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Please help me understand...why do people do it, or attempt to do it?

Feb 20, 2009 - 78 comments

Okay, first off I am going to ask people to be nice. If you are not nice, I will just delete the entry. Now that that's said, I am trying to understand from a point of view that people probably will be upset with. It's about suicide. Why do people go there? Why do they do it? Here is my opinion and please do not bash me for this. IT IS SELFISH. It is the most selfish act. What type of person would or could feel that their pain or their depression or their life is more important than the ones who hold them dear? What type of person thinks that leaving a child or children that love them and a spouse or parent or sibling left to deal with the sadness, the grief and the pain that they caused is okay? I do not understand this concept. And what makes them think that it is their right to take the life that God gave them so selfishly?

Several years ago a close friend of mine committed suicide. He left behind a 5 year old daughter who thought the world of her Daddy and a wife. The grief I experienced was tremendous but I cannot imagine how his wife and daughter felt. Not to mention, then I became angry. WHY would he do this to them? WHY did he think that the pain he was feeling was much greater than the pain he left THEM with? WHY? His little girl was heartbroken!!! I don't get it. I can't comprehend it!!

This might be because I've never been there. Oh, I have had down times. I have had bad times. Don't even get me started on the things that have happened in my lifetime that could have put me there. BUT, there was a voice in my head that told me to look at all of the good instead of all of the bad. That even at my most down times, there was still good all around. Even the simplest of things, I could pick them out and lift myself up. The sound of my children's voices, or a phone call from a friend. The sunrise, the birds chirping, the green grass and the blue sky. The list goes on and on...

What is it that sets a person off to a point that they can't see these beautiful things in life? What is it that makes them care only about their pain and about nothing and nobody else? I just don't understand it!!! All I see is selfishness...

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208686 tn?1293034103
by pcarsey, Feb 20, 2009
It is my opinion that at these times in peoples lives, they are consumed with so much fear about things going on and the uncertainty that things will work out that they in turn give into the fear and then commit suicide. I have a cousin who tried unsuccessfully (he shot himself in the stomach)and he explained to me that he really felt like there was absolutely no where else to turn. In that moment he couldn't comprehend what he would be doing to his family. He really felt (being stuck in so much fear) that he was a burden to his family with the things he was going through and doing to them. When he was in the hospital his wife left him, she couldn't get over the fact that he was being so selfish. I think there was other things going on there that led her to leave him but that was her excuse. But anyways, I think that when people do something like that they seriously feel like their life is better non-exsistant and they really feel like there is no better answer. He spend MANY MANY months in therapy. He eventually got granted time with his daughter, but it had to be supervised. The thing that got to me, is he absolutely loved his wife and daughter, there was no question about that, however, the courts said that he could be a threat. It's a very hard situation. His daughter is 22 now and they have the best relationship and he has turned his life around.

Also would like to add, I think after they do something like this... wherever they go to after they die, I am sure they are drilled, and that pain then, is the one that is the most troublesome.

389974 tn?1331018842
by swampcritter, Feb 20, 2009
First of all, Swampy is sorry to hear about your friend. He grieves over the loss of all.

This note comes from personal experience, not of suicide directly, but of seeing friends either attempt (or, in three cases, succeed).

This is only Swampy's interpretation, as he does not get severe depression.

There is a depression continuum. On the light end, its the blues. On the medium part, its inability to act. Oftentimes, people find themselves unable, because of the depression, to take basic actions to care for themselves. Swampy had one friend who stopped eating and stopped showering.

Then there is a kind of depression that not only leave people unable to act, but unwilling to believe that any action will better their lives. That can turn to suicide.

Swampy wants to make it clear that it is not logical. When the feelings get that strong, your friend might not have even thought of his daughter, or might have believed she did not care if he lived.

In terms of attempting suicide, or threatening suicide, sometimes that is a call for help. Sometimes it is a screwed up call for attention.


172023 tn?1334675884
by peekawho, Feb 20, 2009
Sometimes a suicidal and severely depressed person actually thinks their loved ones will be better off without them.  As Swampy said, this is disordered and illogical thinking.  

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Well that's what I would think. If they believe there is a God, do they realize that their pain will only worsen once they leave this life? I mean, that is my belief. Others can believe whatever they want. I don't know...I just don't understand the thought process that goes on with suicide. Or the lack thereof, I guess. I do get the burden thing, that makes sense.

I once watched a show that said that there is a small part of the brain that controls urges and moods and that in the brains of most successful suicide "victims" that that area is much smaller and not as developed. Makes sense in a physical sort of way.

I just find it so sad that anyone would think that this is a better way for them, or for anyone who loves them. Thanks for the insight!

208686 tn?1293034103
by pcarsey, Feb 20, 2009
Another thought.... just think about the drugs that are often given out today that cause suicidal thoughts. Like for instance, people are talking about the drug to help you stop smoking (Chantix), some say they experience suicidal thoughts while taking it. I could be wrong, but it may even be listed as a side effect! EEK!! That is so scary!  

277836 tn?1359669774
by alienshadow, Feb 20, 2009
Why do I feel this journal is pointed at me??

Let me tell you something WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY !!!!!!!!!!!! Its simple it starts with depression. Yes my family is very supportive and very loving but they get tried of hearing the same ol story hell I was always talking about my problems and they started saying well its your fault you put yourself there. You dont want to hear things like that NEVER it sinks you deeper and you start to distant yourself from everyone. I felt hopeless and worthless its hard to explain. Makes me hate I even told the real truth after my sister tried to protect me here But guess what I aint a coward... Call me what you want to!!

When GOD spoke to me I knew then that he was keeping me here for a reason and I now know what that reason is.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Yep, that's true, too. I've had a few friends and family members in the past that battled/struggled with depression. They were on so many different meds and stuff I always wanted to say "JUST QUIT ALL MEDS AND TRY TO DEAL WITH IT!!!" Of course, this is coming from someone (me) who has never been that low. But, that is definitely something worth considering in some cases.

461781 tn?1285613081
by Mumita, Feb 20, 2009
I had a few friend that tried to kill themselves,  thankfully they've survived and doing well.
  
I had a friend that saw his mom hang herself and die and needless to say he was traumatized, his dad not being able to handle taking care of a little boy alone, he left him with his aunt and never came back.  Leo was extremely traumatized by having everyone that he loved abandon him.  His aunt took care of  him but treated him like a ******* child.  When he was a teenager he got in heavily with drugs, then sort of stopped, tried to kill himself several times with pills but was found on the brink of death and taken to the hospital.  He was the sweetest and nicest guy too, he just felt like no one cared or loved  him so he felt like his life was worthless.
One day he was over at my condo, I lived on a 7th floor and I went to my bedroom to get something, he had climbed out of my balcony and was holding on with one hand about to let go when I found him. I panicked, I was pale my blood turned cold, I slowly told him to climb back over the rail or I would scream for everyone to know.  He climbed back.
I was soo upset, first for him to consider taking his life, and second for putting me and my family with the liability of him jumping out of our balcony. I never saw him again, I think he was too embarrassed. last I heard he had a girlfriend that he was crazy about and he was doing fine.

I totally agree with you Jeshim, there's too much available in life to do something so selfish to end it. I've gone through bad times too, but its never crossed my mind.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Alien, definitely not pointing fingers here. I am just trying to understand. It is my quest to be more understanding and compassionate, which is the reason for my post. Had I wanted to direct this towards you, I would have disrespectfully posted on your journal. I would never jeopardize anyone's health or mental well being. I suppose I could have made the post private, or for my friends only, but the reason for my journal post is to try to be more understanding. I was asking for opinions, because I truly am trying to understand the reasoning behind these decisions. I appreciate your feedback.

I am truly moved by how your experience brought you closer to God and that you found Faith through this ordeal. That gives me the chills. I hope you can use this experience during that dark time to help others out of their dark time. God Bless you and your beautiful family. I pray that they continue to stand behind you and love you and that you are all healthy and happy.

127124 tn?1326739035
by have 2 kids, Feb 20, 2009
Jen- when someone gets to the point of suicide they are no longer thinking rationally.   It simply does not occur to them that the family they leave behind will be devastated beyond belief.   They can see no other way to get away from the pain and turmoil in their lives.      

284738 tn?1283110419
by pinkbelle, Feb 20, 2009
when i was 9 years old my dad shot himself in the face... why?  because my mother had just left him for the hundreth time.. i can still remember that day i was roller skating and my mom came and got me .. i remewmber so clearly... how selfish of him!!!!! he was thinking of no one but himself.. my dad survived and to do this day i will never forgive him for that... my thoughts on suicide.. is if they want to end their lives .. fine... but i believe they are going to hell for causing their families that pain and misery... if you attempt suicide you are selfish .. god gave us this precious gift of life and for them to just throw it away when other people are dieing and have no control but would give anything to live .. its effin sad... i think  people should have to face some kind of penalty if they attempt suicide.... b/c what they are doing is wrong and very hurtful...

you guys can respond with harsh comments for me but you know what .. how can u possibly know what it feels like to have your father attempt suicide?? i had friends at school whose parents wouldnt let them be friends with me b/c i was the girl whose mother  left her father and then her father tried to kill himself...  i was nine years old!!!

suicide is a selfish and cowardly act!!

189069 tn?1323405738
by babypooh, Feb 20, 2009
Depression clouds a mind if it is severe. No one can really understand what goes on inside the mind of a depressed person until they go through it, in my opinion. My case of depression, thank God hasn't been severe, but I understand those who go through it.
Alien, I thank God for your family's support and your well being :) God bless you, my friend!

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
pinkbelle, see, this is what I was referring to. I felt the same way about Mike when he did this to his little girl.  I am so sorry that you had to go through that at 9 years old. That has shaped your life in many ways, I'm sure. But hopefully, it has taught you some valuable and positive lessons. Mainly, to value your life and the lives of the people you share yours with. Selfish, yes. I agree with you. It's just sad all around and I'm glad you shared your story with me.

284738 tn?1283110419
by pinkbelle, Feb 20, 2009
jen-- yes it has! i did not have the best childhood
( my mom is bi polar and has an alcohol dependency & my dad was physically & verbally abusive to all of us)   but you know i made the best of it and when i was 15 i got out .. i graduated high school and got my own place.. i am currently in college for social work majoring in domestic violence.. life gives you lots of curveballs you just gotta make the best of it....  suicide is selfish .. the only person they are thinking of is themselves and that is sad!!!

82861 tn?1333457511
by Jaybay, Feb 20, 2009
Suicide is nearly impossible to understand for people who have never experienced severe depression.  It is not a whim.  People who actually complete their suicides have thought about it for a long, long time.  The thought processes that lead to it are not logical, so there is no way to look at those actions from a logical mindpoint.

I have come so close to it so many times in my life.  In my family there was so much shame attached to any kind of mental disorder.  Depression is not something you "deal with".  Depression is not an inability to deal with life's issues.  It stands in the way of logical thought and reason and blocks reality.  How many decades now have we been told depression stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain rather than weak character?  Somehow that message still hasn't gotten through to the public at large.  I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "You shouldn't have to take a pill to deal with your problems.  Just deal with them!"  For a person with severe depression, it simply doesn't work that way.  We're wired differently.

Medication has saved my life.  In my experience, all it does is clear the cobwebs out of the way so I can think clearly - and deal with my life.  My depression began with puberty - thank you hormones.  :-\  With medication, I am my normal self without the self-defeating thoughts and actions constantly getting in the way.  I'm very lucky that I responded so brilliantly to the first med that was prescribed.  Many people have to try for years to find the right medication and dosage while still fighting the depression.  

Clinical depression is not being down in the dumps for a short time.  It's not situational depression as when you're in grief.  It is a constant companion who tells you every minute of every day how worthless, ugly and useless you are.  At least, that's my experience and the best way I can try to describe it.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Jaybay, thank you. That was written brilliantly and does help me in my quest to understand. I'm sorry you've had the battles you've had. I hope that you don't have to ever deal with those thoughts again. God Bless.

82861 tn?1333457511
by Jaybay, Feb 20, 2009
pink - don't you think it's past time to forgive your father?  Maybe thank God that he was NOT successful and had another chance at that precious gift from God?  Yes, suicide is the ultimate selfish act.  Believe me, the suicide survivor heaps much more guilt and punishment on himself than you or anyone else can.  It doesn't help the situation to ensure they remain in a living hell on earth to survive the punishing flaming they receive from everyone in their lives.  If someone is determined to end their life, nothing will stop them.  The actual suicide is a symptom of a greater illness that is real, and serious.  It is not aimed as a weapon at anyone else.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
A little background on myself. I am an adult child of TWO (recovering) alcoholics. My mother has OCD, severe depression and has tried to commit suicide on several occasions when we were little. My Dad beat my mother to a pulp, pulled ALL of her hair out, broke bones and bruised her from head to toe regularly and often times in front of my brother and I. I am 3 years older than him. I wanted out myself, and got pregnant when I was 17. I married the father of my first child and went on to have three more daughters with him, four total. He was/is an insane man. I wanted to fix him. I couldn't. He threatened suicide regularly, as a form of manipulation. One time he tried to jump out of the car while I was driving on the highway. I pulled over and was afraid to drive again. My daughters were in the back seat. He started throwing things at me, at our pets, punching holes in walls, then started throwing me around. In between the abusive moments, he was a great guy. A real charming man. I stayed longer than I should have. Again, I thought I could be a better wife, a better mother, keep the house cleaner, keep the kids quieter. I walked around on eggshells every day. LIFE WAS HELL for many, many years of my childhood and early adulthood. I left him 6 years ago, went back to school, kept a full time job and was a single mom to my four beautiful daughters. Three years later, I met Ben. He is a healthy man. I got healthy myself, realized I am VERY co dependent and always feel I need to FIX sick people.

This is just part of my quest to try to understand why people choose this. Definitely, I could have gone there but never did. Never even thought about it. My thoughts in my lowest moments were that I wasn't going to let them win. I was going to succeed. I was going to find love, happiness and beauty no matter what.

Anyhow, that is some of my history. I just want to clarify that I do know what it's like to experience bad things and overcome them.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
By the way...Ben and I get married next Saturday! Happy times! Things have worked out, just like I knew they would. I have prayed and prayed throughout my lifetime for a life just like the one I have and I hold it very dear. I cherish every moment!! Nothing, NOTHING is taken for granted! Not even the littlest thing you can imagine noticing. Most people don't notice the small things. Especially those who have never had it bad. I appreciate the chaos I had, the bad times, the all time lows because I am where I am today because of that.

I hope and pray that anyone who has been through those thoughts can come out ahead and see the beauty that surrounds us all!

203342 tn?1328740807
by April2, Feb 20, 2009
My sister tried to commit suicide after her divorce. She wasn't thinking clearly or rationally. I think in her case it was a spur of the moment decision, a rash decision made because she was feeling so much despair and hopelessness. Her husband had the better paying job and got the house, kids, etc. She thought the kids would be better off with their dad so didn't dispute anything. Those kids were her life, though. She just reached a point of despair where she had no money, no marriage, no real place to call home and not even her kids with her. The night she attempted it, she was talking to me on the phone. I could tell she had been drinking and was going downhill fast. When she started talking funny, I got scared. She hung up and didn't pick up again. I was shaking and crying so bad. I couldn't believe that my sister would ever try to take her life. My mind wouldn't wrap around that. But I knew she wasn't thinking clearly. I felt helpless because she lived in another state. I finally called the cops in her city and they said she had already been taken to the hospital. She's a diabetic and had taken too much insulin. At the last moment, I think she realized what she was doing and called 911. She nearly died that night. My brother and I hopped in a car and drove all night to be with her in the hospital. When we talked to her and asked her why, she couldn't explain it. She did say she realized that she had a problem with drinking. She had turned to alcohol to numb her pain and that didn't work. What really made me sad is she wasn't turning to God, she turned to other, destructive things. She had a lot of bad things happen to her and blamed God. That was several years ago. She's doing much better today and I thank God that she was given a second chance. I just don't know what I would do without my sister.

I think when someone gets to that point, all they can feel is pain and darkness, like there's no way out. They just want the pain to end. No, they're not thinking rationally. I don't think any of us can truly understand unless we ever had a taste of that. I love my sister and I'm so grateful to still have her here.
I have to agree with JayBay, Pinkbelle, I think your father has probably suffered enough. I think it would be a wonderful gift to him and to you to be able to forgive him. Who among us can say we don't need forgiveness? If God can forgive the atrocities that we do, then who are we to not forgive. We all need forgiveness and grace, every single one of us. That's why I'm so grateful to have a God who freely gives us that.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Amen, April. Very eloquently said!

134578 tn?1546634665
by AnnieBrooke, Feb 20, 2009
Jen, I am not suicidal, but I can understand that for some people in extreme circumstances, suicide is an option.  I am thinking of people who are diagnosed with one of the diseases that is painful, debilitating and incurable, someone who has simply no other options left.  I do think it is self-centered to consider if it is going to cost their family (example: leave a wife and small children with no support) but I do not think that heaven or God would be so punishing as to give someone, say, Lou Gherig's disease, and then to make it worse if the person decides to end his life because of it, especially if prolonging life would just strip the family's finances and put them into debt, and the ill person would *still* die.  I don't include those guys who have lost their whole fortune and kill themselves, that is supreme egotism and maybe cowardice too, but there are circumstances that I would understand.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
AnnieBrooke, I 100% agree with you on that point. I once wrote a college paper on assisted suicide (for it, not against it). At the time when I was writing the paper, my beloved Grandfather (who stepped in as a great male role model while my parents were being too selfish to be good parents) was suffering and slowly withering away from cancer. When it comes to illness, such as the scenarios you mentioned, I think it is a different point completely. Other than that, I do still believe, as you stated "that is supreme egotism and maybe cowardice too".

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
I actually consider your point of view selfish too!  What right do you have to judge me or others?  What makes your life more important than mine and how I choose to live it, or not.  Why are you being so self-centered and self-absorbed?

Suicide is a very personal thing and differs for everyone.  Plus there are many variables that can affect it.

I was sectioned under the mental health act for severe depression and was desperately traumatized by my experiences in hospital.  Several weeks after discharge I od'ed on the discharge medication I was given.  It was said to be a lethal amount.  I was in icu for a week on life support.
Why did I do it?  Looking back I have no idea but I do know the decision was made the day before.  When one is severely depressed and traumatized one doesn't think.  I definitely didn't understand the consequences of my actions.
Looking back I often wish I had had the insight to take more meds or change my method.  This experience has made me vulnerable and I guess has taken away some of my naivete concerning death.

I have since been diagnosed with a personality disorder and I live with chronic suicide ideation and, at times, urges.
As an person I feel worthless and powerless to change.  I perceive myself to be a huge burden on everyone.
The people who say they love and care about you don't support you. They don't accept you for who you are.  They feel threatened because you have a label or have been through the mental health service.  In fact, I overheard my parents say they didn't care if I were dead.  I find that rejecting and hurtful.  My family constantly criticize and devalue me.  Somehow they perceive this is helpful when all it does is erode my self-esteem and alienate me further.
Also during times when things have been bad and I've reached out and asked for help people haven't listened.
I was in the process of hanging myself one night (there are pages on the net about how to do this properly) when I saw the phone in our garage and called our local psychiatric emergency team.  They escalated the crisis to the point where I was too emotionally drained to act.  I went to bed and set my alarm for several hours later.  I slept through this.
There was no help, no support, nothing.  Just take out the rubbish, half-smile, there's nothing we can do to help, someone who is sick is coming in.  They certainly didn't give the impression that my life mattered or was worth anything.  Being rejected by the mhs is pretty harsh.  I became angry at their response and then became homicidal.  They weren't even concerned that I was wanting to kill people within the mental health service.
Personally I don't know why these services exist, they are useless!!

Anyway, maybe if you didn't have your faith, had no job, no friends, no education, were depressed, had constant battles with your weight, had trouble relating to people, had no motivation, no energy, no structure, no ability to complete tasks, had people constantly putting you down, were anxious, stressed, couldn't sleep, etc, etc then maybe you too would be looking at life differently.

I think everything happens for a reason.  I think a higher being could be responsible for this.

What you experienced was part of the grief cycle.
You can't comprehend it because you can't put yourself in his shoes (not that anyone ever could).  I feel you are a little judgmental regarding this issue and it prevents you from empathizing with alternate perspectives or realities.  Maybe you don't want to understand it because it is contrary to your own values and beliefs.

When I've been depressed I can appreciate simple things, especially those in nature, but I haven't been able to feel them.  It's as though they have no meaning.

Childhood and personal experiences play a big part.  Some people just don't have the skills or the insights to appreciate things and to manage their lives.
I think a traumatic experience can trigger a person.  But also in my situation it is negative experience after negative experience, or crisis after crisis.  It wears you down after a while.  You become less resilient, you don't have the energy to fight.  Life becomes an ordeal and isn't something that can be enjoyed.  At times I'm left counting the seconds just to get my day over and done with in the hope that tomorrow will be brighter, less torturous.
There isn't always pain.  Sometimes everything just becomes numb, you become apathetic.  Things and people don't even factor into it (not in every situation).

I don't understand your view.  I perceive you to be the selfish one.

J

Avatar universal
by teko, Feb 20, 2009
Suicidal tendencies come with severe depression. The hopelessness and helplessness and the severe pain. It is kinda like having a migraine headache. You just want someone to hit you in the head with a hammer just to change the pain. It becomes unbearable to face another day that way, hence better to not be at all than go thru it.

How did yu feel when you lost your loved one? The pain of depression is similar to losing a loved one. It hurts.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Yes, Jaquta, I am selfish because I am trying to understand another POV other than my own. Very selfish.

Thanks for sharing your experience as well. Even though we don't understand each other, we can learn from each other. Maybe.

544906 tn?1291349005
by Diabolicafemmia, Feb 20, 2009
I dont know that anyone could ever pinpoint one specific turn of events that would make a person think this was their only option, but its a fact, it happens...
My father in law hung himself (in his church of over 25yrs) this past July. I had the task of tracking my husband down in Iraq to give him the news. His dad was a VERY spiritual man, and VERY much believed in God. His life revolved around the church. He helped build it, he helped maintain it, and he tought a young age Sunday school group there for years. His plan was thought out far in advance.. he did thing that drew no attention but made everyone elses life easier before he ended his own. He changed furnace filters (in July...), set the church sprinklers on "auto" (previously, he went at 6am every morn to turn them on...) he mowed his lawn the day before...
Who knows what consumed him to the point that he thought he had to quiet his mind.
I just know that until you walk a mile in their shoes, it is not our place to say.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Teko, yes, it hurt. It hurt bad. I've had a lot of pain in my life. I'm just wondering what sets one person in one category and another in another category. A half full, half empty type thinking. To some people, their bad, traumatic experiences only made them want more, better lives. For others, it pushed them down further. I know all people are different. Different intelligence levels, different life experiences, different brains, different upbringing, etc, etc...even different environments in utero. I always have just wondered what makes some go "there" and others don't.

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
I'm sorry about your history.  Good luck for your wedding.

I don't think there should be penalties for people who harm themselves, etc.  Life is hard enough without all the additional guilt, shame, lack of acceptance, etc.  This is invalidating and will drive more people to take more lethal action.
People who are diabetic, have asthma, or heart disease aren't penalized, why should those with mental health issues?  Suicide is often a symptom of an underlying psychiatric condition.

J

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
I don't really understand either.  I've experienced both sides of the coin.  Both feel very real at the time.

J

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Well, one thing that is for sure is that I'm sure the people who are there wish they weren't. I know they need love and support and understanding. I hope if I am ever in the situation again some day that I will be able to understand and help, even though I know that sometimes nobody can help when a person has made up their mind.

It is a good way to look at it though, and thanks Jaquta for pointing this out; that you should treat it like any other illness. It is an illness, for sure. I just cannot wrap my head around getting to that point without being able to come to your senses and realize that it isn't rational or logical and it definitely is not fair or thoughtful to others who do care and who do try to help.



Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
Trying to understand is not selfish (although it can be for selfish reasons).

What I was trying to get across is why are your feelings more important than mine?
My GP says one should focus on the more positive aspect (which is for life, etc) but ... why should your views and feelings take precedence over mine?
Are we not equals?  Are our lives not worth the same?  

J

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
I'm sure I did not say that my feelings are more important than yours or anyone else's for that matter. If I did, please point it out. I do not feel that way, nor do I wish to portray to others that I do. The point of my post is understanding. Yes, understanding or trying to gain knowledge can be selfish, I agree with you on that.

I think everyone's lives are worth the same. I believe everyone is equal. We are all born the same. We are all naked and need food, love and warmth. We are all children of God, who gave us life.

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
It's not fair or thoughtful?  To whom?

Would you rather I go through life miserable, etc.

People don't actually care.  Sometimes that is all that is needed.  For one person to show concern and to care.

My GP is the only person who I feel really cares about anything I say or do.  Is that really enough to stay alive for?  Even then I feel a burden on him and his time and resources.

J

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
If we are equals, why must I put others feelings above my own if considering to take my own life?
Isn't it also selfish for people to hold on and to attribute their feelings to the actions another person has taken?  Shouldn't people take responsibility, as deceased people sometimes do?  Albeit there are probably better, more socially acceptable ways to take responsibility.  But perhaps not for that person at that moment in time.


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by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
I think we are all connected and that when we make choices we should always not only consider ourselves, but others as well. Their feelings should equally be considered as well as your own.

I did not start this post to argue right or wrong or to tell someone what they can or cannot do. It's not a black or white issue. There is no wrong or right. What is right for you, or someone else may not be for me and vice versa.

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by rdh1981, Feb 20, 2009
This past summer I lost my 7 wk old son. He was my everything. We tried for years to get pregnant and finally here was our baby boy!!! He was born with a heart condition called HLHS he spent his seven short weeks with us at Children's Hospital. My little man put up a good fight but God was ready for him to return home.

Because of this I was fully ready to end my life. I did not care if it would hurt my husband or my family. I was in so much pain and all I wanted was to be with my son.  Luckily, I started attending counseling session and I got pass that terrible darkness of wanting to end my life. The one thing that got completely out of this darkness, was believing that if I take my life my soul won't go to Heaven anyway and then I would not be reunited with my son again.  

It is really not fair for you to say that why would someone do this.  Many people undergo terrible events in their life that alter their entire way of thinking. Thank God, I had/have a great support system and I am still here today.  I am currently 14 wks pregnant and thanking my little Baby Angel Cooper everyday for watching over me and his daddy!!!

I am truly sorry for the loss of your dear friend, I know how hard it is to loose the ones we love.  

Take care!

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
I need to go.
I feel some comments highlight the lack of understanding some people with mental health issues come up against.
I don't think anything said has significantly altered my position or point of view.  Maybe the problem is a true lack of empathy and understanding.  I certainly never would have been able to understand unless I had been in this situation myself.  Nothing has dissuaded me from taking this course of action though, if I so choose.  There have been no significant reasons given not too.

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by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
rdh1981, I know about your Baby Angel Cooper. I have read your posts and my heart has ached for you. I am truly so sorry for that pain that you experienced. I followed your story quietly but I was there, rooting for all of you. I have shed tears for you and your Cooper. I know that you are pregnant again and I read the note that your friend posted for you yesterday. I am praying that everything turns out well for you this time and you get to take home your beautiful child and love that child as much as you love Cooper. This post turned into something I didn't mean for it to turn into. It may not be fair for me to say what I said, but those are my feelings are we are all entitled to our own feelings. What I was trying to do was change my point of view to a more understanding one. I don't think I could ever do that though, after having these discussions and seeing different sides, I think I would have to actually be there to understand it. At most, I can respect that when someone is at that point, that those are their feelings and the deserve respect like others. But, I do truly believe that nobody ever wants to be at that point and that there is a better way of dealing with things, even if at the time of complete despair that cannot be seen or felt.

Avatar universal
by teko, Feb 20, 2009
I do not think it unfair to ask this question. Lots of people wonder the same thing and if you have never been there, of course it would make no sense. I have heard it said that depression is anger turned inward. It is a very selfish illness that is for sure. When going thru it you only see and feel your own pain and do not or cannot think of anyone else. It can be short lived due to a death of someone close or like many it can last years. One must learn to c it coming and know what to do to keep themself from getting to that point of no return. Meds help, so does therepy. Sometimes the only thing that will work for some people is being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It can be deadly if we allow ourselves to wallow in self pity. If we allow it, we will get to the point of suicidal thoughts. After prolonged stress the brain ceases to create endorphines in the brain which is a natural stress inhibitor created by the body. When the body quits making them, we need medicine to help replace them. The best case scenario is to take the meds while working thru our issues. When we deal with our issues the need for medicine ceases. People that commit or attempt to commit suicide have not gotten the right meds or therepy to help their unique situation. IMO

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by rdh1981, Feb 20, 2009
Thank you Jen! It really warmed my heart to know that you cared so deeply about Cooper and myself.  I was not trying to offend you by any means, I just wanted you to know that severe depression can really altar a person rational thinking.  I am by no means an advocate for suicide but I can understand why someone would feel so depressed to do so.  

Thank you for following up with me!  It really means a lot

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
Actually, one last thought.
I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Choosing not to proceed with treatment could almost be considered a form of suicide.  Although a passive one.  How would God view that, I wonder?

Which reminds me.  When I was in hospital one of the doctors was a chain smoker.  That is also a form of self-harm and potential suicide.  Nobody says anything about these.

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by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Teko, that makes sense. Very physical. That, I can understand (:

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by Calientemommy29, Feb 20, 2009
MY brother tried to do this. I understand your opinion here! I asked myself this question when my dad found his son on the couch with his two boys jumping on him as they yelled " daddy wake up papa is here"
My heart will never understand why my brother did this. However, It made me question myself! Had we listened to him when he cried out for help maybe he would not have felt so alone!
There is no reason good enough for someone to do this, but just as we want them to think about us, WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT THEM!
My brother is amazing. He is always so happy, loves to joke, enjoys going to church with his boys and his wife.. yet somehow, he felt as if he was not good enough to be in our lives.
I still feel this hurt and anger and it's coming up on one year since he tried to take his own life!
He tried this one day before my birthday! IMAGINE HOW THAT MADE ME FEEL. But again when I finally got to see him in the hospital I made myself imagine how he felt!
That day we found out he is Bi-polor. He also had bleeding in his brain... some people may not understand but I HAVE TO! HE IS MY BROTHER and I would rather LOVE HIM while he is here, than FIGHT with him about how could he be that selfish!!!!!

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
Jaquta-very much a form of self-harm, I agree. I will try not to comment more on that though, I don't want to start an anti smoking war ;)

Choosing not to proceed with treatment for breast cancer is a very personal choice. Some people don't believe in modern medicine. Others don't want to deal with the side effects. Others yet, feel that God will heal them if it is meant to be. God gave us all the right to choose. So, I guess that could be the answer to my initial question.

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Feb 20, 2009
A very good POV, calientemommy. Very good. Thank you.

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by swampcritter, Feb 20, 2009
These sorts of journals make MH the place that it is, for it really shows the intense differences in viewpoints and experience.



Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
For those who haven't been patients or clients receiving support for mental health issues there are major deficiencies with some mhs.
Last year I was fortunate to receive counseling from an experienced therapist.  I was offered three sessions a week.  Then my T left due to issues with management.  I went from having three sessions to none.  Everyone kept saying they were concerned, but nobody did anything about the situation.  I was offered sessions again at the end of last year.  One session a week by a T that seemed incredibly incompetent, although I believe she did have some skills.  Five months without support for someone struggling to get through each day is difficult.
I think what some mhs do is criminal, or at the very least negligent.

Perhaps less people would be taking permanent actions to ease their pain if there were adequate and appropriate interventions and treatment.

We never asked for this.

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by Angelinthemorning, Feb 20, 2009
My brother tried to commit suicide just last year.  Took a whole slew of pills (no ideal what they were).  I happened to call him that night and knew right away he was messed up.  My husband found him behind a dumpster behind a bar.  Took him to ER.  
The way to the hospital he was shaking like a leaf holding on to me for dear life.  You know what he kept saying..."I could die right now holding on to you and it would all be okay".  People may think that if they got that bad they would snap themselves out of it but, really they can't.  Part of the depression is feeling like you're a burden to everyone else.  Or that your life is so insignificant it really won't matter if you die.  So, no, when people are that far down and thinking on suicide.  They don't think "oh, my family will be sad".  Cause quite frankly, their family probably won't be near as sad and depressed as they are when they're considering suicide.  

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by MJIthewriter, Feb 20, 2009
My Uncle on dad's side committed suicide at age 18. I wish he hadn't, because he sounded a lot like me from what my grandma shared.  He was a very smart person.  But he had what my grandma called "terminal depression."

My grandma is past 80 years old and she still cries when she thinks of him. Suicide hurts... It hurts long past the event and leaves the rest of the family with an emotional scar.
-------

In high school, when I was nearing my last year, I suddenly got hit with depression after my dad suffered it.  I wanted to end my life. I felt like things were hopeless, like there was nothing more for me on this earth.  I felt like if I stopped living, then it would all be over and no more future pain.  Seemed like a good idea, but I couldn't think of a way to do it without suffering pain or risk getting severely sick or suffer extreme brain damage.  I also thought about my story series and the characters I had in my head as well as my dream to write a story and get it published.

I threw it out of my mind a few times thinking why should it matter, but then I didn't want to cut it off. If I were to die, then so would my story and any dreams I had related.  I had the thought of someone finding my story and picking up where I left off, but I couldn't take that thought either. After all they are MY characters and MY story and I didn't want anyone else to be writing it but ME.

That narrowly kept me from going completely off the deep end...  It's scary stuff to be in depression. I seem to have distinct highs where I feel life being great and then moments where I struggle to grasp the joy I felt when I was happy. Most of the time I'm neither happy, nor sad, just kind of numb in a way.

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by AHP84, Feb 20, 2009
I haven't read all the posts here, but I wanted to add my experience. I was suicidal when I was 15, and I wanted to attempt it one night (however, I found out later that what I would have attempted would not have killed me anyway, just sent me to the hospital to have my stomach pumped. So. Thank God that He stepped in). I give credit to God for giving me a dream, which truly was a miracle and brought me out of my depression.
A little background info on the situation:
My now ex-stepfather was an alcoholic. Behind my mom's back, he emotionally abused me, cutting me down and making me feel like I was nothing and meant nothing to my family. I never told my mom how he treated me because their marriage was already on the rocks (they divorced when I when I was 17; but that's another story). No matter what the situation, they did not get along and were always fighting. Both of them were guilty of making me the mediator of their bickering. Also, my mom, to this day, is a very high-strung, headstrong, type-A personality. It is sometimes extremely difficult to talk to her. She has always been pretty hard on my sister and me about our academic success.  Add to that that my ex-stepfather, who is my sister, Emma's father, had successfully turned a 5 year old child against me. He had her emotionally and physically abusing me and I am convinced he found that entertaining. I could do nothing to stand up for myself to my sister, or disciplin her, because she would cry to Daddy and he would then verbally chew me a new one. He would say such phrases on a regular basis as, "Why don't you just go live with your dad? It's not like you're wanted here." Emma picked up on this quickly, being in her most formative years, and would say the same things to me, and hit, kick, spit, scratch, and punch me. In the meantime, I was just trying to stay motivated enough to be successful in school, because if I brought home a grade less than a 90 on any of my homework, my mom would drill me. Sure, I was in college by the time I was 15, but I had anxiety that I could never do well enough to please my mom. And last but not least, I was dating my now ex-boyfriend, Trevor's father (we had been together since age 14 until age 22), who was also emotionally abusive to me. When I would try to express how low I felt to him and that I felt suicidal, his response was always along the lines of I had a weak mind and spirit, and that I would never follow through with killing myself anyway because I was a coward. Yes, he would tell me things like that.
I lived in this mess for years. I started feeling depression at age 11. By age 15, I just felt so isolated and lonely that I did not want to live. I felt like I was worthless and unwanted to my stepdad, whom I loved and adored as my own father from age 9-12. He clearly didn't want me around, and always blamed me for his marriage to my mom failing and would tell me so. My little sister, for whom I'd wished for for years and years (when she was born, I was 10½) and I loved beyond words had grown to hate me. I felt I could never be good enough for my mom, felt that I would never be as smart and successful as she wanted me to be. My boyfriend acted like he needed me and loved me, but then would tell me things like I was weak-minded and a coward. I didn't have a close bond with my real father, who lived 1500 miles away from me, so I thought he never really cared about me anyway; I mean, he hardly ever contacted me and I felt abandoned.
I felt like a failure, alone and rejected by my entire immediate family. It was a situation I lived in day after day after day. There was no escape. Finding joy in things like birds singing, blue skies, and even brief moments of true joy and love with my family were all void to me, because I knew ultimately, everything would go back to hell in only a few short minutes or hours. And it always did. For years.
I wanted to die. I didn't feel loved, except for by my mom. But I felt like I was failing her and destroying her marriage, because that's what my ex-stepdad always told me. I felt like I wasn't good enough to be her daughter and couldn't live up to what she wanted me to be.
I was going to swallow a bunch of pills one night. But I prayed instead of shoving them in my mouth. Instead I only held them in my hand and looked at them and cried. It was midnight and everyone was asleep. I prayed that if God wanted me to live, then give me a reason to not do this.
Miraculously, I became overwhelmingly and immediately exhausted and fell asleep and had a dream that only God could have provided. That dream changed my life, and healed me. My depression didn't go away afterwards, but I was able to recover. I had a whole new way of perceiving things. I thank God all the time for giving me a second chance.
Since then, I've thought about suicide a few times, only out of habit. But I have never been to that place I was before, so I was always able to regain logical thinking if I ever thought about it again.
I haven't been suicidal in years. I haven't had suicidal thoughts in nearly three years. For that I am so thankful!
But I hope this helps you see that in some cases, for some people, they honestly feel there is no hope and that life would be easier if they just could extinguish their own.

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
Maybe it has come full circle and the solution is that it is about personal choice (affected by other factors).

Your comment kind of reminded me about Jehovah witnesses and their beliefs about blood transfusions.
At times it is hard not to be judgmental and to respect the decisions of others.
I was in a similar situation when I was threatened with ect, but not given it. I don't think people should force their values and beliefs on others and then demand they live with them.  That then means that that person can't be true to them-self.  Or are left traumatized by others decisions that have been inflicted upon them.

It's a difficult and sensitive subject.  (Human rights, personal decisions, values and beliefs, freedom of choice, etc).

Avatar universal
by 10356, Feb 20, 2009
My lil bro committed suicide at 13 I can not be in his head at the time.. but I can tell you of contributing factors... He was not accepted by his peers but made fun of for being Indian.. for being poor.. lack of proper nutrition.. even adults would make comments.. skin color.. hopelessness.. People trying to reform him into their ideal of what God expected... loneliness.. My brother had the largest heart of any I ever new.. yet people only saw  what they wanted to.. I miss my brother.. I heart weeps for him.. He felt that there was no future for him.. we were devastated.. but it was his choice.. I love my brother as he still lives on in my heart....lesa

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by tiredbuthappy, Feb 20, 2009
Jakuta-
I see that you have been having a very difficult time. I realize it is an illness, but I also can't help but think that the system has failed you along the way. If things were handled differently by others- your family, MHS, etc..., do you think that you would have an easier time coping with the depression? What can be learned from this? What can we take away from it? Not only people's responses, but as a society... who/what has failed in helping you?

As for passive suicide... i considered jumping in earlier and bringing this up, but hesitated. Did my father, who died from alcoholic cirrhosis at the age of 48, commit suicide because he knew that alcohol can kill and was destroying his organs? I don't know... All I know is that I can never understand or relate to what drove him to that point and pray that I never have the opportunity to experience that desperation, that illness, first hand. All I can do is accept that I will never know, and accept that he did not do it to hurt his family. When I accepted these things (which pretty much means forgiving him), I found a peace that my siblings are still seeking. While this is a bit different than suicide, I feel the idea is the same. In fact, I often wonder how dark things were for him, how depressed he must have been, to do that to himself. It makes me sad for him, rather than angry for what he did.

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by pinkbelle, Feb 20, 2009
My father did use it as a weapon..  he used it to make my mother feel guilty for leaving him and guess what IT WORKED!!!! she went back to him... and for years after that I had to deal with the shame and the whispers so for you to tell me to get over it ... is just insensitive...   I can only give you my opinion based on my circumstance... but in my opinion suicide is SELFISH and COWARDLY...   And you know what my life has not been sunshines and roses... do i have reasons to be sad ... YES!!!  are there things in my life I wish i could change .. YES!!! but suicide has NEVER EVER crossed my mind... I have a beautiful daughter and I would never do that to her EVER!!!! and people who do attempt it ( and they have children) are not only harming themselves but their children ( take it from me.. i still think alot about it) ....

I knew I would get harsh comments because people just do not understand ... at all.  what its like to be on the other side of this... i have EVERY right to be angry with him and about the situation..   and no I will not look at his side of things because he was the ADULT and i was the CHILD .. no child should ever go through that.. he should have been thinking of me instead of himself... ( selfish! selfish! selfish! )

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by dai3symae, Feb 20, 2009
My cousin's beautiful wife committed suicide when their 3rd child was an infant.  She became convinced that she had harmed her baby by letting her slip under the water during a bath (she didn't....her daughter is now in graduate school).  She went to doctor after doctor until they refused to see her.  One day when my cousin was at work she shot herself.  I believe she had severe post-partum depression.  It didn't get much notice in the early 80's.  

A different cousin was a Viet Nam vet who came home drug/alcohol addicted.  He never beat it.  When his wife finally kicked him out and he felt like he had nowhere to go....he committed suicide.

After all these years, I still feel sad at their passings.  I wish we had known had troubled they were and reached out to them.  They were wonderful people who were flawed in ways they couldn't overcome.

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by star641, Feb 20, 2009
my two children took there lives and yes im in so much pain and will be for the rest of my life ,
but one thing i do know my children were not selfish ,...they where in so much pain it was unbearable for them ,.
i never wanted  to see any of my children in that much pain ,and im sure mothers out there would never like to see there children in pain either ,.i know for a fact my children where never selfish when they where alive ,they where good kids ,
i loved them so much and i know they loved me back just as much, and if it took just one moment for them to think of us
before they died i know they would have never have went through with it ,.....there minds where not even on this planet
and that is the sad thing about suicide you go of into a thing called a trance ,
i think there has been a lot of posts on here that make so much sense about suicide not been selfish ,
suicide comes from depression in which my children had ,...they where sick ,
and all i can say is they where to tired to live anymore ,.....i have since been in that dark place myself and i can tell you
its like been in hell ,.....

Avatar universal
by Isabel81, Feb 20, 2009
It's so strange to me that anyone can not understand wanting to commit suicide.  I understand that it causes other people pain, but sometimes it seems like the only way to end things before you can make them worse.  What if you feel like everyone hates you?  What if you feel like your very existence in your loved one's lives makes them worse?  If you're severely depressed, one of the reactions you get is that of people who've had about enough of your ****.  You get told you're selfish whether it's because you're focused on your own pain, which can be particularly hard to manage if you're depressed, or because you kill yourself.  But if you've killed yourself, you presumably don't have to listen to people while they judge you.  I don't mean for this to sound radical, just rational.  Apparently there are two different, opposing frames of mind.

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by jankar, Feb 20, 2009
Anyone who commits suicide needs our love more than anything because to feel so bad that you think this is the only solution is the saddest thing and my heart wants to tell them we must be able to make it better.  I don't believe in any god.

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by Amphitrite, Feb 20, 2009
I admittedly haven't read any of the above comments because I wanted to answer just your journal and not all the responses also.

My sister did hang herself. So I've had the same feelings and thought the same things. I went through alot of anger afterward.
How could she do this to all of us? Kill herself and leave us to pick up all the pieces...leave us with the guilt and suffering and to carry on her issues because those problems just don't go away, the survivors are left to carry the pain and suufering of the person who decided to leave this lfe at their own hands.

But on the same hand, I've attempted suicide. So I think I can understand from both ends. The thing about suicide is that it's a permenant solution to a temporary porblem. But when you feel so helpless and alone with nowhere to turn and no help available those desperate thoughts and feelinsg feel so deep and feel that they're never going to go away and you can only see the darkness and bo more light.

My attempt was very different than my sisters. My attempt was from a direct situation when I was abused and ganged up on by people saying I was a bad person, that I was sick and twisted and that I was an abuser and because I had just opened up about my child abuse, there comments got into a place that was so raw, so vulnerable and being abused had made me feel like a bad person, sick and twisted and all that, and my abuser had told me I was dosgusting and worthless..because of all of that, it felt like I was surrounded by darkness, that I was worthless because if my abuser said it, if I felt that way and other people told me I was then it had to be true so I figured I was better off gone than being a bother to people and just a nad person.
But thank God, I have some very caring angels and God knew it wasn't my time and he made sure I came back. And it was selfish what I put my family though. Having to see me on a ventalator, having to sit up with endless worry and guilt. Devestating them. And it's something I can never change. I can't take back what I tried to do. But I can tell people that suicide really isn't the right decision.

But what's important I think to remember and understand is that when you get to a point of such sadness, desperation and hopelessness, you don't think your being selfish. You think you truel deserve to die. You think your only a bother to the world and the world, your family and friends would be better off without you.
Because when your in that space where suicide is an option. your not thinking rationally. Your not thinking about the future. Your thinking about...how can you possiblt get through this. Hoe can anyone love you.
Like in my case those were my thought. If I am really a bad person and my abuser thinks it, I  think it and it's just been validated then I don't deserve to live...why would my parents and my husband and friends want to have and be around a sick and twisted disgusting bad person.
It's not a rational place.

For my sister, she was very sick. For many years. She had planned her suicide and attempted suicide for many many years. And her psychiatric illness was what caused her to feel helpless and hopeless and like there was no help, no options.

So theer are many different reasons people turn to suicide. Even those that are terminally ill and feel that taking they're life saves their family and they're self the pain and suffering of watching them die a slow death. So they're death becomes on there on time and in their own way.

It can't always be ctagorozed as a selfish act because it depends upon the person. Like my sister for instance, she was very sick and was for many many years in and out of psychiatric hospital. Of course i felt it was selfish, but I also knew how much pain she was in everday psychologically for decades and could no longer cope with it.

But suicide no matter how bad something is, is never the right choice...though I do have sifferent feelings about terminal disease of someone knows they have only one month left and that month will be filled with pain, suffering and torment for everyone involved.
And there have been studies that have shown that those who end up making it through an attempt knew it was a mistake as soon as it was too late to take back what they had done.

Suicide is betraying teh one natural instinct we're born with...to keep ourself alive at all costs.
But the mind is so complex, so complex that no one has been able to discover and find answers for everything. And as I said, I think it really depends on the situation. Like for my sister, I can't say it was right but I can't say it was wrong. I'm still devestated as I miss her. But her pain was so excrushiating everyday. So much so that she lived in psychiatic hospital after psychiatric hospital and there were no answers the doctors had left for her.
And now I feel she's finally at peace and no longer suffering. Og course we are...which is why I can't make a call on it being right or worng. Bit she's no longer in pain and seeing her in that kind of pain everyday, strapped to a bed was devestating too.

So that's my take on suicicde although it's not an exact answer. Because to me, there is no exact answer. In some situations it's so obvious it is a selfush and wrong act. But in ithers, when the suffering and pain has been going on for decades and no one can change it and someone is left in that state..I can't say it's a black and white answer. Because human beings aren't built to maintain a constant state of suffering,
And people may thing extreamly differntly than me of course!

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by Amphitrite, Feb 20, 2009
I just wanted to say to..I'm looking just at my sisters suicide and my own attempt. I'm not look at it as in general because when you;ve attempted it yourself and have a loved one who has taken their own life..it's hard to look at suicide in a general way.
And although my post is contradictory, it's because of my sisters devestaing psychological pain everyday, our feelings about it and our feeling that she no long is suffering everday. So it's naturally a contradictory feeling and situation..at least for me and the family. And like I said, people obviously have such different vires, especially those who have never been in that place where suicide becomes and option or have never lost someone they loved to suicide.
It's always a decestating and hard thing to deal with.

But I believe God is always there, even when someone kills themselves. I think people torment themselves, not God.

93532 tn?1349374050
by AndiJ78, Feb 20, 2009
I do think it is selfish, but it is that person's right. They are not rational, but they are often miserable. I don't like people who take others with them when they do it, if you want end your life, end YOUR life, not another's.

Again, I will say what I often say in this situation...we do not walk in their shoes, we have no earthly idea what their existence is like. I cannot imagine it is a decision entered into lightly, afterall, it is suicide.

Good journal, Jen. Walking a fine line successfully thus far.



Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 20, 2009
I think education surrounding suicide and mental health issues is really important.
There have been national campaigns to educate people and reduce stigma which is important.
There have been programs introduced into schools which encourage young people to reach out and ask for help when needed.  There have also been mentoring programs and programs to eliminate bullying.

I think not all programs are adaptive though and fail to cater for the needs of our society as it exists today.

I think many mhs are unaccountable for their roles in assisting the continuation of mh issues in some patients.  And in some cases the exacerbation of symptoms and the death of these people.
It often takes a death and court action before they will even acknowledge a problem exists.
I think hospital are underfunded and under-resourced but I think they have the potential to perform much better.

I think most people who believe suicide is selfish should be in counseling.  I think people are failing to own their own emotions and their own underlying issues.  You can't blame these on an individual because of a decision they made.  They can't make you feel the way you do, only you have the ability to do that.

J

p.s.  The key is identifying mental health issues early and getting appropriate support and treatment.
Stress management and problem-solving are also important skills.  As is social- networking.

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by adgal, Feb 20, 2009
I used to struggle to understand how anyone could be so down they believed life wasn't worth living.  Then I went through a depression myself, and it is incredible how it can consume you.  After my 4th m/c last year I went into a really really dark place.  It was bad.  I wouldn't get out of bed, wouldn't eat, didn't leave the house.  I was lucky, my husband intervened before it got to the stage of becoming suicidal, but I can now completely see how it can happen.  I could think of nothing but how sad I was, and how much it hurt. I would have never been able to understand I was depressed, my thinking was not that clear.  In my case it was what the therapist called situational depression, combined with post partum like symptoms, so I did get back to myself .  I no longer feel it is a selfish decision as I don't believe that most who make that decision can rationalize it that way. When your pain is so great, and you feel so alone, I don't think you really believe anyone will miss you or be hurt by your actions.  I agree with some of the others Jen, good journal.  


Avatar universal
by 1nana, Feb 20, 2009
My brother shot his brains out!

Not once, did I ever think he was selfish. He was the most caring and compassionate individual I had ever known.

Unfortunately he was bi-polar and in the end, like most people who attempt or successfully commit suicide, HE WASN'T IN HIS RIGHT MIND!!!

I am left with guilt for not being able to help him. (I tried, but to no avail.)

I totally disagree that one who takes their life is selfish.

THEY'RE MENTALLY SICK!

Avatar universal
by Jaquta, Feb 21, 2009
A poll on this would be interesting.

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by jenstam, Feb 21, 2009
OMGoodness...I had no idea I would get so many comments and opinions on this journal post. I am so grateful for the many sides of the coins that have been presented here and this post did just what it was supposed to-it helped me understand. So, thank you to those who took the time to give me their thoughts and opinions. We do not have to agree. It is so sad to me and I willingly admit that I am naive and/or ignorant to this subject. Thus, I was trying to understand and comprehend what gets a person to that point and why they do it. Why they feel there is no other way and why they don't consider how others will hurt when they leave this world.

The stories shared are priceless. I am so sorry to those people who have had the misfortune to have had a loved one attempt or commit suicide or have had to experience what it's like to be suicidal. I can only hope that this journal maybe made more than myself a little more aware and educated on this tragic event. God Bless all of you and again, only gratitude for you taking the time to share your experience. I am deeply sorry if I hurt anyone. It was not my intention.

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by Cherie762, Feb 21, 2009
Do you all know what stops healthy debates or stops us from learning from anothers point of view????? Its usually something as simple and immature as name calling.....no one is being selfish here... dont just hear each other listen..you all sound as though you have such a need to be right that you are deaf to each other ...theres been serious issues to some very loved friends on this web site..we are all here to support not judge...and it would be nice to understand why people do the things they do ...but reality....we all think differently....we are not able to understand nor is it neccesary...It is neccessary to respect.

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by jenstam, Feb 21, 2009
Cherie, you are right. Respect is what this is about. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand something. No judgment, but a desire to understand. I really did gain a lot of knowledge through my journal post and I hope others did as well. That is what my intentions were and still are.

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by CYW, Feb 21, 2009
i think it is selfish as well but back when i was a teenager i didnt think so... i used to self mutilate...i remember feeling so much hurt..i felt so alone..and now i am glad i wasnt so silly as to end my life.. after a few attempts...life isnt always easy but life is life and sometimes we just need a little help...mind you the only reason that would cause me to ever kill myself now would be if i ever lost my son...it hurts to lose someone...my gramma was just like my mom and it hurt alot..it still does and always will but my son...thats a different story..someone would have to hospitalize me because i wouldnt want to live with that hurt..but suicide is a hard thing to understand...

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by Amphitrite, Feb 21, 2009
I think when we say selfish, were talking about how much we miss someone. Not messesarily that the person is a selfish person in general, but that the devestation that comes from losing someone you love in that way makes you feel so many different emotions, including guilt many time that being angry at them for taking themselves away is a natural part of the greif process of suicide.

Since we really can't sat we know 100% what's on teh other side and can only go by our beliefs, and I'll speak for myself because beliefs are so varied and different, that I was angry at my sister because I didn't have her. I thought her selfish afterwards because I missed her, I felt guilty and I wanted her here with me. But my belife is that her pain was ended and God was now healing and taking care of her.
To me, that's what the pain of death is. I'm not sad because someone has left this earth, I'm sad that they have left my life when I wanted them here. Because Heaven is obviously a better place than earth could ever be if you have Chistian views.
But that's just my opinion and as many as theer are many would probably disagree.

So when I say selfish, it's out of anger for not having my sister, my best friend by my side. But i know how much pain she was in so when it really comes down to it(as the journal made me really think for a while last night) the belief that she no longer has to suffer makes me so happy. I picture her actually smiling and not feeling worthless as a human being.
I've had many "dreams" about her where she has come to me. "Dreams" that I believe were real. And she doesn't have to live in pain anymore. So my anger over losing her, and my guilt says it was selfish. But my love for her says maybe it was time for her to stop suffering.

But for myself, I feel it was selfish. And the reason why us because I was willing to throw everything away just because a bunch of people told me I was a worthless person. And deep down, although at that time I felt it was true, I know it wasn't. So I would have left my who family without me and my husband alone all because I let a few people who didn't even know me decide my fate and how I was going to see myself and feel about myself. That's why I felt I was being selfish.

But as for others like I said above, I think it depends on the situation and what's happening and what has happened. But my thought it, the person who is suicidal is never thinking about the furture and how it will effect the people they love because they are in such a deep state of torment and devestation.
Whn I look back a few weeks ago to my suicide attempt, it was so dark all around me. I felt so worthless as a person and so disgusting and so bad, that I truely beliveed I was doing the world a favor. My being selfish never crossed my mind.

But it's true unless you have ever been in that place, it's so hard to understand how anyone could possibly make an attempt on their life. You can try to understand through others experiences and that def helps a little...but the hell of the moment which consumes you is a place the true understanding lies.

But I do have to say that I'm very glad you have made this journal and are trying to understand. There had been alot of education out there. I NEVER thought I would ever reach that place. I was so against suicide. So much that I advocated for mental health awareness and education and putting into place suicide pervention services. But now I truely understand and can use that understanding to help those who are in that place even more.

Anyone can get involved to try and improve the lives of other people within their own commnity, It's a wonderful way to give back.
And my deeperst wish is that no one tonight, will have to sit in that dark place alone feeling worthless and hopeless. And tomorrow I'll say the same. Because every life has worth and every life has beauty and is importat.

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by Quixotic1, Feb 21, 2009
The drive to suicide is not, I repeat not, a choice made weighing all of the options.  The severe end of depression, suicide, is the result of severely disordered thinking as mentioned above.  There is no selfishishness, nor an ability to see the consequences - only the necessity - driven by the feelings, as mentioned directly above of hopelessness and worthlessness.

I hope that this journal can give all a greater sense of empathy for the mental state that drives someone to end their life.  I would urge all to step "toward" the person and see their pain rather than step "back" and be judgemental.

Quix

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by decogrl, Apr 29, 2009
My sister is bi-polar and I can count on all of my fingers and toes how many times she attempted suicide.  She is incapable of raising her son who was frequently abandonded after school.    I was mad like hell when I heard about it.    My parents finally took custody of him, and God only knows what he was exposed to (he will be 10).  I still get mad but someone hit the nail on the head.  When you are not in your right mind you have an illness.  You cannot be a rational being.  Sometimes your brain because of bi-polar or whatever, you cannot help it.   You cannot be angry with someone who is sick.  I have never been suicidal but have had bad depression (mine was due to lack of sleep and hormones).  You get paranoid and feel like there is no escape.  I got over mine as it was temporary.  But just imagine living every day as a struggle.  I will not judge a person until I have walked in his/her shoes.  By the way my sister was raped when she was very little.

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by ILADVOCATE, Apr 29, 2009
Suicide comes from two main issues. When it is psychiatric it is biochemical. A person who has untreated depression needs medication. Their brain is not working right. As I've noted in posts I have recovered from schizoaffective disorder (with an experimental antipsychotic in phase II FDA study) but due to my physical disability which causes extreme pain and spasms I do get suicidal ideations from time to time. I just wouldn't act on them. For that reason I don't support physician assisted suicide and if you agree with that stance (everyone is entitled to their opinion) you might want to read "Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Physician Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder". My opinion does not go as far as the book but it was an appropriate response to the book "Final Exit" which did upset me to see in the local library. For a person with untreated depression or psychosis its like a loaded gun. I don't believe that suicide is selfish. I do believe that encouraging that option for someone with a disability in society is selfish though and that's an understatement. I believe that life is worth living and a person who thinks otherwise needs support and help and we should guide them in that direction.

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by 40smama, Apr 30, 2009
jen - I've been in that awful depression where I wanted to just die.  I simply wanted the pain to end.  I'm bipolar which probably explains some of it - the depression deepened after I lost a pregnancy at 19 weeks, my husband lost his job, we were out of money, I had just had a baby a year previously - so many issues at once that I couldn't think.  

I read a billboard on the freeway that said, "Do you want the pain to end - are you in such pain that you think nobody else can help?  We can evaluate & help you" or something like that.  For some reason, it gave me hope and courage and I called that number.  I wanted to get well but my thinking was so skewed & I lost such perspective that I needed lots of counseling & meds to see my way back.

I did want to live - but I was in terrible pain that I couldn't live with.  That is just my experience - sad to say.  I'm ashamed that I went through this but then again, it got me the help that I needed.

i'm so sorry for your friend - I too lost a very close friend to suicide.  He had just started treatment and should've been hospitalized until stable but that didn't happen and a horrible consequence occurred.

Avatar universal
by bender62, May 01, 2009
People die from all sorts of things...suicide is just another way of death.. My opinion is there is too much judgement of others actions.  I'm sure anyone who commits or trys to commit suicide have no intentions on hurting anyone else but only getting relief from the pain they are in.

Avatar universal
by bender62, May 01, 2009
I don't think suicide is selfish, I think it is  misunderstood.

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by KATE535, Mar 17, 2010
Similar to JayBay, I can offer an experience of depression (but am fully recovered now). When my second born was 9 months I was diagnosed with chronic depression - I suffered 5-6 months of hell - worthlessness, inner turmoil, anxiety, helplessness, desperation. This was coupled with an abusive partner and dealing with two small children virtually alone. I dont know how I got so bad but ended up in hospital (I cried for help as I was worried about what I was thinking about doing to myself) Being severly depressed is like becoming someone else - you are numb, you exist outside of your body, you have altered feelings about what matters in life, likewise you begin to loose your understanding of what matters in life. Perhaps why it leads to people ending it all without thought for their loved ones. I too thought my children would be happier without me - how crazy I realise that is now. I am everything to them, but I could not see that at all when depressed. I acknowledged that I was selfish when I was depressed - but that was one of the many negative things I saw myself as. I knew it was selfish as it consumes you so much that the only thing you can think about is your own helpless situation and your own despair. You take for granted the people around you who care because you are purely numb.
Well to cut a long story short - I was severly ill throughout Sept, Oct (I spent 6 weeks in hospital), but still after in Nov, and up to Dec 06. That was when I realised I had to get help - so I saw my doctor and she told me about the 'chemical imbalances in the brain'.... And it was like a light-bulb switching on - you've got to get help through medication and see it through for a few months before it begins to work. God I wish I'd seen her sooner!!!! I began my course of anti-depressants and it took another 8 weeks of being severly ill....... and then the despair started to lift - I could see life slowly for what it was - I started taking photographs again - I started taking my children out places again - I could see the sun shinning (before I dreaded the cold-reality of daytime). During March 2007 I was healing in such an amazing way. God looking back I cannot believe I was so ill and yes I do regret being ill.... because my children are my world and I'm a good mum.... and I dont know how I became so lost. I just want to say after being so low, I have never looked back, my life is happy, I am fulfilled.

Depression can strike when you've taken too much. I believe wholeheartedly it is an illness of the mind, and you dont have to be insane to get it. I will always regret getting it as I hate to think I lost out on some of my second child's babyhood :-( But on the good side it has made me appreciate everything (and what's 5-6 months in a lifetime?). I love my three children so dearly. Oh and can I add I left the abusive ex partner in Jan 2008 and am happy with three children and a partner who is father to one (my youngest).

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