Suicide is not a “selfish” act

A fair number of people are criticizing Anthony Bourdain post mortem by claiming his act was “selfish”: the implication being that he should have thought about the people he’d leave behind (including the critics) before doing the deed.

This is not only selfish on the part of the critics, who make their own feelings the center of attention, but also ignorant about what many who contemplate suicide are really thinking.  From my own experience and talking to others, I gather that they’re not thinking, “Wait a minute: maybe I should think about the the people I’ll leave behind. They’ll be devastated.” In reality, most, I suspect, are thinking, “I”m in pain and I want it to end.”

The same goes for those, like Rose McGowan, who claim that the suicidal person is thinking “The world will be better off without me.” I suspect that’s not common, either.

I have no patience for those who have only anger for those who kill themselves, or who tut-tut about the selfishness of the suicide. Sadness, bafflement, empathy—those are more rational emotions. Anger is corrosive, as are accusations of selfishness. And remember, even with drugs and counseling, and the help of good friends and loved ones, not everybody can be helped. (I am not, of course, advocating that you don’t try to help someone in trouble.)

To see how one can make a suicide about oneself and one’s feelings of anger instead of about the deceased, have a gander at actor Val Kilmer’s incoherent rant on Facebook.  A few excerpts:

#anthonybourdainisdead
Oh the darkness.

Oh the dark thick pain of loss. The selfishness.

How many moments away were you from feeling the love that was universal. From every corner of the world you were loved. So selfish. You’ve given us cause to be so angry. A spiritual guide once told me suicide is the most selfish act a human can execute and I was confused but she explained there’s just no mental place further away from humanity and purpose than the hypnotized numbness that creates the false picture of despair, that forces the victim, unaware, to believe, life’s legacy is over. That there is no more service. No more task. No more love left to give to another to to be given. Nothing to heal.

. . . . o what? I hear you took your life in paris. What hotel? Did you relapse? Did you just get home from the best meal of your life? Did you cheat on your girl. Those of us that knew you are shocked and angry and angry and angry selfishly angry, for what you just did to us. Millions I should think. At least a million people like me who imagine they know you. Some imagine they know you even well. But you heard that phone ringing, you felt it buzzing in your coat or pants pocket, vibrating a million times, but you didn’t answer it. You let it ring out. Did you bleed out? Did you suffocate? Did you jump. No you didn’t jump. Is it important we know how you did it? No. But that you did it. One of the tentative titles of my new studio is Bourdains.

You could have and should have given it one more shot. Sometimes we must live in service to another’s life and live with no hope of equality. Life isn’t fair that way. Who says you had a right to take away all this love from us so soon? Oh the darkness. The darkness on the edge of town.

Theres a lot more, but it doesn’t show much sympathy for Bourdain, a man worthy of great respect who must have been in great pain. All Kilmer’s rantings do is show what a jerk Kilmer is.

Here are some nice tributes:

169 Comments

  1. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I entirely agree about that. If contemplating suicide – and if, for one moment, the would-be suicide can find it in them to contemplate the effect on others – surely that consideration should be for their closest relatives or friends only. Not for people they’ve never met and who have no possible claim on them.

    Val Kilmer – what a preachy prat. If one was weighing up the pros and cons in the balance, and opinions like that even counted, pissing off sanctimonious wallies like that would be a plus in my jaundiced view.

    cr

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I’d very much like to tell Val to fuck off, and to take his godawful, 6th-form-poetry-level musings with him. The solipsism of what he wrote irritates me on a profound level.

      It’s bad enough without him passing on the teachings of his ‘spiritual advisor’, but the complete _lack of empathy_ displayed in what he wrote is what’s most striking.

      He doesn’t understand the extent to which depression pulls down everything in a person’s life(the seems to be true of the increasingly unbearable Rose McGowan); he admits to this failure of comprehension in his post. But when I can’t understand another person’s frame of mind what I do is step back. I don’t lunge in like that.

  2. Jamie
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this. Just yesterday I had a friend complain to me about the selfishness of suicide. They were so worked up about it I knew they wouldn’t hear a word on another point of view. It’s not that they lack compassion generally. It seemed to me they needed to believe it, perhaps as a defense against their own suicidal tendencies? But what struck me was not the idea, but the vehemence with which they expressed it.

  3. GBJames
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    sub

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Depression is a disease. Those fools like Kilmer might as well get angry and call selfish those who die from cancer too.

    • Filippo
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Have we yet heard from his “Top Gun” confrere, Tom Cruise?

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Kilmer sounds like Trump to me. Someone dies but what about me. Pathetic it is.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Yes, and he tried to be poetic about it. Yuck.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and it also reminds me of those who say not having children is selfish. Where do they get off?

      Perhaps all those thinking suicide is selfish need to think about how lucky they are that they’ve never known the profound despair that would make someone contemplate suicide.

      To borrow that ghastly phrase from the authoritarian left, they need to “check their privilege.” (A phrase a friend reminded me of recently.)

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I was thinking the same about the not having children. I’ve been called selfish exactly twice in my life to my face. Once was by the husband of a friend because I didn’t have children (that friendship ended because I hated being around that asshole) and another by a friend when I was clinically depressed because my depression “stressed her out”. I’m not friends with that person anymore.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          It’s a long time since I had to put up with such comments. I’ve never had it from another woman though, or when already deressed

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Those are two people you’re better off not being anywhere near. It’s bad enough that being depressed makes you hard to be around, which makes people avoid you, which makes you more depressed, ad infinitum, but for someone, a friend, to point this out to you, as though it was a sin of omission for you not to be more upbeat and cheery when around her…bloody hell.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Yes, sage advice. I was in my 20s when that happened. I desperately wanted to get better and antidepressants weren’t working. I had to work to afford school that summer going through it so it was a nightmare. I almost had to drop out of school but I was able to finally recover no thanks to shit friends, bad medical advice and the stigma of the whole thing at the time (I kept my depression a secret snow told only those who needed to know or who I trusted. If I didn’t, I am sure, people would have outwardly mocked me as “crazy”). Thank goodness I had an understanding boss & an understanding coworker.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          Considering that the world is over-populated, *having* children is the selfish thing, surely.

          I’ve had the ‘when are you two going to have kids’ question (sometimes with a nudge-nudge wink-wink connotation like it’s time I got on the job) quite often. I usually just brush it off with ‘We’ve got one’ (actually, inherited with my wife, but what of it?)

          Since when was making like rabbits such an important aspect of life? Well, not since people needed kids to support them in their old age or heirs to inherit the chateau and carry on the family line, I suppose.

          cr

          • Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

            When we are old and decrepit and no longer economically active, it will be incumbent upon the younger generation to support us. Those of us who have no children (I have no children) are not pulling our weight creating the next generation.

            Of course, this has to be balanced against the fact that having children enormously increases your carbon footprint. I don’t advise using that line though, even in response to the “you are not a complete person without children” trope. People with children tend to get very upset with you when you do use it.

            • GBJames
              Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

              Not pulling your weight? That’s an easy problem to solve… do something to make the world of the kids who are around a better place. That more than compensates.

              As for the carbon footprint case… IMO it is correct, regardless of whether someone has children or not. (FWIW… I have two.)

              • barn owl
                Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

                I don’t view my decision to not have children as a long-term failure to pull my weight. There are numerous ways in which people like me can contribute to the well-being of the younger generations. Currently I pay fairly substantial property taxes, most of which go towards supporting the public schools (I don’t resent this btw). I’ve always baby-sat and in other ways supported the children of my friends and family. I teach medical and dental students, and for many years did research on pediatric cancers. I’ve coached youth sports. I’m no different from many individuals who choose not to have children.

                Having children is the carbon footprint “gift” that keeps on giving, for generations and generations in most cases. Of course I don’t point this out to people who have kids, unless they really get up in my business about how I should risk my life cycling to work, or how I should become a vegan, or how I should not have dogs, etc.

        • Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          I have a very close friend who went through a period of depression once and I have to admit I found the whole experience extremely stressful, not least because, having never suffered from depression myself, I had no real understanding what she was going through.

          However, Even I am not so stupid that I would ever have admitted to her that I was having a difficult time being around her. To compare my stress and discomfort with her illness would have been the ultimate in selfishness.

  6. BJ
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve been loathe to remark on any of this, but here it goes…

    As someone who has suffered from severe depression for over fifteen years (since I was a teenager) that has, at times, overwhelmed all aspects of my life and ruined potential careers and successes, I can say that all the things you think don’t normally cross the mind of the suicidal person actually do. I’m not always severely depressed (at the moment, I haven’t had a severe depressive episode — a period of several months or evern a year or two during which I cannot get out of bed, almost never eat, don’t leave the house, etc. — in over two years), but I still often suffer from suicidal ideation even when I’m not in the midst of an episode, and I think about it all day every day during an episode.

    When I am suffering for months from a depressive episode, I absolutely do have the thought, with great frequency, that the lives of those around me would be so much easier without my presence. In fact, during the many times I have contemplated suicide, the thought that kept me from trying was, “Wait a minute: maybe I should think about the the people I’ll leave behind. They’ll be devastated.” Many times have I desperately wanted to end the pain for good, and every time it was consideration for the people who love me that I didn’t do it.

    Of course, it does make me somewhat angry that the thoughts of many who have lost someone to suicide are often those of anger, but I also understand them. I have to imagine that, through their pain, grief, guilt, and other emotions, my parents and those who love me would be angry if I ever took my life. And they would probably feel immense guilt for feeling angry in the first place! The point is that emotions in reaction to suicide are very complicated, and I don’t think people should be chided for them so long as they recognize that emotions like anger are themselves selfish if they are the overriding ones. So long as people close to someone who committed suicide do not express that anger around other loved ones of the victim, and so long as they recognize that feeling only anger and acting as if the victim has personally insulted them is wrong, it’s OK to feel that anger. Unfortunately, I did see someone claiming that their anger was the only thing they felt and they were justified in essentially hating their victim of suicide, and that’s very unfortunate.

    Sorry if this comment isn’t written all that well. I have good days and bad days. Some days I’m a brilliant writer, while on others my writing is simply amateurish and tedious. It all depends on how I’m feeling.

    And you all will be happy to know that, since I haven’t had an episode in about two years, the depression I feel on most days now is just a low-level thing, the kind of depression that allows people to function normally and simply results in a bit of lethargy and depressed emotion. Things are almost completely normal here these days, but I never know when another episode might strike. Hopefully never!

    • BJ
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Jerry, I would like to know what you think of this post, because I produced it in large part as a response to what you wrote above. I’m hoping it gives you a better understanding of things, and provides some reason for why people who were close to the victim might be given a pass for writing or talking about their own experience with someone else’s suicide.

      I agree, though, that some of the reactions to a suicide from people simply make things about themselves, and that’s disgusting.

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Then again, now that I’ve thought about it a bit more, if you’re an immediate famaily member/spouse, who else can you make it about? The person who committed suicide is gone. You can’t help them anymore or try to talk through their feelings. After the suicidal person is gone, the only person you really can think about is yourself.

        • Craw
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          It’s one thing for Boursin’s family to feel betrayed or angry, but quite another for someone to take to social media and self-aggrandize by playing the victim.

          • BJ
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

            I agree. I was just talking about what people feel internally. To go online and act like this fucking sucks.

        • Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for sharing your own experiences with depression. We need to know the truth people who know only too well whereof they speak.

          I am of mixed mind about anger at loved ones who commit suicide. Sometimes, I think it’s anger at self redirected at the suicide. The
          anger at self is for not knowing enough, not doing enough, not being enough for the suicide to want to stay. Selfish, of course. But, anger also occurs at dead loved ones when deaths are from “normal” illnesses or age. I may not think I am angry or express anger to others in “real” life, at my husband who died of cancer a little over two years ago. But, I still have dreams in which he leaves me behind that make my anger known to me. Senseless, I know. But, so.

          • BJ
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it’s totally understandable to feel anger, especially the anger at oneself, thinking one must have done something wrong. “If only I had been better in some way I can’t define, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” If you’re a parent, I’m sure it’s easy to feel angry at your child for causing you what is perhaps the greatest pain a parent can feel. If you’re a spouse, you might feel anger at the situation the victim has left you with: financial issues, planning the funeral, suddenly being alone when you thought you had a partner for life.

            When I used to seriously consider suicide, I would meticulously plan it in my head, everything with an eye toward minimizing the harm to those who loved me and trying to ensure that they would know there was nothing they could have done. Still, the reason I never came close to attempting it is because of the destruction I knew it would cause to the few people I loved, the few people who devoted their lives to me and to trying to help me get better.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I for one, appreciate your post.

      It reflects my own experience with depression and suicidal thoughts.

      Depression, as a disease, is a distortion and exaggeration of natural emotions related to the idea “I am a burden, a net cost, to my kin-group”. One can imagine old or sick individuals refusing food, or wandering off into the forest to die, during times of extreme duress, when staying around to be cared for seriously decreased other group members chances of survival.

      The underlying motive for suicide is altruistic.

      But those feelings are based on a distorted view of the lack of good and/or amount of harm you are doing, or the burden you are placing on others.

      Actually committing suicide will do real harm.

      These are the two messages the depressed, suicidal individual needs to hear.

    • GBJames
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing those thoughts, BJ.

    • Larry Smith
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      While Val Kilmer’s rant is over the top and is so full of himself and a “see how much I care” attitude, I do think that there is an element of selfishness to suicide. The choice that is being made here is that ending this pain is more important to me than the pain this will cause others. (I’m ignoring the free will question for now.)

      But my point is this: So what? When you make a decision to buy and drink a nice bottle of wine, instead of giving that money away so someone who is starving can survive, that is also a selfish act. But this is done millions of times every day, and it doesn’t make the headlines.

      Bourdain had no debt to Kilmer, me, or nearly anyone else. I only hope his daughter can come to terms with his death.

      Finally, I think anger in such cases is a perfectly legitimate response. Just as Kilmer has no right to tell Bourdain how selfish he was to kill himself, we have no right to tell others not to be angry. I do agree that wallowing in the anger or accusations of selfishness are counterproductive, and there’s so much more to be gained by empathy and, when one is able to, celebration of an apparently remarkable person and life.

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        “The choice that is being made here is that ending this pain is more important to me than the pain this will cause others. (I’m ignoring the free will question for now.)”

        One thing I was trying to make clear is that many people who commit suicide think that ending their lives will make the lives of those around them better. They think that they’re such a burden in life that leaving this earth will ultimately be a relief for their loved ones. People around those who are severely depressed often have to deal with many burdensome things like emotional and financial support, disappointment, the emotional pain of seeing someone they love suffer, etc. I know I’ve thought many times that the lives of people close to me would be easier if I was gone.

        The point is that suicide isn’t just the result of someone thinking, “I just want this all to end and I’m not going to consider the effect my death will have on anyone else.” The suicidal person often thinks they’ll be doing everyone else a favor.

        • Larry Smith
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Thank you for clarifying this and for offering all of us your unique perspective. I feel like I have learned a little bit more today about what it is to be a human being.

          • BJ
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            Glad to help 🙂

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            I can only echo Larry Smith’s comments. Your words are eloquent and perspicacious, and they come from someone who knows experientally and intellectually what it’s all about — even as to understanding, but not excusing, the selfishness of those who call someone who commits suicide selfish. As someone who has her own demons to chase, I agree with what you say.

        • Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I would like to add…
          a friend who decided 3 times to remove themselves and after talking to a specialist, was warned, that taking his own life WOULD BE SEEN as a legitimate way for his own sons to solve hard and confronting problems.
          It stopped him in his tracks.
          This is something to consider and the more high profile the person is, is there danger lurking for people on the fringes considering suicide? I don’t know.
          When Kirk Cobain (Nirvana) committed suicide my teenage son was a fan, cassettes, posters etc., he (my son) called him a prat (and more) and i, for better or for worse, encouraged him to hold that line.

          • mikeyc
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Conner said at his memorial; “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club…”, referring to Cobain’s uncles and cousin, who took their own lives. She went on;”…I told him not to join that stupid club”. She added that she told him;

            “Don’t ever join the stupid club. You would break more hearts than you know. You are loved for your kindness, your generosity to your friends, your music, yourself. You are the strongest most real person I know.”

            • Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

              Funny enough, that’s one of the things my son called him…stupid, he had it all going for him (Cobain) and is why i am a little reluctant to call suicide “selfish” as Cobain in this case, had quite a lot to lose, but it wasn’t enough. Unselfish or selfish seems of little value as a statement when coupled with suicide.

              • mikeyc
                Posted June 10, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

                Quite right.

        • Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I would like to add…
          a friend who decided 3 times to remove themselves and after talking to a specialist, was warned, that taking his own life WOULD BE SEEN as a legitimate way for his own sons to solve hard and confronting problems.
          It stopped him in his tracks.
          This is something to consider and the more high profile the person is, is there danger lurking for people on the fringes considering suicide? I don’t know.
          When Kirk Cobain (Nirvana) committed suicide my teenage son was a fan, cassettes, posters etc., he (my son) called him a prat (and more) and i, for better or for worse, encouraged him to hold that line.

      • Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I am one of those people who thinks people generally should be more selfless than they are.

        But there is wisdom in sometimes being selfish. If one gives too much to others and never to oneself, one eventually “burns out”. The trick is the balance, as it is in many things. (Aristotle’s mean here.)

    • shelleywatsonburch
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you for sharing so openly. When my husband committed suicide, the state medical examiner’s office sent a packet to the house to help the next of kin work through the suicide. It included a lot of statistics and advice from mental health experts, explaining what to expect in the grieving process. Anger is part of the grieving process after suicide. I didn’t expect to feel that way, but sure enough I passed through every stage they predicted. The anger comes from sorrow and regret and the pain of something that can’t be undone. All you can think is ‘why why why ?’ It’s not something you can control, it’s a natural part of grieving suicide. What a suicidal person may not be able to see is that no one is ever better off without them. Those left behind are never right again.

      My current partner has mafor depression, anxiety disorder and bipolar II disorder. Depression is a constant. Between my husband’s death and my life with my partner, I’ve learned a lot about that kind of suffering. Still I am optimistic and hope that research and treatment improves the lives of the many people who live in pain.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for writing this. I’m glad that you’ve been able to avoid suicide.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry about your struggles; I hope they’re behind you. I’ll look forward to reading your insightful comments here at WEIT for a long time!

    • Liz
      Posted June 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad to have come across you on here. Thanks for sharing. It’s appreciated.

  7. S.K.Graham
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you are absolutely correct — the underlying motivations for suicide are altruistic, not selfish. It is an attempt to relieve others of the ([mis]perceived) burden of one’s continued existence.

    HOWEVER, because, in the modern world (as opposed to the world in which these emotional drives evolved), the “burden” one places on others is nearly always a distorted and erroneous perception, it may be useful to *call* suicide selfish.

    Telling potential suicides that suicide is selfish is basically saying the following:

    “Killing yourself will hurt people more than whatever harm you believe you are doing by your continued existence”.

    And, in the modern world, this is actually *true* 99.99% of the time.

    And because this is true, then to commit suicide is arguably a selfish act.

    At the very least it has an effect opposite to its motive.

    Rather than calling suicide “selfish”, it might be best to say this:

    “If you are thinking of suicide, you might think you would be doing the world, or society, or your family, a favor. That is very noble of you. But rest assured you will do far more harm by killing yourself than whatever harm you think you have done or are doing in your life.”

    BUT, though somewhat inaccurate, it is easier and more concise to say “suicide is selfish” and may have the same effect on most potential suicides (“I don’t want to be selfish, I don’t want to cause more pain/harm…”)

    BUT, I can also see the short form backfiring — making anyone contemplating suicide feel even worse about themselves.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Followup.

      I replied too quickly, thinking I knew your premise based on the first few lines, and so thought I was largely in agreement.

      But… you say the following is uncommon?

      “The world will be better off without me”?

      The ‘world’ here is just a psychological proxy for kin & tribe.

      And two bits worth *evolutionary* thinking makes clear that this is the only explanation of suicidal depression that makes any sense.

      Suicides are indeed in immense emotional pain precisely because they believe at a fundamental emotional level that they a net cost to kin&tribe.

  8. Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    That Val Kilmer post is ironic and coincidental for me because just last night I watched the 1993 movie, Tombstone, where Kilmer’s character, Doc Holliday, was eager to get himself killed in order to end his suffering from tuberculosis.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    … those, like Rose McGowan, who claim that the suicidal person is thinking “The world will be better off without me.”

    I think “the world will be better off without me” is something said by those seeking attention by threatening suicide (and Ms. McGowan herself bears the indicia of an attention-seeker) or by those who wish to be talked out of a suicide attempt.

    Doesn’t matter who you are, aside from close friends and family, your passing will have scant and fleeting impact on the world-at-large, and it’s narcissistic to think otherwise.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      No.

      Just no.

      “The world would be better of without me” encapsulates what is fundamental going on with suicidal depressive (and depression in general).

      Narcissist don’t get depressed. They get unhappy. They blame everyone else for whatever they are unhappy about. They may act depressed and may mimic depression for attention, but that is not the same thing.

      Actual depression, at its core, is believing *inaccurately* that the world, your family, your in-group, your tribe, society, would be better of if you were dead.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        “The world would be better of without me” encapsulates what is fundamental going on with suicidal depressive (and depression in general).”

        While this is undoubtedly true for some, I disagree that this is “encapsulates what is fundamental…with suicidal depressive[s?] (and depression in general).” I, too, have suffered from depression most of my life. I’ve experienced suicidal ideation, and have made a couple of attempts at suicide, that were more cries for help (even though one method was so, shall I say, ao esoteric that nobody would have known I’d done it myself (in my early, tormented, lonely adolescence trying to give myself radiation poisoning so that I would die like Madame Curie). Never have I thought that the world would be better off without me; rather, that I would be better off without the world, i.e., dead. when I was older and had suicidal ideationsI did consider that it would destroy my loved ones, and that was a big deterrent.

        As I noted in yesterday’s related post, there are many reasons that can drive a person to commit suicide. We tend to focus on one or another exclusively, see it as “the” reason and make sweeping generalizations about the why and wherefore. Depression isn’t the only reason: there are other mental illness (including schizophrenia), extreme and unremitting physical pain or discomfort (say breathing), dementias, and other conditions that can drive one to contemplate and commit suicide. These are some reasons, but none of them can be considered “the” reason which, when probed, will explain everything; further, every case is individual. Each of us here who have spoken about our personal battles with depression attests to that. I think this must be kept in mind.

        And as far as being selfish, after reading “Adam’s Story.” linked by Diana MacPherson http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/adam_ross_story, I defy anyone (except an old line Catholic or someobody like that) to call that 37 year old man, who appears to be in the pink of health, “selfish” for committing suicide. And look at the care he took to prepare his loved ones, and he had many.

        I mention the RC Church because a few days ago, by happenstance, I came across a ludicrous declaration that Christ decreed that we should suffer the pains of death because thereby it reminds us and we emulate the suffering of Christ on the Cross. This is the stupidest cruelest shit imaginable. How many uncountable people died in agony because of this. Mother Teresa surely put her stamp of approval on this.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Posted June 10, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Yes, you are right. There are many reasons for depression and suicide, only some of which are related to the thought that “the world would be better off without me.”

          I developed anxiety so bad in my late 20’s that eating, sleeping, and breathing became unrelenting physical struggles. I would gag and choke on anything liquid or solid. I felt like I could never take a full breath, like I was always gasping for air, hyperventilating. I could only sleep by passing out from exhaustion after battling my muscles to try to relax and breathe. This came in crescendoing waves over a few years, but those last few months were absolutely hellish. I just wanted to not struggle to breathe every three seconds. Literally every breath was filled with conscious dread because I knew it was going to feel like I was suffocating.

          Thankfully, my anxiety is well under control with the help of medication (mental health *is* physical health), and I’ve been quite comfortable for years now. But I was close to suicide before I sought medical treatment. Those thoughts had nothing to do with others. If someone were to characterize that as selfish, I suppose that’s fine, but I would also say that they have clearly never felt that kind of unrelenting discomfort in their own bodies.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I think if you stress out those around you and they let you know it angrily or you just see their stress and their compromises, you definitely and logically feel the world would be better off without you. You see yourself as dead weight. It’s like this with all severe illnesses.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        +1.

    • BJ
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      You’re so, so wrong.

      Many, perhaps even most, people who commit suicide believe that everyone around them will be better off with them and the burden they are. Severely depressed people can be burdens financially, emotionally, and in other ways, and it’s easy to think that the people in their lives will ultimately be relieved of a burden if the suicide was carried out.

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Correction:

        “…better off without them and the burden they are.”

      • S.K.Graham
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        ^This.

        So much misunderstanding of suicide & depression here, starting with our beloved OP.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I appreciate the responses here to my comment. But my comment was directed more to what people who are not truly suicidal themselves sometimes say. About what actually goes through the mind of someone who is truly suicidal, I profess ignorance.

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        That makes more sense, and you’re right that it’s very often the case that someone who is constantly saying, “oh, the world would be better off without me!’ out loud is just seeking attention. I’ve seen it happen many times, especially with a former girlfriend who had borderline personality disorder (pro tip: don’t date such people). On the other hand, it can sometimes be a call for help, but it’s usually what you say it is.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Speaking of “pro tips,” I’ll go with Nelson Algren’s three rules of life: “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.” 🙂

          • mfdempsey1946
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Simone de Beauvoir’s magnificent novel, “The Mandarins,” has a link to Nelson Algren and this entire discussion of suicide a a selfish act.

            She and Algren had a lengthy and evidently passionate affair. After it ended, she found herself contemplating suicide, an event fictionalized in the novel.

            In the book, the character who is to some degree autobiographical reaches the brink of killing herself, but decides to remain alive upon pondering deeply the pain that her self-inflicted death would inflict on her other intimates and friends.

            This is a particularly moving segment of a rich, capacious novel, generating a feeling of elation that the author’s at least partial alter ego is able to resist suicide’s lure, but without stigmatizing those suicidal people who are unable to resist its deadly impulse.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, I think Algren honored his third rule more in the breach than in the observance by competing with J-P Sartre for Mme. de Beauvior’s affection.

              I’ve read The Second Sex and some of her other, shorter nonfiction, but never yet plunged into her novels, though I’ve long meant to get around to The Mandarins.

          • BJ
            Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, though I would put an asterisk on that: *restaurants named “Mama ___” are A-OK.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

              I remember when Mama Leone’s wasn’t just a Billy Joel lyric, that’s how far I go back.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Saying, “the world will be better off without me,” (except in limited circumstances such as to a doctor) is more likely to be attention-seeking or controlling behaviour. However, ime people with suicidal ideation often think things would be better/easier for others if they were dead. It’s a reason to end the pain.

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Kilmer:

    “So what? I hear you took your life in Paris. What hotel? Did you relapse? Did you just get home from the best meal of your life? Did you cheat on your girl?”

    Val – that’s almost a Jimbo lyric – you ‘avin flashbacks? twas the Lizard King who died in Paris & The Doors was just a film you were in when you were pretty. Mssr. Bourdain died at Le Chambard, Kayserberg, Vignoble, France – 480km to the east.

    And I hope he had a hamburger or something before hitting Le Chambard – I looked up the restaurant & it’s food arranged as art rather than the more substantial, rich cuisine classique THE MENU

  11. Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    “Who says you had a right to take away all this love from US so soon?”

    “You’ve given US cause to be so angry.”

    Is really is all about Kilmer. That is sad.

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I could never be sure that anyone knows what a suicide victim is thinking. Even a survivor of this thing may not be like another? It could be they are similar or maybe they never are the same. So those who get upset or angry at the person who does suicide may be making idiots of themselves that even they do not know.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Righto.

  13. S.K.Graham
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Jerry, no, this is NOT what suicidally depressed people are thinking/feeling:

    “I”m in pain and I want it to end.”

    What they are thinking is this:

    “I am a horrible, awful person and people would be better off without me.”

    Believing that about oneself is very painful… and some people who are poor at articulating their feelings might focus on that pain, but the source of the pain is the belief that one is doing, will do, has done, cannot help but do, things so awful that they do not deserve to live and/or that they are a burden on others so great that their family/tribe/society would be better off without them.

    A focus on the harm/pain that one’s suicide will cause to others is a way to appeal to the underlying altruism of the suicidal impulse.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I thought some of that when I was depressed but mostly every waking hour was spent thinking how to make the pain stop and it always came back to suicide and then I spent every waking hour thinking how to commit suicide.

      • S.K.Graham
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        When the guilt, regret, feelings of worthlessness (or more likely of negative worth) become overwhelming, then, yes, there is only the pain and wanting it to stop and the only seeming way to make it stop is to end it, which is to say, to end one’s self.

        But the origin of that pain is the exaggerated guilt, regret and beliefs/feelings of negative worth.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          Sorry but no. I was clinically depressed. I wanted to get better and couldn’t. I wasn’t thinkingI was worthless at all. I felt I couldn’t find a way to stop the depression. It was a chemical change in my brain. I feel the same way with unending physical pain.

        • Gareth Price
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          You may be right about some people. Personally, I suffer with depression and have regular suicidal thoughts but they do not stem from feelings of worthlessness or being a burden; they stem from wanting the pain to stop. You sound like some of the many therapists who have insisted that I am wrong about what my issues are and have failed abysmally in assisting me in any way.

          If someone leaves behind a husband or wife or children who will be without a partner, I suppose I can see why some people might consider that selfish. Nonetheless, isn’t it saying that the suicidal person should be giving equal weight to the suffering that others may or may not experience as they give to the suffering he is experiencing? Furthermore, the suicidal person may have felt that way for a long time and may continue to do so for a long time. If I understand correctly, when you lose a loved one it is very tough but time does heal wounds, even if never completely. But for the suicidal person, time may be healing nothing; in fact, the pain may be increasing.

          I feel utterly betrayed by some of the people in life I turned to for assistance with difficult problems. I am not sure I would want the additional burden of having to consider how those people might feel if I were to kill myself.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I’ll add:

      You completely misunderstand Val Kilmer’s prose/poetry.

      It is *entirely* about Bourdain.

      The reference to Val’s (& others) anger is specifically mentioned as “selfish anger”.

      But the point of that is to emphasize Bourdain’s *value* precisely in opposition to the suicidal depressives false belief in their own lack of (indeed, negative) value!

      This is the point of Val Kilmer’s piece.

      • John Black
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        I don’t think this is correct. He specifically talks about suicide being selfish… in a few different places.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I have no patience for those who have only anger for those who kill themselves …

    I dunno, I’ve not had anyone close commit suicide per se. But I had a close buddy who was a John-Belushi-like character, and who met a similar premature end under similar circumstances (which I viewed as a type of slow-motion suicide).

    After we’d brought his ashes down to Key West and shot them out over the Gulf Stream from a Roman candle, I went through a period where I was righteously pissed off at the fat bastard, though I never for a second stopped loving him like a brother.

    • Craw
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      If a suicide felt that he was a burden and no-one valued him, and in fact you did, I can see being angry at the preemption of your chance to say, no. Of course that only applies to those close to the person, not media attention seekers.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Was this before or after Johnny Depp got a cannon and in perfect gonzo spirit blasted Hunter Thompson’s ashes to “kingdom come”?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Same concept. Since then, it’s become something of a custom among a certain segment of the Key West population to send the dearly departed off over the water in such a manner. (A mechanically inclined buddy of mine has jerry-built special Roman-candle-like contraptions for just such purposes).

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Going out with a bang. Why not?

  15. Jon Gallant
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I was struck by the succinct, grown-up comment from from a guy named Barack Obama.

    When she grew old, frail, and distressingly deaf, my mother committed suicide twice, both times unsuccessfully, by means of multiple sleeping pills. Afterward, the hospital would not discharge her except to a psychiatric facility. We had to go through a complex scenario to spring her from the hands of the state—which, following the same conventional presumption as the Church, presumed that IT was the owner of her life.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      You have summed this up very well; these parallels in the requests of both state and church institutions for access to the individual, who must not be able to determine his own destiny, supposedly for his own good, but in reality to confirm the symmetry of power against the subordinates.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        You are so right. Look at the hoops a person has to go through in order to be able to end one’s life with the imprimatur of the state. That’s why I say I’m going to have the means handy, should I ever need them, and the way I’m heading, I will, sooner rather than later, so fuck the state, what are they going to do, hold a cadaver trial?; the church is of no moment to me.

    • Laurance
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Jon, for writing.

      Years and years ago my mother had breast cancer. She elected to take all sorts of miserable experimental treatments (and arranged to donate her body to science) less for herself and more because she was afraid that my sister and I would inherit cancer from her and she wanted to do her part to help.

      Life went on and on for her for another seven and a half years, and she suffered. It got to the point where the pain was not adequately controlled (and having been in severe pain myself and loving a man now in our nursing home who suffers with chronic pain, I’m not all that sanguine about pain control – I think there are pains that cannot be adequately managed) and my mother had had enough.

      She’d had ENOUGH! She wanted out. But Dr. Kevorkian was not yet doing his stuff. And I, not being a drug user, had no idea how to go downtown and find the dope man and ask him to sell me whatever. For my mother, suicide was not an option because both of us were incompetent and didn’t know what to do.

      Well, I was there that evening when my mother was explaining that she’d had enough and wanted out. My stepfather came on all Val Kilmer-ish and scolded her for being all selfish and not thinking of us, for not considering our feelings, for not taking care of us and our emotions.

      &(%*$@#)%!!!!!! That’s me swearing!!! I was young and not at all good about standing up to my stepfather. He scolded her down, don’t be selfish, think of all the people around you!! You owe it to others!! Don’t think these things!!

      I failed my mother! I was silent and intimidated. I should have got up and looked my stepfather in the eye and declared, “HEY!! SHE’S the star of the show now!! Not US!! She’s f*cking SUFFERING with terminal f*cking cancer and insufficiently managed pain!! This isn’t about us!! And she isn’t being selfish!! It’s YOU who are being selfish, demanding that she go on enduring excruciating pain so that you won’t have to think about what reality is for her!!”

      I didn’t. I failed.

      My daughter and I have talked about these things extensively. I belong to Compassion and Choices (I lifetime joined when it was still The Hemlock Society) and Death With Dignity. My daughter knows that if it ever comes to that for me I will have good reasons. She would have her grief and feelings, of course, and stuff to deal with, but she wouldn’t think that I owed her something and failed to pony up.

      I’m disgusted with Val Kilmer’s rant.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        +1. Wishing you & your daughter pain & disease free lives!

  16. Jonathan Dore
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    While obviously (pace Kilmer) the feelings of people one doesn’t know or who are not directly involved are not the responsibility of the would-be suicide, those of their family and closest friends certainly are. Even by them the vast majority of suicides are surely matters for compassion or sympathy rather than condemnation. But there are a couple of exceptions. Those who kill themselves in a situation that leaves those loved ones with practical problems the suicide couldn’t face, but which still remain for the relatives to deal with, e.g. financial ruin. I would quite understand why, say, a surviving spouse (usually the woman) with young children would characterize a suicide by her partner in those situations as cowardice. The problem she now has to deal with has not been in any way made easier, but now she has to deal with it alone, and with the added pain of the personal loss, not to mention the impact on the children. And second, a person who chooses to commit suicide by a method that directly involves other people, such as those who throw themselves under trains or large vehicles, or throw themselves off bridges or buildings onto busy streets. The long-term psychological harm done to, for instance, a train driver forced to become the means of another’s death, is horrifying, and “selfishness” is probably the least-abusive adjective one could use to describe someone who inflicts it on another.

    • Laurance
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      I do agree that it’s selfish to commit suicide in a way that involves an innocent person. I can’t agree with that.

      Years ago I knew a woman who did that very thing. Her marriage had broken up and she attempted suicide by throwing herself in front of an oncoming truck.

      She didn’t die. She was brain damaged and had to be cared for for the rest of her life. While I liked this woman, I still thought that involving an innocent truck driver was just plain wrong.

      And I feel awfully sorry for the person who finds the person hanging. Years ago someone I knew hanged himself. We were all sad and grieved by his death, although we could understand he was in terrible emotional pain (a Vietnam veteran who was also gay and had been rejected by his family). I thought of the person who had found him hanging, and how totally awful that must have been. I know that if I’d had a similar experience it would be something I’d never quite get over.

      OTOH I also knew a woman who had a disabling wasting disease and was suffering. She had an agreement with her friends: if we were to come in and find her dead (she’d be in bed, nothing quite as ugly and distressing as a hanging) we were to simply leave. Just walk out. I am glad to say it did not come to that. But I could understand what she was talking about.

  17. Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “I’m in pain and I want it to end.”

    Doesn’t that make it a selfish act? IMO, suicide is indeed a selfish act and I see nothing wrong with that. No one should have to live in pain for the benefit of others.

    Of couse I have no use for those who use someone’s suicide to virtue signal their own “unselfishness”.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      It would make it a selfish act, but that is not the underlying motive for suicide. Jerry just has it wrong there.

      But if he was right, then… heh… yes, suicide would indeed be selfish.

    • phar84
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      “No one should have to live in pain for the benefit of others.”

      This striking phrase should be included in the UN Charter of Human Rights.

      • Laurance
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        YES!! YES!!

      • Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        I agree with the sentiment, but would add “involuntary”, even though that makes it tricky.

  18. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    About that Val Kilmer rant — needs moar Jim Morrison, less John Holmes.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Plus less Kilmer.

  19. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I wish I could give Kilmer horrible mental anguish and pain and constantly tell him to snap out of it and stop being selfish. The. I’d like to subject him to a bunch of his dumb rants and opinions. I bet he’d have a different conclusion after a few months of that torment. Some people are so narcissistic that they can’t understand others until it happens to them.

    • S.K.Graham
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Kilmer may or may not be narcissistic (probably is, given his profession)…

      But I think you misunderstand his prose, which is all about Bourdain’s value to those around him, presented in opposition to Bourdain’s undoubted belief in the moment of the act that his continued existence was of extreme negative value.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Sure. “A spiritual guide once told me suicide is the most selfish act a human can execute and I was confused but she explained there’s just no mental place further away from humanity and purpose than the hypnotized numbness that creates the false picture of despair, that forces the victim, unaware, to believe, life’s legacy is over. “

        No me me me there at all.

        • barn owl
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Agreed. I think this attitude removes agency from the individual – how could the spiritual guide or anyone else know for sure that the despair is a false picture? Perhaps the suicidal individual has rational reasons for believing that their life’s legacy is over. I don’t think we can assume that these beliefs are forced on an individual by “numbness.” I know that my opinions on this are at odds with those of my psychiatrist colleagues; they have training and experience that I don’t, and I understand why their attitudes are different from mine.

          An essay written by one of my students made me think about what could be considered to be a situation in contrast to suicide: “do not resuscitate” decisions made by family and/or health professionals. An example would be a patient who’s had a brainstem stroke that leads to “locked-in syndrome,” in which the patient is conscious and cognitively intact, but can’t speak or move at all other than perhaps vertical movements of the eyeballs. This was the situation for journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby, who wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Many people would assume that someone in this situation would wish to die, and that they wouldn’t want medical interventions that would prolong life. After finding a way to communicate with such a patient, the student discovered that this was not the case, and that the individual wanted to go on with their life.

  20. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    “‘Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.’ This is how I’ll remember Tony.”

    As he proved in Dreams From My Father, Ol’ Barry’s a pretty nifty prose stylist his own damn self. Got a real knack for the specific and concrete, that fella.

  21. Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I strongly dispute Jerry’s claim that those left behind after a suicide are selfishly thinking only of themselves. After a loved one is dead, the survivors are the ONLY ones thinking!And the only ones suffering! The fact is that those who commit suicide are so distraught and irrational that they are incapable of imaging how their relatives and friends will feel. This is important to keep in mind: that the mental condition prior to suicide is one that excludes everything except the desire to end one’s suffering.

    • Laurance
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Are you sure? Are you sure that someone contemplating and planning suicide is “so distraught and irrational that they are incapable of imagining…” Are you sure that “the mental condition…is one that excludes everything…”

      What if the person does indeed think of other people, but the suffering and pain is so totally extreme that suicide is the better option?

      • Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Actually you are not saying anything that is much different from what I said. The suffering overcomes their rationality (fear of hurting loved ones being one rational response).

  22. Francisco
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I have been in a religious sect related to opus dei. There every opinion is selfish. Only the official sects opinion is “””saint”””. And it follows catholic traditional doctrine that condemns suicide (ONLY GOD CAN DECIDE ABOUT LIFE… but burned people for heresy or witchcraft –we are the gods power administrators… ha ha ha).
    Be sure that most of those who qualify suicide as selfish related or not to their family, friends, etc. are only doing apologetics. I/WE received orders in the sect to “give our ‘free’ opinion” in several ambient and internet to impose by work and appearance sects position on many maters. Of course was only RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDA.

    Said this, in my opinion a person suffering depression isn’t selfish, but his will is deeply conditioned for his illness. Like a person with a gallon of whisky in his stomach takes probably risky decisions in his car driving… But not having medical solution to alleviate illness, having even studied for and against aspects with the family, friends, etc. I think suicide is an option and even an act of virtue. The solution for illness that have no solution.

  23. BJ
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I’m really surprised at the many people in just this comment section acting as if they know what suicide is about, why every person does it, what every person is thinking, etc. Especially since the people who comment on this site are generally significantly more intelligent than the average person.

    Everyone: if you have not been through clinical depression/close to suicide, please stop thinking you know anything about it. Stop being so sure of your thoughts on the matter. You do not know what goes on in the heads of the severely depressed and suicidal. Have the humility to recognize that you don’t know all the answers, especially when it comes to something you haven’t experienced.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      After a long period of caring for my mother who had early onset dementia that turned into Alzheimers, and me being the only one to deal with it, I did contemplate murder/suicide for two months as the only real way out.

      Fortunately planning two deaths instead of one, without wanting to horrify or inconvenience other folk, proved to be hard.

      What stopped it was that the situation abruptly changed on it’s own: she was no longer “there”- no recognition of who I was, where home was, and I could act to get her into assisted living.

      Looking back on it now, 14 years later, it seems quite ridiculous that I saw that as the best option.

      But, damn! It seemed so logical at the the time. It was just those details I was having a hard time with.

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        What a sad story. I’m glad your situation eventually abated.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        It’s so overwhelming dealing with sick parents especially when you are the only one doing it. Partly it’s because you have little control over what they do to make it worse.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      You and others might consider the possibility that I have had some experience with this, and am not talking out of my nether parts.

      • Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry to hear this, but wondered. I hope all is as well as it can be now as I’m addicted to the Duck Reports (and all the other communications such as this one.)
        Talk about selfish!!

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I didn’t address you in that comment. I mentioned other commenters. You left ample room in your post for depressed and suicidal people who don’t have the reasons/thought processes you discussed.

    • Gabrielle
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I heartily agree with these sentiments, speaking as someone with bipolar disorder.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I’ve noticed a number of one-size-fits-all comments and prognostications.

      But obviously suicide can result from a variety of different reasons and in very different circumstances. As the judge said, ‘circumstances alter cases’.

      Feelings of anger by the ‘survivors’ are understandable in those very close or dependent on the dead person (i.e. immediate family). Among many other emotions.

      Not for anybody else. Your interest (from afar) in a person, however talented they are, does not convey ownership. They do not owe you a life. (Val Kilmer please note.)

      cr

  24. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Even worse than Val Kilmer is politicizing the suicide as Alex Jones did.

    A hot button issue in the Renaissance was the ethics of suicide since the Catholic church horrifically declared it a mortal (damnable) sin, while popular Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius declared it honorable.

    Francis Coppola’s Dracula movie mostly sticks to Bram Stoker’s plot, but adds a bit of business about Dracula turning from the church since they won’t give his wife a Christian burial due to her suicide!!

    On of the most powerful arguments of scholar Roland Frye that Shakespeare was not at all conventionally Christian was WS’s reasonably sympathetic treatment of the suicides of Romeo, Juliet, and Othello.

    • Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen it pointed out that it was adopted as a sin based on the work of Augustine. I am not sure that’s correct, but it does seem that the biblical attitude is different than the official doctrine here.

      (I’ve also seen it suggested that the Jesus of the Gospels sort of commits “suicide by cop”, but that was meant as an inflammatory remark.)

      • Diane G
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        Re “suicide by cop:” inflammatory, maybe–but if the shoe fits…!

  25. Mark Perew
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Could it be that people who rage about the supposed selfishness of suicide are reacting to a fear of their own mortality? Death is inevitable. Yet, our culture (not just religion) portrays death as something to be dreaded and avoided at all costs. We even go to lengths to make the deceased look alive and merely sleeping.

    Reading the comments in the other thread on suicide lead me to suspect that too many people are just not ready to accept the reality that they will die and that those they love will die.

    We need to teach the wise words of Walt Kelly. “Don’t take life so serious, son. — it ain’t nohow permanent.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I think that’s part of it. People expect you to be sunny and happy or at least to fight and battle. i know many women banned from cancer groups because they didn’t adopt the battle language or they spoke honestly about being in pain or in fear. That wasn’t something people wanted to witness because it could mean they’d have to look at their real feelings. I even read an article about how doctors are afraid to tell people their honest prognosis if not asked because many times people react angrily and accuse the physician of shortening their life simply by being honest.

      • Posted June 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        I do wish doctors (especially) would be upfront with patients about the parameters of their prognosis. Particularly with cancer.
        Doctor’s can’t predict accurately the path of each person’s illness. There are too many variables. But, there should be an option for honesty with those patients who desire and can handle it.

        I am especially dismayed over cancer “cures” such as with certain forms of breast cancer.
        My mother-in-law had one breast removed due to breast cancer. Later on, the cancer returned in the same location. Even later on, she developed cancer of the cervix. At last, she died of an untreatable cancer positioned between too many organs critical for life (such as the heart). Cancer can remain clandestinely in the body to return in the same or other places.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Breast cancer is a weird one. It is never considered cured as even catching it early doesn’t guarantee there won’t be a recurrence. It can come back any time and it can back at stage 4 metastatic. There are tests that help predict but it is still perplexing to many oncologists. Mine told me she was treating a woman who had stage 3 and it was aggressive. She expected a recurrence but 8 years later she was still clear. Others, with less aggressive cancers & earlier stages, still had recurrences. It’s so individual! I still fret because my oncologist and I decided, based on my recurrence likelihood determined through genetically testing my tumour (the test is called oncotype dx), that I could skip chemo. I was in the high end of intermediate recurrence and I was 44 at diagnosis so I as considered young. So it was a call. I hope it was the right one. Chemo has its deleterious, life threatening health side effects so we thought about that too. I didn’t continue with hormone therapy after 1.5 years so there is that too. I actually got so freaked out last week when oncotype dx was in the news, that I pulled out my surgical path report & re-ran the recurrence numbers plugging in various treatments. Thank goodness for the internet or I’d lose it completely. I was a bit more relieved when I saw the numbers.

          • Posted June 11, 2018 at 3:18 am | Permalink

            I am glad you are still here with us as I value your input here so often. May you live as long as you still desire life and can withstand the pain.

            From my limited perspective as a witness, chemo is no picnic, nor is radiation. Some of the other side effects of cancer and treatments are equally deleterious. It amazed me sometimes that the will to live was so strong that my husband, and others in treatment, would subject themselves to them (in some cases, knowing it would only “extend life”, not cure.)I know why my husband did. In addition to valuing his life, he was staying for me. On the last night of his life, he suddenly remembered that he hadn’t filed our quarterly estimated tax and he and my daughter did it that night…for me.

      • Laurance
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        I’m uncomfortable with “battling”. That word bothers me somehow.

        My mother died of breast cancer She was so afraid my sister and I would inherit cancer from her via genetics.

        If I get it after all, I don’t know that I want to engage in a “battle”, nor would I want an obituary that said that I died after my “battle”.

        My mother could be said to have “battled”. She opted for experimental treatments only partly for herself, but mostly out of fear that my sister and I (as well as my daughter) would be doomed to get breast cancer and she wanted to help medical scientists find a cure.

        And she lost the “battle”. (After plenty of pain and suffering.)

        (I read Barbara Eherenreich’s book “Brightsided” about this issue of “battling”.)

        Oh, and about doctors not being honest…I asked the doctor what was happening, and that SOB lied to me! He told me my mother was doing fine, that she had lots of time left and nothing urgent.

        Liar liar pants on fire!!! My mother was terminal and super suffering (I posted above about this). But because I believed the damn doctor I did things differently than I would have if I’d have known the truth.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          I loved Ehrenreich’s cancer chapter. It really is awful in support groups. That along with all the praying

  26. Rosmarie Maran
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    And besides all that: how to think and talk about suicide in the framework of radical determinism? It is obviously not possible.

    • Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      The Stoics seemed to. Maybe this is one place where neostoicism actually works?

  27. John Black
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I think suicide victims DO think about the pain they will cause in others. In fact, I think that’s a pretty common concern. I know some teen suicide notes that worry specifically about how the parents will react, and try to soften the impact as much as they can.

  28. BJ
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I would say that there’s nothing more selfish than assuming you know what goes through the minds of people who commit suicide and blaming them for not thinking about it the way you believe they should. By doing this, you’re making it all about yourself, and dismissing the pain and mental processes they went through that you can’t even begin to fathom.

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      There is no room, then, for personal anguish? Who are we to say that Kilmer isn’t being sincere? It reads to me less a self-interested whine than a howl into the void, a projection of his own fears. Isn’t he allowed that?

      Grief and how we express it, how we feel it, how it manifests itself is, like happiness, intensely personal.

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Oops. didn’t mean that as a response to you BJ. I thought it was going to the general thread.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        If so, his timing is lousy.

        And that last paragraph quoted – that is dictatorial. That is not about his anguish but about what Bourdain should have done. So, no.

        cr

  29. ladyatheist
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    My first thought was for his daughter. Parents really should put aside their own feelings for the sake of their kids, not just in life-or-death decisions but in general.

    He may have been thinking that he was a crappy dad and she’d be better off, but I hope he at least left her a note, like Kate Spade did for her daughter.

    It will be tough for both of those kids 😦

  30. Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I think that guilt and worthlessness can be the pain that the suicide feels. That can include, “the world would be better off without me.” Which is a very painful thought.

  31. mirandaga
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    “Is suicide selfish” may not be the right question. Selfishness by definition is thinking of oneself to the exclusion of others, and thinking “I’m in pain and I want it to end” to the exclusion of how others may be affected by my act certainly fits that definition. One might go so far as to say that selfishness—being unable to think beyond one’s own problems—is one of the symptoms of depression.

    The real question, seems to me, is not whether suicide is selfish but whether such selfishness is blameworthy. Even as someone who believes in free will, I’d say no. This is what makes Val Kilmer’s rant reprehensible—because neither Kilmer nor anyone else is in any position to be making judgments about what Bourdain was going through or take him to task for his decision to end his life.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Frankly, I find the notion that “unselfishness” necessarily indicates a virtuous person is over-rated. Do we not learn from kin selection and reciprocal altruism that apparent unselfishness may be hidden selfishness. Was Mother Teresa really a paragon of selflessness?

      I characterize some of the “unselfish” acts I do for my spouse as “happy wife, happy life altruism.” 🙂

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        A most excellent point.

  32. Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    During the last few days I’ve heard complaints about how “reasons of suicide haven’t really been studied”.

    Good grief.

    The absolutely first ever academic monograph in the entire world history of sociology was Emile Durkheim’s case study “Suicide”, published in 1897.

    Durkheim found four types of suicide:

    1. Egoistic suicide
    Arising from melancholy and depression reflecting not being integrated in a community.

    2. Altruistic suicide
    When an individual is overwhelmed by a group’s goals, for instance in military service.

    3. Anomic suicide
    Arising from a moral disorder reflecting a lack of direction during social upheaval.

    4. Fatalistic suicide
    When a person is excessively regulated in an oppressive society or community.

    I have no idea of what happened to Anthony Bourdain. But I do know he’s not to blame for the sociological problems of suicide.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      And PTSD suicides of military or ex-military individuals and similar reactions in abused and/or rape victims. Etc.

  33. Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Anger at a person who commits suicide? Oh, yes. Anger along with everything else.

    How would you feel if someone murdered a person you loved? Angry? Furious? And you can feel that anger if the person who killed is also the loved one who was killed.

    Guilt, too. I wasn’t surprised to feel guilty after my husband died — I’d been directly involved in the painful situation / process. I was surprised at how guilty his young niece and nephew felt. Even friends we saw little, who didn’t know what was going on, felt guilt.

    All in addition to grief.

  34. Richard Guérette
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Fry speaks up on his suicide attemps https://youtu.be/WDecSYU8FQYque

  35. Mark R.
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have anything substantive to add here, but I’d just like to thank the many people who opened up and graciously told their personal stories of loss, depression, suicidal tendencies and other tragic sufferings. There is a lot here to take in, and I feel I am a better person for having taken the time to read this sincere and illuminating thread.

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      ^What he said.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      +1

  36. Posted June 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The perpetrator of a suicide is dead. Calling them “selfish” looks like a most minor complaint given the tragedy of the situation. People who really feel strongly they have to end their lives will not be bothered by being considered “selfish” by some afterwards.

    I think it’s an entirely fair assessment, too, which in my experience shades into feelings when someone you know takes this step. I felt that a bit, and others who knew the person, felt that, too. It didn’t overshadow everything else, at least for me, but I could understand if others feel stronger about this.

    Other than that, an assessment that rests on feelings, a judgment call, can never be a matter-of-fact. We’re talking about personal feelings of those left behind; they may feel that, or they may not.

    Once you factor in mental illness, determinism, free will, etc. the whole thinking and reasoning process anyway breaks down: people just do whatever they do, and may or may not “consider” anything, which may or may not include the people they leave bereaved.

  37. nicky
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I think that indeed selfishness is the last thing I associate with suicide.
    Of course, if you have young children dependent on you it might be construed that way, but in all other cases: no.
    I basically see only two categories of suicide: depression and the others.
    Depression suicide is sad, and should not be, the others, I guess, are mainly ‘philosophical’ (say, not wanting to go down with the ruins of old age, or the rear admiral going down with his ship), and should be respected. One has to die anyway, and maybe now is the best moment. The freedom to determine.
    The few ‘financial ruin’ ones I would not really know if they’d fall under that category, but I would not consider them selfish either, possibly liberating?
    Mr Kilmer’s musings are neither here nor there.

  38. Lee
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Just FWIW:

    Me: older male, chronic pain / opioid dependency / long history of depression and occasional suicidal ideation.

    It’s important, I think, not to over-analyze. Sometimes it’s just as simple as this: You’re tired; just so tired. There is no end in sight, particularly if your condition like mine is progressive. While suicide used to be hard (blowing your head off, jumping off a bridge), now it’s become so, so easy- just fall asleep with some comforting meds and not have to wake up to your problems ever again. Sure you know it will hurt your family; you hope they’ll forgive you. But this isn’t about them. It’s just that you’re so, so tired.

    Rinse and repeat.

    • Lee
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      … I should add, my personal best weapon against that dynamic is, in fact, anger; the kind of anger expressed in the famous poem by Dylan Thomas:

      “Do not go gentle into that good night.. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

      I believe in living. That’s why I intend to keep doing it. But I don’t plan to judge those who decide against it. I *will* judge a**w*pes like Kylmer who do. It’s one of my few guilty pleasures about which I don’t feel guilty. 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        I hope all goes well for you, Lee! Keep fighting the good fight.

        By the way, I like how the first line of your original post reads like a classified add.

        “Me: older male, chronic pain / opioid dependency / long history of depression and occasional suicidal ideation.”

        “You: Young, attractive, enjoy long walks on the beach, educated, open to new experiences (especially in the bedroom)”

        😛

        • Lee
          Posted June 13, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          You stole my personal note to my wife! Shame!

          BTW- she’s one of the plusses for postponing the shuffling off of the mortal coil.

      • Posted June 11, 2018 at 3:02 am | Permalink

        “Do not go gentle into that good night.. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

        “Rinse and repeat.”

        May you live with as much joy as you can garner for as long as you want.

    • Laurance
      Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Lee! Do I know you? You sound so much like my Sweetie, now in our local nursing home!

      “older male, chronic pain / opioid dependency / long history of depression and occasional suicidal ideation.”

      Yes! Yes! I’ve heard this so often!!

      My Sweetheart did jump off the bridge, but he didn’t die. (Nor dis he die from the heroin overdose that he deliberately took long before I met him.)

      I go to be with him every day in the nursing home (I kept him in my house as long as I could, but I was breaking down and my own health was failing due mainly to caregiver stress, and I was falling apart when the doctor finally sent him to the nursing home, and I still don’t have my own health back).

      The comforting meds you speak of were problematic for me, because I was responsible for my Sweetheart’s medicine. If he died from an overdose, I’d be the one to go to prison. I’m glad to say that my Sweetie isn’t talking suicide these days, just fussing for me to take him out to smoke his damn cigarettes (since the nursing home is smoke-free, but he can smoke at my house.) Nor am I responsible for his medicine, which includes opiates. The nursing home nurses do that. Thank goodness. I had to keep his medicine under lock and key because he would misuse it. All that is over for me now.

      I feel empathy for you, Lee. Pain sucks. I want to relieve pain for my Sweetheart. But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison. I’m 76 now, and even a relatively short sentence could be a life sentence for me.

  39. grasshopper
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    After my partner took her life I asked the funeral celebrant to dig deep down for something positive to say at the service, because our daughter, ten years old, would be there.
    He said “That’s going to be an easy thing to do, because she didn’t die hoping to be worse off.”
    That was a beautiful statement.
    The celebrant’s surname was Nightingale.

    • Posted June 10, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      “That’s going to be an easy thing to do, because she didn’t die hoping to be worse off.”

      That *is* a beautiful statement, one to remember.

  40. Bobo McGillicuddy
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Bourdain had an 11-year-old daughter. In my opinion, it is in fact selfish to kill yourself and leave your child without a father.

    • Posted June 12, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I’m not so sure, though with an 11 year old it is tough.

      (I’m thinking _Death of a Salesman_, which sort of suggests that Willy Loman did what he did for his sons. Of course that’s fiction, and with adult sons, but …)

  41. Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen any references to individuals who’ve always said if such-and-such disability happens to me, I want to die. Sometimes, the undesired health problem arises and the person changes her mind. It may be that a new boundary is set that also happens and the person again chooses to live. This continues until death. I’m sure there are people who hang onto life tenaciously beyond earlier limits they’ve set. I read about a famous music conductor (name escapes me) who experienced this. I do not think he was unique.

    Other end of the spectrum.

  42. Diane G
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    sub

  43. Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    —even with drugs and counseling, and the help of good friends and loved ones, not everybody can be helped. (I am not, of course, advocating that you don’t try to help someone in trouble.)—

    I agree with someone who said that it is impossible to instill sense to another person’s life.
    Therefore, I see a parallel between suicide and abortion. Hope I’m not mistaken.
    .-

  44. Carly
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you! When my mom heard about it, she told me it was selfish of him to not think of his family and friends. I didn’t say what I thought, but I was inwardly skeptical of whether it should be considered selfish. At least, any more so than taking care of yourself and not giving all your money to the poor or whatever.

  45. rgsherr
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t see suicide as a selfish act. My father committed suicide at 82 but he had a lot of things wrong with him and not much farther to go. Shot himself in the chest with a 22 pistol which I would think would be one of the more difficult ways to do it. A 22, especially from a pistol, isn’t very powerful and there are a lot of bones in the way.

    Still I do think that the best way to do it is to make it appear to be an accident. Then not so much guilt for those left behind. Unfortunately, making it look like an accident makes the whole process more difficult and rules out a number of alternatives. Doctor assisted removes that problem but that’s still not widely available, especially for mental pain.

    • Posted June 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to hear about your dad.
      My father, also age 82 threw himself in front of train just three weeks ago and it hurts so much. He was in so much pain after my mom died and it never stopped for him. I can’t help but think, maybe I could’ve done more. I tried telling myself, maybe it was an accident, but we know the facts.

      • rgsherr
        Posted June 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        And I’m sorry to hear about your father too. I’m 80 and my wife of 55 years died in February. I can understand the pain your father was in. I have a friend whose husband (also a friend) died 5 years ago. I was tremendously sorry for her, but I had no idea what she went through until my wife died. It’s impossible to really know what it’s like until it happens to you. For some suicide is the only solution.

        • Posted June 23, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          I am so sorry to hear about your wife. But I trust that you have a beautiful family who has your back in every way. Yes, everyone have their own families and yes, everyone have their own lives, but there is always time for the people you love. There were times my dad felt he was a bother to his children, but to me, he was never a bother. I told him two months ago…You know what dad, there comes a time you need to “bother” someone, for whatever reason. We all going to “bother” someone, sometime. You have done your job as a father, allow us to take care of you for a change. But I guess the pain was too great… My prayer to you is, May the Almighty ease your pain and makes it easy on you. All the best and please, if you feel overwhelmed with sadness, don’t hold back. Speak about it, with whoever, just don’t let it go to far. Keep Well and Thank you … Mwah

  46. Dave137
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Everyone has existential angst, as all of us should. We’re thrown into life and surrounded by much good and bad.

    But in Bourdain’s case, he clearly had friends and family, he had earned wide respect and developed talents both for cooking and for creating content, and he had experienced the world in ways most people will never be able to: not because those people are lazy, but because they’re broke.

    Most people have to worry about paying the rent, about simply surviving. And so my heart only goes so far when people are able to live a diverse life and yet choose to end it early. Like it or not, there is some selfishness there.

    If Bourdain had health issues unknown to us, like what happened with Robin Williams, then that’s different. But personal demons in those who are able to live a decent life, in people who don’t have to worry about surviving day-to-day, is a first-world problem.

    Many, conversely, die because of disease or accident, for reasons beyond their control. So for someone to choose to check out early, particularly when that person is saturated with (earned) opportunity and the ability to act on that opportunity, it really is a waste.

    It is an absolute tragedy, for us, that Bourdain made this decision; and I do hope he didn’t regret that decision when he followed through with it.

  47. Stephen
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    People don’t like feeling sad about anything. The selfish accusation is just a defense mechanism. If it wasn’t the daughter left behind, it would be the family members or what about showing a bad exemple to fan who might be vulnerable. Who knows the pain he felt at that moment. The abyss. No way out. I will miss his bad boy attitude. I’m 55 years old and when I heard the news, I cried like a child.

  48. David Billingham
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Val Kilmer is a berk probably because he is a devout christian scientist. I had the particular misfortune of being brought up by parents who were devout christian scientists. I know how delusional people of this particular religion can be especially when it comes to medical matters

  49. Pete W
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    I know from own experience that suicidal people often do think the world is better off without them. Rather than being selfish toward loved ones, they think they will be better off with them gone. Often their thinking is completely distorted. They ought not to be blamed.

  50. Posted June 19, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Very well written! I struggle with depression and feel the same way on many levels. Never thought of myself during my bouts, always about the world is better without me.

    Great read, and following!

    Kevin

  51. Posted June 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the article. I’ve survived a suicide attempt that left me injured. Thank you
    https://thisislastchance.com


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