The pejorative, disrespectful, and ignorant statements that we are assaulted with concerning suicide angels are in abundance…and are disquieting to cope with on a daily basis.
You’ve heard them many times, statements about suicide being “a sin,” “a crime,” “an act of self-murder,” etc. Well, let me address one more ignorant statement – that suicide is a “selfish” act.
Suicide is a desperate act by someone who is in intense pain and wants their pain to stop. That is a HUMAN response to extreme pain, not a selfish one. And over 90 percent of the people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death, so they are not thinking clearly.
Saying that a person who had severe clinical depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or a similar illness was engaging in an act of selfishness when they died by suicide – even though their thought process, mood, and judgment were greatly affected by their mental illness – is not only inaccurate, but downright cruel, to both the suicide angel and the suicide survivors.
And those who use the word “selfish” are merely helping perpetuate the STIGMA associated with suicide.
A suicidal action that manifests from intense, excruciating, unbearable pain associated with a serious mental illness has nothing to do with selfishness. Period.
“A suicidal action that manifests from intense, excruciating, unbearable pain ASSOCIATED with a serious mental illness has nothing to do with selfishness. Period”
I 100%, brokenheartedly agree with this statement.
I would also like to point out another side though:
Even if the suicide is not associated with “serious mental illness” it is NOT selfish. People commit suicide for a variety of reasons- mental illness is just one of them.
Mental illness increases the risk of death by suicide, but multiple factors play a part in this tragic equation.
There are physical factors, family history factors, environmental factors and many, many more. It is unfair to the survivors of loved ones suicides to only “vindicate’ or “allow/forgive” suicide when accompanied by “serious mental illness”.
Suicide is a complex and tragic result of a host issues. NONE OF THEM ARE SELFISH.
*** It is important to note that the large majority of people with mental disorders or other suicide risk factors do not engage in suicidal behavior***