Who are the real selfish people?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by jwill226, Dec 8, 2011.

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  1. jwill226

    jwill226 Member

    I have not been to this forum in sometime and a thought has been consuming me lately that I feel would be best discussed here. Sorry if this is not the right place for this.

    That said; I have been dealing with a particularly difficult time in my life and suicide is taking up most of my thoughts again and I was thinking:

    Who is more selfish; the people that commit suicide, or the people that tell them not to? I always hear people say its selfish to commit suicide because of all the people left behind.

    I disagree with this. Why force someone to suffer? My point being if you had a dog that was old and had lots of life threatening issues people would tell you it was selfish to keep using the vet to keep it alive and that you should put it down. Its selfish to force that dog to live in pain and discomfort. It should be the same with people; why would you want to force someone to live with the problems that plague them on a daily basis just so you can see them when you want?

    For the sake of argument I ask that we keep this conversation based on people that have a long history with depression and/or traumatic events. Not someone that had a bad day or broke up with a girl or something else more common with the younger people that have nothing to compare to.
  2. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Well it's case dependant. Most of the time no matter how bad it gets, there is always the opportunity for it to get better. Some depression erodes you over months or years to a point that feels like you can't escape. Or something dramatic happens that causes you to feel you'll never get that back. The problem with suicidal issues is the definite views that dominate over other more optimistic views. You can truly "know" there's no chance or hope for you. But it's usually never like that, but it never feels like that.

    I think neither are selfish to be honest. Suicide is your choice, your life. Though it is an undeniable aspect that in ending it you will harm the people connected to your life. It's not selfish for people using this to stop you, though I would say, it's a very shallow way of doing it. The only thing that's deep about it, is the emotional connections we feel to those close to us. So when someone reminds us of whom we'd be hurting, it's a associated reminder of those more pleasant relationships and feelings that we wish to protect. But I would say, the best thing someone can do if they say this, is to also try to truly talk to you. Try to help you dig deeper so you can express the problems, or find the way to strengthen the rest of yourself so that deep part of despair doesn't encompass you.

    Sorry, im in a blah moment. Neither are truly selfish to me in their own context imo.
  3. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    I always find this an interesting argument. In some ways suicide is selfish and in some ways it isn't. Suicide is devastating for those left behind, no matter how much we think people don't care there is always one person that does. They will grieve and lose a big part of their life and their life will be forced to change. There is also the burden on the person who finds the body. Whether this be a family member or a stranger, it will no doubt scar them for life, maybe even cause mental health problems for them in the future if they get PTSD from it. It is usually assumed by many people that mental illness can be treated, controlled and even cured. While I agree it can be in many cases, for some people mental illness is a chronic terminal illness. Many have been in therapy for years, tried every medicine under the sun yet their life hasn't changed and suicide is the only way they can cure their suffering. In my opinion, you wouldn't condemn a terminally ill person dying from cancer, MS or dementia for wanting to go to Switzerland to end their life before their physical AND emotional suffering became unbearable, so why should someone suffering from chronic mental illness for decades be condemned for wanting to end their emotional turmoil and suffering? A lot of it is ignorance on many people's parts. I believe that if you haven't experienced mental illness, you will never understand what a sufferer is feeling no matter how hard you try. While I would always, always advocate people to seek help because there is a potential for them to get better, for some people it doesn't and we have to be honest here.

    I think I am kind of going to repeat on my previous points stated here, but in some ways I don't believe it is selfish of people to tell people to think of them and the pain they will go through if someone were to commit suicide. I agree with the above poster, it is a shallow approach to adopt but somewhere inside is a person who is trying to help the sufferer get better and let them know that they are cared for and cared about and loved. Shallow and maybe slightly ignorant, maybe but selfish, no. Yes the person is thinking about the way they feel and may or may not take the sufferer's pain into consideration but in a weird, warped way, they are trying to let that person know they are loved and cared for and not alone.
  4. jwill226

    jwill226 Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    Its nice to know I'm not totally alone although I can see both sides. I guess its easy to get a little self centered on this matter. This is the only place in my life where I could ever even bring up this topic. In my personal life I would just be made fun of by anyone that knows me and or locked in a padded room and that would cause me a whole new set of problems. Even if one day I was made better and even though I'm not working at the moment one trip to a padded room would destroy my career.

    Maybe selfish was not the right word but its the word I have heard the most. I understand that if you are going to traumatize the life of someone else by them finding you then that's not right. I want to go to my grave with the knowledge that I never retaliated in any way against all of the people that have caused me pain. Some how I think that makes me the bigger person. My plans involve me disappearing as far as any one would know. I can say with certainty that my body would never be found so I guess I didn't look at it from the perspective of the person finding the body.

    The other thing I don't think most non-suicidal people realize is that with the stigma that they place on suicide it stops people like us from getting the help we need. If I go to a mental health facility and tell them I want to kill myself I will be locked up. They do this instead of helping so they can feel like they have done something. I find that to be a self serving behavior. On the other hand I have never been in that situation so maybe I'm off in my perceptions.

    Personally when I read stories about people that have committed suicide I look at it as their in a better place now even though the article is full of quotes from the friends and families saying what about us. Its like they have no compassion for the struggle that this person has been threw and their only concern in them selves. You never hear what about us when a man dies of cancer. I see my depression as a cancer, it just gets worse and worse. Sometimes it might go into remission but then it comes back somewhere else and worse then before.

    Basically if your not putting your self out there to help someone then you have no right to tell them that their decision is selfish. Of course its selfish; there is no one around with the answers I need. I must rely on myself to handle the situation.

    Sorry if this comes off as a rant I have a lot on my mind.
  5. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    Like others have said, it really depends.

    I think it's pretty selfish to kill yourself if you have young children who depend on you. It's also selfish if you do it for attention… and I definitely think that this happens. If you're doing it to 'end your pain', then I think there's a grey area-- if you could have helped yourself, then it's not really selfish so much as dumb. If it's something that's permanent and irreversible, then it depends on the severity-- I personally think that if I ever went through with it, and there are days when I actually feel impulsive enough to do it, then I would probably be dumb for doing it… because even though I don't have it as easy as some people, I definitely don't have it as hard as others who have had the strength to keep going. So yeah, I guess I'd also be weak and cowardly… or maybe not, since I guess it isn't really so much that I don't want to keep going so much as I really just feel a strong urge to do it that kind of stops me from being rational and considering my other options.

    The only time I would be completely in favor of suicide is in a euthanasia situation where someone is in a debilitating amount of pain, has tried and tried and not found another solution, and there's absolutely no way to reverse it or live with it… like, let's say if someone has terminal cancer and they're too sick to get out of bed and it's pretty much guaranteed that they have nothing to look forward to except more agony-- and they're also being a financial burden. Then they should do it. Or if they're old and incapacitated… my grandpa started smoking cigarettes when he lost my grandma, and I think it was because he couldn't really think of too many reasons to keep going-- which is fair enough. I don't really think he was selfish for doing that at all… I mean, we still liked him and everything, but I don't think he had so much going on in his daily life…

    I think the only other time I support suicide is if it's the name of a worthy cause… like protesting oppression or war or something like that. I think if I was ever going to do it, I would hope that I would stop and at least think to do it for a worthy cause like OWS or something. Not that anyone would really care beyond maybe a day or two.
  6. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    I personally dont really understand what the problem is. Someone commits suicide and they are selfish? Who are these people aiming that at exactly? The people who are already dead? Its not like they are going to care whether they are going to be called selfish or not, they're dead after all.
  7. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

    It could be argued that people who don't say anything at all are more selfish.

    And what about those people who say "Go ahead, do it," are they selfish?

    Where do I stand on this issue (not your question)? Personally, I think it's a persons choice. It's a very tricky thing because we cannot publicly endorse suicide without seeming to be killers or enablers. We have to keep in mind that failed suicides can be more expensive than the suicide itself. After all, nobody knows the future. What if a future Adolf Hitler walked into your clinic, wanting a suicide pill? How do we handle this.

    The best way to suicide is to see an opportunity, so nobody notices. For example, if you're in an earthquake, you could stand beneath a crumbling brick wall and let it collapse on top of you. Nobody would know that you killed yourself. There're lots of options. But this is a tough thing to manage, since this act requires cognitive awareness and concentration. I have to wonder if a suicidal person could accomplish it. For example, one could join the military and go to the front lines and sacrifice yourself for your comrades at every turn and die that way. But getting there would requires extreme mental and physical discipline.

    If somebody walks up to me and tells me they're interested in dying, I will counsel them and do what I can to stop them. Maybe they're alone. But I know that I cannot, if it's their true intent to end their life.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2011
  8. vir

    vir Well-Known Member

    What if someone was a pedophile, who was sexually attracted to kids, and loathed himself for it? Would suicide be warranted? Is there a place for him anywhere in our society? Would everyone be better off without him around? Would he be better off dead and not hating himself every day and hiding who he is because of the horrible things our society thinks they want to do to him?
  9. AsphyxiateOnWords

    AsphyxiateOnWords If you're 555, then I'm 666.

    both are equally selfish i think
  10. Entoloma43

    Entoloma43 Well-Known Member

    Does it matter? Everyone is selfish. Human beings are selfish creatures.
  11. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    I know i've already posted, but since my minds lost track of where I was at.. Suicide in itself is survival on a twisted perceptual level. It's trying to escape or leave something that is "killing" you, wether that be physically or mentally. It's selfish by it's own means most of the time, but it's act is founded upon an inability to deal with something(s) on some level in most cases. Someone trying to help may actually not be so selfish if they can see an alternative way of dealing with the situations that are causing someone to be suicidal. It's not selfish in that aspect, it's a degree of care and compassion for another life or existence going through life just like everyone else.

    Idk I think the word selfish is too general to stamp on suicide, but I guess It applies from one point of view. . . It all depends though on the people and stuff.
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