- Fri, 18:33: RT @IsaacFitzgerald: I too failed to pass my skinny plan this summer.
- Fri, 20:19: I keep thinking about this, after reading some related comments about it, and I’m going to keep repeating this until I no longer feel I have to.
People who are genuinely suicidal deserve our compassion, not our contempt. Accusing them of selfishness and shouting about the pain caused all their loved ones left behind is unhelpful. When a person is in so much pain they can literally no longer bear the burden of living, the pain of others is secondary. I would argue it’s not even relevant. If there is any way to reach, and to help, a suicidal person, hurling any kind of hostility at them is not the way to do it, nor will it ever be.
I have a theory that attempted suicide is a cry for help, and successful suicide is in another category altogether. It’s the gray area that’s tricky, and how truly dangerous “a cry for help” can be: sometimes, someone who doesn’t really, deep down, want to die, does something like, say, swallow a bunch of pills. And then it kills them anyway. It’s all in the method: people who have genuine need for permanent escape from what they experience as a living hell? They choose methods that are guaranteed.
I am a supporter of assisted suicide. I think it should be a last resort without question, but I also think that extends to more than people living with fatal diseases. There are people with mental illnesses so severe that all other options available to them offer no relief. I think perhaps they should not be offered this option unless a mental health professional agrees it’s the only way to ease their suffering. I’ve never understood how we live in a culture that accepts the idea of putting animals out of their misery, but not people. That makes no sense. And physical pain is not the only kind of misery some people cannot escape.
That said, I suspect *most* people can still find some kind of help in their quest to exhaust all options first. They could perhaps start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). But whoever picks up that phone has to respond with understanding and empathy, no matter what. And so should any and all of a suicidal person’s loved ones. To say that responding with anger is counterproductive would be an understatement.
P.S. I’ve also said this before and it bears repeating: the 2006 documentary THE BRIDGE is worth your time. It’s the movie that turned me around on this issue.