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Is suicide ever an acceptable choice?

Discussion in 'Spiritual and Mental Well Being' started by FossilHead, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. FossilHead

    FossilHead Staff Member

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    I have a friend who was a former client---- and who now comes in to the unit once a week to tell his story and play music for current clients---- who attempted suicide a few years ago.
    He did a really good job (shot himself through the heart), but did not get the expected result: he miraculously survived.

    He now tells others in Crisis Stabilization that "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" and I think that is just about as solid an evaluation as I have ever heard.

    However, I do not know that it applies in all cases....some of the problems faced by individuals who consider suicide are not "temporary."


    Some quick, recent examples:


    Robin Williams – Parkinsons disease, chronic pain, and Lewy bodies (dementia-inducing) were found after his death.


    Don Cornelius – the creator of Soul Train, and host from 1971 until 1993. He may have been suffering from early onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and his health had been in decline for some years.


    Junior Seau and Dave Duerson– American football greats; both suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of multiple head-injuries.


    Dick Trickle – American racing great; had been suffering for some time with severe chronic pain and had seen many doctors, none of whom could find the source of his pain, or cure it.


    So were these suicides offering the individual a more “dignified” way to die? And by his choice of when, where, and how?
    Should “dignified death” or sponsored-suicide (a la Dr. Jack Kevorkian, if you recall) ever be allowed or supported?

    (I am not talking about people who commit suicide to avoid punishment for wrongdoing, like individuals who have been arrested for heinous crimes for which they will likely receive lengthy prison sentences.)


    What are your thoughts or comments............?
     
  2. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    Suicide is a viable choice under certain circumstances, but I take issue with the current debate on it. Asking someone other than yourself if it's permissible to die is the final indignity of a servile, modern life.
    • Please Sir, may I have permission to piss? (school, work)
    • Please Sir, may I have a couple of days off? (work)
    • Please Sir, may I have permission to die?!?
    In the case of men, which most here are, we make difficult decisions and we live (or die) with them. People will question our decisions, ridicule them, attack our person and our characters, but we take it, because that it what we are - men. So I've made a division there already between people who take responsibility for themselves and those who don't.

    I think that a young person with a healthy body should try to continue for as long as they can, because life is nothing if not vast potential. As long as you're alive, there is potential for things to change, for better or worse. If you're very old, your potential is lessened, and if you're very ill, you may have very little potential. I accept that some mental anguishes are very severe, but we should try to continue. There are exceptions, next part being rather unpleasant, I've noticed that some victims of early childhood abuse seem to show little potential for a happy adult life, and many of them choose suicide.
    People get diagnosed with terminal illnesses and live, rarely, but it does happen. They may reach a point where they are tired of fighting and being ill, and I wouldn't judge them if they opted for suicide.

    Let's examine the suicidal mentality and some of the circumstances that cause it to arise.

    Shit job, masses of debt, lost home and most of paycheck to divorce. Otherwise, physically healthy.

    In brief, that might make a man suicidal, make him feel that there's no way out. But there is a way out, if he can break his programming. He could max out his last credit card, get a loan, purchase a new identity, drive his car to the edge of a cliff and park it there. The police will usually consider him to be a suicide case when he's missing and they find the car. He disappears to Mexico, or some other country and begins a new life. Success! The problematic identity is dead, but the person lives. And, I heard a lot of people were doing this in the USA.

    Feels suicidal for internal rather than external reasons, childhood problems, or for no discernible reason.
    Ok. The person here wants to die. The final objective is to be dead, right? So, they hang on. They feel guilty about wanting to die. They don't want to upset friends or family, but they've had enough. They don't want people to think less of them, but they've had it. Well, bluntly, when you're dead, you're dead. No one can get to you with their opinions then. And the final objective is to die, to be dead, right? So, stage a car accident, a house fire, a drowning accident, a shooting, whatever. You're dead, nobody knows it was suicide, nobody thinks any less of you. This derails the whole "Please let me die" argument. Let's see it for what it is, a request to be absolved of responsibility for one's actions, laziness, maybe a cry for help. We are men. We take responsibility and we get the job done.

    Crippled by illness, not likely to survive, needs help to die but doesn't want anyone who helps to go to prison for murder.
    Ok, same as above. Stage an accident. Hire a former police officer to instruct you on how to set up the scene, research crime scene evidence, what ever. Accidentally overdose on morphine, doctors "accidentally" do that all the time for hopeless cases and nobody bats an eyelid. Don't embark on some pity me, please allow me to die crusade as it draws far too much attention. If the true objective is to be dead, be discreet.

    Perhaps because of my training in critical thinking and problem solving, my approach may be a bit different. But I stand by what I say, in the case of men who take responsibility for themselves. It's not the same in the case of women, and the statistics clearly show that. Women tend to "attempt" suicide and then call out for help, or attempt suicide in front of or nearby concerned people, which to me indicates a clear difference in motive, mentality and the desired result. Men die by suicide more often and have more successes than attempts, in my opinion, because of differences in their mentality, approach, method, desired result and social conditioning. If they decide to do it, they do it. There are less clear available avenues for men to seek help. Depressed, suicidal, or ill men are often seen as weak and useless, in particular by the opposite sex. Not my opinion at all, some possess great strength and dignity in their suffering.

    All that said, good topic, and not an easy thing for everyone to discuss.
     
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  3. lilbigman

    lilbigman Well-Known Member

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    Yep, this is a touchy subject and I don't believe there really is a right answer. It has always been my opinion that people that commit suicide are weak. It's easy to just end it, it is much more difficult to work through things and keep pushing forward. That takes true strength and resolve. However, I have never suffered through daily horrible pain, serious depression, or diagnosis of an incurable disease. So realistically, who the hell am I to say someone is weak to take their own life if I have never been in their position. Perhaps if I were fading away from incurable form of cancer, I would become "weak" myself and take the easier path.
     
  4. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    Yeah, that's the thing. The weakness aspect is a common misconception. Similar to how people who've never really had a prolonged illness seem to think that the sick can just "snap out of it", people think that suicidal people are weak. But, even though it's nigh on impossible to explain, imagine for a moment that a person may be living their life in extreme mental and physical anguish - going to work, dragging themselves out of bed when they feel like shit, talking to people, keeping their lives running etc. Imagine that they may be doing this for years, or even decades, with no easing of their pain, often, the pain accumulating and growing steadily worse. Some of those people are stronger than any ordinary person, stronger than anyone would ever consider them to be. Life is easier when you're healthy and feel pretty good about yourself and the world. No one can say how long a person would last under the weight of depression or debilitating illness. It definitely takes a lot just to keep going.
     
  5. Kitsune

    Kitsune Staff Member

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    Wow, great discussion.

    Personally, when I was younger, I used to think it was the coward's way out. I just couldn't understand why someone would let things go that far. Let...that was my naivety. I too thought it weak.

    But, not all cases are the same. Some need help, and feel desperate. Some truly feel despair, and hopeless. And unfortunately, some, just use it for attention.
    Even so, I still use that saying. Permanent solution to a temporary problem. Because some are just within reach of change, and giving up now robs them of so much personal achievement.

    I think the situation matters, sure, and it's hard to see through the eyes of someone who is seriously considering it because of hopeless conditions. It's sad when it comes to that. And we may not like it, or agree, because we are still here, left with the absence of them. But we do kind of have an understanding.
     
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  6. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    Yep, its definitely not easy to see from the outside. Such things often defy rationalisation, like many aspects of life.

    I remember listening to a guy in the forces who got blown up. he said "You're will to live instincts only will keep you alive so long in a situation like that before your will to die takes over". He obviously was in immense pain and wanted it to end. So I'd say no, its definitely not a cowards way out, if anything I'd say it takes incredible courage to abandon all you've ever known in this life.

    I agree with Corvid though, something like this can never be answered by another, it is a personal decision, one that should not be taken lightly.
     
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  7. Master-gauge

    Master-gauge Well-Known Member

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    When u think about it.. It takes a lot mentally to even go thru with something like this.. If u are in a situation, u are sitting there, knowing what u are about to do to yourself, that it is final and permanent.. Really it's not the coward's way out.. It takes a lot stone's to actually go thru with it and end yourself.. I've thought about doing the "what if I left my car here, and went to Mexico"?? thing before..
     
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  8. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    Yes, definitely. Well with the exception of a good proportion of people that do it as a cry for help and do not mean to go through with it at all. Or those that think they are going to a better place after they do it. But for an atheist, in their rational state of mind, willingly go through with it takes an immense amount of courage. Someone in that position must be in a truly dire state to see that as the best available option :(
     
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  9. Party

    Party Well-Known Member

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    Well, having just watched my cousin go thru hell in the hospital for three months on life support and semi conscious most of the time. The frustration and pain he went thru for himself and family. I would hope I had the nits to end it for all our sakes.

    On a side note, a guy just moved in with his Mrs. He told her to please wait 6 months before dating again. He moved in at that time. Not judging, told my wife I want her to find someone else to. But?
     
  10. Someone

    Someone Guest

    When you are hurting so bad that its the only way out. Suicide is a very valid option. No one can feel that kind of pain to know what it is like to want to kill yourself to stop the hurt and pain.

    Don't judge.
     
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