if they are experiencing relentless physical or emotional pain, with little hope of improvement. NOBODY is so indebted to another person as that they should be morally expected to continue enduring for the indefinite future. The ones who condemn it as selfish likely haven't been in the position of having to sacrifice that much for the sake of someone else, and therefore are in no position to judge. If they have been in that position, they probably have too much decency in their character to begrudge another the right to choose.

    It's FAR more selfish for others to want to deny their loved ones the right to choose. And downright cruel, to boot.
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I made a very serious attempt on my life in 2011, I was in a coma on life support, on a ventilator, I could not breathe on my own. Was this selfish? Looking back at the time I was so severely depressed,I had been a total recluse for years upon years due to severe bullying and trauma from abuse(was just on my way to getting myself out of the reclusiveness), my medications were not working, the psych ward at that particular time did not help,I was in the middle of a rape case (it would not make court, that I found out in 2013). I felt I had torn a family apart, a community actually as I am from a small village and everybody knew about it and gossiping. The police knew I was telling the truth, they told me so. I felt I had made everyone's life a misery including my own families. I deeply believed that I was not wanted by anyone, I felt so alone. I was with a boyfriend who I knew who was only with me because I provided him with things. I was just so desperate to not be alone. I honestly and truly believed that no one wanted me alive. That to me is not selfish, in that frame of mind I believed I was doing everyone a favour. That boyfriend at the time would not even tell the paramedics what I had taken(he knew, I know he knew although he was asleep at the time of the overdose) and told them I had been unconscious for an hour when in fact it was a day.

    Looking back, I am so glad they found me in time to place me on that ventilator and that I woke from that coma within a few days, I cannot say how I felt when I woke because I was hallucinating for days from the extremity of the drugs I took. From what I have been told, when my next of kin were informed that I had taken an overdose and was in hospital, they were not allowed to see me for several hours as the doctors had to perform a brain scan to see if my brain was still active and place me in ICU. One doctor came out to the waiting area and started playing with my niece and offering my family tea and coffee. In my mum's words that's when she knew this was serious. Doctors do not come out to the waiting area offering tea and coffee. After a few hours mum and sister came into ICU and were told that ''it was not looking good and to prepare....they didn't say for what but it's obvious''. They handed my jewellery to my mum and my posessions they took from the house I was came in from. She stayed awake day and night several days until I woke up. She said it was the worst experience of her life. Yes-now looking back of course the guilt eats me up intensely but AT THE TIME I WAS IN A DIFFERENT STATE OF MIND. I felt I was not wanted and no-one would care and some would be happy.

    So....In some circumstances, no I do not believe it is selfish. Others, I honestly cannot judge other's circumstances, I do not know what was going through their mind. That's the problem, you never know what is going through someone else's mind.

    Unless I have walked in their footsteps I am not in a position to judge.

    Right now, my life has improved greatly. I am happy. I look forward to each day. I appreciate the very little things now. Anything that comes extra is a bonus. I will continue to help others out of their darkness, with therapy and trying multiple medications, I am now on the right road :) I love life.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
  8. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Selfish is when people refuses to help someone who is depressed. That is selfish. Then the depressed person is more and more alone and the suicide may be the result. And the reason for that is then obvious. So no, suicide is not selfish. Nobody wants to die. When someone suicides, it's not because they wants to die, it's because they wanna get out of the pain. And the suicide happens when pain outweighs hope. Don't lose hope. Reach out for people, tell them about your problems and if they'll refuse to be with you, they are selfish.
  9. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I totally agree with Viktor in that suicide is not a selfish act but the ultimate sacrifice when a person can no longer cope with their life. A lot people choose to commit suicide as they have no option. They cannot cope with pain or anguish they feel. However, with understanding and support people can continue with to live whilst having such feelings. The recovery process might take months or years but it's about dealing with life at one day at a time.
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