T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of life.

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Hatshepsut, Jun 13, 2014.

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  1. Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut Guest

    :grey: No one will “put” a person down on that person’s request, in the way that is done for animals. But this does not come from a universal consensus that all human life is sacred. Our societies have no problem with “putting” people down by the thousand in acts of war and justifying the results.

    Instead, the problem with suicides is that they cause disequilibrium in the survivors. Therefore, Society, as embodied in the elites who make its Laws, demands that every citizen bear up to the pressures of life, all the way to the end. Fear of social disorder, not special concern for life, drives the stigma against suicide.

    Death in effect becomes a performance by the declining person, for the benefit of those who will watch the death. It is homage to the social order and to the gods who allow people to be born. We saw the phenomenon in the offering table scenes of ancient Egypt, and we see it today in the mighty West.

    :grey: The relevance for this forum is that I think it makes struggles against personal depression harder. For beneath the patina of optimistic denial in our Political Correctness, everyone can deduce the facts, and perceive cynical ugliness lurking in the pond of “life values.” We label the suicide as “selfish,” yet the deed is hardly more selfish than many of the strategies we are permitted freely, such as careerism at expense of “stranger” others.

    I read here a lot of depressed people expressing some form of this basic truth.

    <Mod Edit> It would be good to hear more satisfying answers than “there’s so much to live for” or “your problems are only temporary” or “you realize how much it will hurt your family if you...” And I don’t have the answers. I doubt anyone else does. That is sad.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  2. iwanttohelp

    iwanttohelp Well-Known Member

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    I agree. Thank you for making this very important point.

    Any labeling of ourselves or others as selfish is counter productive and unhelpful.

    The only concern should be that people who are suffering find some relief.

    I really hope that more people come to understand that.

    All that matters is that you get help and keep reaching out if you are in pain.
  3. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    Maybe, just maybe, as well as the above, there is a vestigial belief in the collective unconscious to do with the sacredness of life - but people don't know how to express that, and don't want to be seen as pushing their beliefs onto others, so thus it becomes a taboo subject?
  4. Ladygrace

    Ladygrace Active Member

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    I found this wonderful bit of a text a few years back that i saved as it was nice to see there are people who understand things.

    Please read as it explains somethings.

  5. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    The trouble with the stigma of suicide is that euthanasia is not universally available to people, like it is in places such as Switzerland. Someone like Tony Nicklinson: http://www.itv.com/news/2012-08-22/timeline-the-life-and-death-of-tony-nicklinson/
    or Diane Pretty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Pretty is they are forced by an uncaring society to suffer, wheras if it was a horse, for example, then it would be humane to end its suffering with what is to all intents and purposes euthanasia
  6. NYJmpMaster

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

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    The absolute completely ridiculous comparison people like to make about "will do for animals what they will not do for people" absolutely boggles the mind. When that is taken a step further and compared to the rare assisted suicide laws and the poor attempts (based on pure lack of knowledge, inexperience, and selfish desire to overstate how bad things are caused by the narcissistic nature of depression) to compare those to depression and mental illness should actually be an excellent as to WHY assisted suicide not only is not an option but should never be an option to people with mental illness.

    If I were to post on here my dog did not like to go on walks and play with his toys for the last 6 months so I think he is depressed and I had him put down, or that my kitten stopped playing and chasing string and did not like to pretend to stalk birds since an young kitten so I had it euthanized then I suspect a great many people here and around the world would not be talking about what a kind act i had performed. We do not kill animals that are depressed any more than we kill people that are depressed and when we do it for other reasons such as aggression or behavior problems it is typically demonstrated against and looked down upon and the comments of how it is the fault or the owner and that is who should be put down abound. The comparison is baseless and ridiculous and very poorly thought out using self serving and short sighted logic.

    When it comes to assisted suicide it is even worse. It is disgraceful that any of the people here that have chronic TERMINAL illnesses have to listen to the bollocks about how dying is better and people on here claiming they envy the terminal ill. I assure you they only envy it until they become genuinely sick - and not even terminal- look at the hundreds of posts that talk how awful life is and then throw even non terminal inconvenient physical illness on as a genuine stressor. Amplify that 1000x for those with actual untreatable illnesses and diseases. Any on here that think that their "depression" is equitable has never been on an oncology ward nor even been sincerely ill since everyone of these people suffer an equal or greater level of "depression" PLUS genuine physical pain and indignities that I will not even detail, the need for nurses to visit our homes, and not the lack of desire to get out of bed or leave the house but the inability, and instead of whining about the "side effect" of a drug so decided would never take any drug (except the alcohol and recreational street drugs galore that are the cause of most of the depression because those side effects are fine since they come with a 10 minute period of euphoria and false sense of wellness and no warning label) instead literally go to congress screaming to be allowed to test drugs and do not care what side effect including an even more painful death is the result of this drug trial so long as the result is a slower death..

    The lack of desire to shave and take a shower does not come anywhere near to matching the inability to use the bathroom so need to wear a diaper and a bedpan - cant do anything right typical whining about yourself is NOT the same as a nurse to to bathe you and hoping they show up before the colostomy bag overfills...

    The team of Doctors verifying you will be DEAD no matter what you do or medical science does in less than 6 months which is the typical criteria for assisted suicide in the places where it is allowed on very limited basis is DIFFERENT than you did not have a good year at school or have had a life of disappointments so you decide you do not want to live. Most pointedly because the only real difference most often is that everybody has a life of disappointments - but some focus on that to the exclusion of all else because of a self perception impaired by mental illness- the same perception problem that makes it ridiculous to call it a fair or reasonable choice "to die" as clearly evident to anybody that has been around here a few years and seen even here the vast majority that want to do nothing but die disappear and when hear from then 2 or 3 years later they have gone on to have some wonderful things in life and while possibly going to a downturn have lost the selfish narcissistic sense that they are the only one in the world with problems and that there problems are the most important things in the world.

    The stigma of suicide exists because it is the manifestation of of lack of foresight and the height of antipathy towards the millions that struggle to simply live every day. It exists because people that have their perception so skewed due to depression and mental illness that they think their emotional pain trumps that of all the others around them so they make comments when hearing of tragedies like "I wish it would have been me" which while likely true does not make it fair or polite in any way to those that are suffering on that other level. Do people attach a stigma with suicide and mental illness? Yes, of course they do, and while it is not always nice there is a lot of reason for it and most of that reason is the fault of us, the deeply depressed and suicidal.
  7. Isaak

    Isaak Active Member

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    I generally agree with the spirit of what you're stating--) I take exception to these statements for their slant (call it straw man/aunt sally, ad hominem, or just oversimplifications) and inaccuracy.

    Don't get me wrong-- nothing turns my stomach more than (relatively) privileged, naive high school upperclassmen/university sophomores contemplating suicide as an escape from their "lives in the Darkness" (though admitting they have nurturing families, close friends, and access to SSRIs). That's easy enough to dismiss as out of hand. Unfortunately, there are a multitude of mental illnesses that are serious enough, especially given a lack of resources, to render them nonfunctioning, but competent, and in chronic distress.

    Some arrive to suicide by taking the other side of "the longview": their pain (and their lives) doesn't even matter in a world with more demonstrable suffering, so may as well opt out than ask for help.

    I've learned with time that discounting or dismissing someone else's pain leads to a "race to the bottom" dynamic that erodes empathy and compassion on the whole, helping no one.
  8. Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut Guest

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from concern for sacredness of life

    :biggrin1: I realize now that communication in writing is subject to failure also, probably even more than with speaking. Original idea inside my head was to question whether government policy against suicide is motivated by reverence for life or by fear of social disorder, given that governments don't seem to mind loss of life in wars, law enforcement shootings, and so on. But people can't read minds. So when writing, I made several mistakes. Here's how:

    1. I should not have used the phrase "put down" because it switched the topic to "euthanasia for animals." This easily drifted further, to comparison between "death with dignity laws for terminal cancer patients" and "euthanasia on demand for the mentally ill."
    2. Next, one of the moderators edited the post to remove a quote, which contained a question involving animal euthanasia. That's okay; maybe what I wrote would have disturbed the person quoted if he/she saw it. But the first sentence with the phrase "put down" was semantically linked to this quote (as answer to its question), so the edit left it orphaned. Hence inviting the drift of topic just noted.

    :biggrin1: I agree with NYJumpMaster that euthanizing mentally ill persons would indeed be bad policy. It's something Adolf Hitler favored, for one thing. I also agree that direct comparison of circumstance between depression and cancer is invalid. However, I still believe stigma against suicide doesn't really come from an official respect for life, but only because deaths by suicide affect the collective sense of optimism need for a smooth social order.

    Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I learned from them. :)
  9. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from concern for sacredness of life

    Maybe it's not an "either/or" Hats, but a "both/and" - a mixture of the two. There is the collective sense of optimism needed for smooth social order (in the light of which, anything that betrays this is likely to be stigmatised) - as well as the vestigial beliefs of likely personal consequences from the untimely cessation of existence. Anyone who can divide these accurately to prove it's either only one or the other ought to become the world's guru!
  10. Adam

    Adam SF Supporter

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from concern for sacredness of life

    The taboo of suicide comes from religious origin mostly. I imagine there is a primal fear at the core of it. Because it goes against absolutely everything normal. People have done and endured a lot just to live, the desire to live is a default prime instinct so fierce that even on the cusp of unconscious and terrible injury the body seeks to live to find safety or help. So to see such an intense survival instinct turned on its head is likely rather alarming to people. Most faiths are staunchly against it. Out side of faith you hit the pro choice people but also the slippery slope argument. Of how do you know the person is not being subtly pushed to it for economic reasons. The most common statement of the terminally ill, is the feeling of being a burden.

    I wrote something before that addresses the question is suicide selfish as it comes up a lot. My thoughts on euthanasia are also rather complex. As it is not a simplistic stance of for or even against.

    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.
  11. ayumi

    ayumi New Member

    Re: T/F? Stigma against suicide comes not from special concern for sacredness of lif

    "I believe that there is no difference between someone who is terminally Ill and someone who has repeated, untreatable or somewhat treatable mental disorders."

    This is a really broad statement to make and there are several generalisations present. What sort of mental disorders are we talking about? To what severity? What sort of symptoms? A lot more research still needs to be conducted into the field of mental illnesses--at least on the same level as research for various physical illnesses has been conducted--before you can even state that there is no difference between someone who is terminally ill and someone who has repeated, untreatable or somewhat treatable mental disorders. A variety of mental disorders can be treated with a combination of therapy, support and medication and a lot of them also have very high success rates--major depression, for example, has a 90% success rate or something similar (I can't remember the exact statistic off the top of my head and I can't be bothered looking it up now, but I assure you, this is true). Terminal illness patients often do not share the same luxury. For an illness to be classified as "terminal" or for a patient to be told there is nothing that can be done/they will die in a matter of time/the illness has progressed to the stage where treatment might not help, they likely do not have a choice between living and dying. And for that reason, why shouldn't they be allowed to end their lives on their own terms? Why shouldn't they be allowed to make a choice to die before experiencing pain or incredibly painful disabilities as a result of their illness?

    I'm all for treating mental illnesses and I'm absolutely not saying mental illnesses are fictitious or that mentally ill people just need to "suck it up", but there IS a difference. A terminally ill person can physically do little to help their condition; it's not the same for a mentally ill person.

    As a mentally ill person myself I can see quite clearly that my pain is not superior to anyone else's pain and I'm more than willing to acknowledge that there are plenty of people out there who are suffering much worse than I am. Terminally ill people are some of those people. To claim that mental illness and terminal illness are on the same level makes me quite upset; my grandmother struggled against Parkinson's for several years before she passed away and I would never claim that sort of emotional and physical pain is the same as someone struggling with OCD. I'm not saying that either pain should be ignored or used as a means of shaming people, but just that they're not on the same level. And therefore, the person struggling with OCD cannot be placed on the same level as someone suffering from Parkinson's. It's simply not the same. My grandmother certainly didn't die with "dignity", she was confined to a bed for the majority of her latter years and I assume the same is the case for a majority of terminally ill people. So please, rid yourself of delusions of how terminally ill people have a variety of benefits and are granted the privilege of passing away with dignity; a lot of the time, they are stripped of any bodily autonomy they previously had and are forced to allow themselves to be cared for by other people and the sort of dependence terminal illness may force you to have on another human being is far from "dignified".

    I'm not attacking the person who quoted this or the original author of this--these are just my views on the matter. Terminal illness =/= mental illness.
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